Transurethral Resection of Bladder Tumor

The Transurethral Resection of Bladder Tumor (TURBT) is the most conventional surgery for bladder cancer. The most common type of bladder cancer is caused by the uncontrolled growth of the cells lining the bladder wall. If the cancer hasn't grown from the bladder lining into the muscle of the bladder it is called superficial or non-muscle invasive. Superficial bladder cancer can be treated by removing it from the bladder wall by TURBT.

Transurethral resection generally takes place in the hospital with the patient under general anesthesia. The doctor inserts a cystoscope, a small, lit camera, in through the urethra and into the bladder. A small tool with a wire loop at the end is inserted through the cystoscope. A high-frequency electric current passes through the wire tool removing and burning cancer cells. This method is called fulguration. In some situations, fulguration will not be enough to eradicate the tumor.

In superficial bladder cancers that recur following TURBT, the doctor will use a laser to obliterate the tumor. However, laser surgery also destroys surrounding tissue. Therefore, if the tumor has not been previously biopsied and positively diagnosed as bladder cancer, its use is not recommended

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