Transurethral Resection of a Bladder Tumour (TURBT)?

Transurethral Resection of a Bladder Tumour (TURBT) is the procedure done to diagnose and to treat early stage bladder cancer. Almost everyone diagnosed with bladder cancer will undergo a bladder tumour biopsy and resection.

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Transurethral Resection of a Bladder Tumour (TURBT) - VIDEO EXPLAINER

Transurethral Resection of a Bladder Tumour (TURBT) - who is it for?

Who Is Transurethral Resection of a Bladder Tumour (TURBT) For?

If you’ve been diagnosed with a bladder tumour, a TURBT is performed to:

  • Confirm the diagnosis – most bladder tumours are due to bladder cancer
  • Get more information about the tumour, such as how aggressive and advanced the cancer is.
  • Remove the tumour to prevent it from getting worse and for the cancer to spread to muscles and other organs.
  • To prevent side effects such as bleeding of the tumour.

What are the benefits?

TURBT is a successful treatment for early stage bladder cancer. It can prevent cancer from spreading into the bladder muscle wall. Invasive bladder cancers that spread require more extensive treatment.

However, bladder cancer can come back back and more TURBT procedures may be needed. Your doctor will need to do frequent follow-up checkups with you to look for signs if the cancer has returned. The risks associated with repeated TURBT procedures is small, but please discuss your concerns with your GP and surgeon.

What happens During Surgery?

A local epidural or general anesthetic will be administered before the surgery commences.

A small camera and a cutting device to remove the tissue from the prostate will be inserted through the urethra.

A cauterising loop is used to remove the tumour from your bladder and to stop bleeding.
The tumour tissue which is removed is sent for further testing after the operation.

How long will I stay in hospital?

You should be able to go home the day of the surgery. Most people can have a simple bladder tumor biopsy and resection done as an outpatient day procedure. 

Your surgeon might suggest you stay overnight if you have other medical concerns or if you have had a large amount of tissue removed.

What is my recovery time?

Following the procedure, you’ll have a catheter (thin, flexible tube) inserted into the bladder to drain urine. It is normal for there to be blood in the urine at first. Drinking liquids will help flush out your bladder and help prevent infections. Your catheter will be removed when there is no more blood visible in the urine or when you go home.

A burning sensation or the need to urinate frequently may be experienced when urinating. These symptoms will usually settle with time.

After the surgery, avoid strenuous activities for about 6 – 8 weeks. Consume plenty of fibre and drink 2 – 3 litres of fluid per day to avoid constipation.

SURGERY - criteria

Do you qualify for This Self Pay Procedure?

You are suitable for this surgery if:

  • You are over 16 years of age
  • You are not pregnant
  • You do not require complex rehabilitation or have a chronic disease that would require immediate post-operative care in an intensive care unit
  • You do not have sickle cell anaemia, renal failure or have had a cardiac arrest or cardiac intervention (e.g. insertions of stents) in the last six months
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