The surgical procedure to remove the bladder is known as a cystectomy and is usually performed as a result of cancer of the bladder. You can also have radiation and chemotherapy treatment which is used to treat bladder cancer. If the cancer is in the muscle of the bladder then surgery is performed to remove it.
Cystectomy is considered a very aggressive treatment option and may not be the best option for everyone. Those who have superficial tumors may respond better to a more conservative treatment. A cystectomy is considered a major surgical procedure and the patient is put under general anesthesia. There is a small incision made on the lower abdomen.
The ureters are found, tied, and cut. The ureters connect the bladder to the kidneys, so cutting them frees the bladder for the removal process. The bladder as well as other associated organs are then removed. In male patients the prostate is removed along with the bladder. In women patients the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, and part of the vagina are also removed with the bladder removal process.
The bladder of a healthy person collects urine from the kidneys for excretion at a later time. When the bladder has been removed the doctors must come up with a new method to remove urine from the body. In many cases a small portion of the small intestine is removed, cleaned, and tied at one end to become the form of a tube. After this the other end is then used to form a stoma, which is an opening through the abdominal wall to outside the body. The patient is required to wear a bag to collect the urine.
Before the procedure is performed a member of the medical staff will discuss the entire procedure and can tell the patient where the stoma will be on their body and what it will look like. The patient will also get all the information they need on how to care for a stoma and bag. Counseling may be discussed and there may be a period of fasting required as well as an enema.
After going through a successful operation the patient will be given fluid based nutritional drinks until the intestines begin to function normally. You are also given antibiotics to prevent infection of the incision area. When a person’s organs are removed it means that there will be major lifestyle changes after the procedure.
After this procedure women are infertile as a result of the ovaries and uterus being removed, but it is more common for women to have a cystectomy are postmenopausal and are far past their child baring days. Men are impotent because the nerves that control penis erection are cut during the removal process of the bladder.
The patient must be fitted with an external bad that connects to the stoma and is used to collect urine. These bags are usually worn around the waist and are easily hidden under clothes. It may take a while to get used to wearing a bag but since there isn’t a bladder urine is excreted when it is produced, which is continuously.