Removal of the bladder (cystectomy) is a complex surgical procedure. Cystectomy is most commonly performed for bladder cancer, but it's also done for other cancers or conditions such as birth defects, trauma or certain neurological disorders.

Cystectomy involves either partial or complete (radical) removal of the bladder. This surgery may be performed either as an open or minimally invasive (laparoscopic) procedure. Minimally invasive surgery typically involves the use of a surgical robot for better precision.

After a complete cystectomy, surgeons reconstruct the urinary tract to provide a way for you to expel urine. Several options exist. For example, the surgeon may create a tube (urinary conduit) using a piece of your bowel (intestine) that runs from your kidneys to a pouch (urostomy bag) outside of your abdomen. Or, in certain cases, the surgeon may create a new bladder (neobladder) made out of a section of the bowel, enabling near-normal urination.

Oct. 03, 2011