What Is TUR Surgery for Bladder Cancer?

If you have a bladder tumor, your doctor may recommend a transurethral resection (TUR). It’s a type of surgery used to take samples of tissue from inside your bladder to find out if you have cancer there or if a tumor has spread. Doctors also take out tumors this way.

How It’s Done

You first may need a blood test and chest X-ray to make sure you’re healthy enough to have TUR surgery, but your surgeon won’t need to make a cut into your skin. He’ll get to your bladder through your urethra -- the tube pee goes through as it passes out of your body.

Before the surgery, you’ll have either general anesthesia -- which puts you to sleep -- or regional anesthesia that numbs just the lower part of your body. The procedure starts once that medicine starts to work.

Your surgeon uses a special tool called a cystoscope -- a long, thin, flexible tube that has a cutting tool, a light, and a camera at the end of it. He’ll pass it up through your urethra into your bladder.

The camera shows the surgeon the inside of your bladder. He’ll use the cutting tool to take some tissue, then he’ll use heat on the areas around the cut to stop the bleeding.

The tissue that’s taken out during the surgery will be looked at under a microscope in a lab to see if it’s cancer.

If your surgeon removed a cancerous tumor, she may put a liquid medication into your bladder to kill any cancer cells that are left.

After TUR Surgery

After the procedure, you’ll have a tube in your bladder called a catheter -- It takes pee out of your body and into a bag. You may need to have it in for a few days before you can go on your own. You can get up and walk when you have a catheter, but as the anesthesia wears off, it may feel uncomfortable.

Men sometimes feel pain at the tip of the penis afterward. If you do, be sure to let your doctor or nurse know. A numbing gel can help.

Continued

Many people go home the same day as the surgery. But if your tumor was large, you may need to stay in the hospital overnight.

You may see blood in your pee for up to 3 days after your surgery. Drink lots of fluid to help flush out your bladder -- aim for 8 to 10 glasses per day. This also can help keep an infection away.

Don’t lift anything heavy for 2 to 3 weeks after your surgery. Short walks are OK, but don’t do any intense exercise for 4 to 6 weeks. Talk with your doctor about when you can drive and go back to work.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD on March 22, 2017

Sources

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society: “Bladder Cancer Surgery.”

Cancer Research UK: “Trans Urethral Removal of Bladder Tumour.”

University Hospital Southampton: “Transurethral Resection of Bladder Tumor Information for Patients.”

University of Cincinnati Cancer Center: “Treating Bladder Cancer: TUR (Transurethral Resection).”

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