If you have bladder cancer that has invaded the deeper layers of the bladder wall or if you've had recurrent tumors, you may require removal of your entire bladder (cystectomy) to control the disease. After cystectomy, a surgical procedure to construct a new bladder, known as neobladder reconstruction, may be an option for you.

Learn more about bladder cancer.

About Neobladder Surgery

To create a neobladder, your surgeon first removes your cancerous bladder (cystectomy) and then takes a section of your intestine that is isolated and reshaped into a new bladder. Your surgeon may perform cystectomy with bladder reconstruction either through a traditional abdominal incision or with a robotic-assisted laparoscopic approach.

Your surgeon places the new bladder — neobladder — in the same location inside your body as your original bladder. The neobladder is attached to your ureters so that urine can drain from your kidneys to your new bladder. The other end of the neobladder is attached to your urethra. This reconstruction allows you to maintain a functional urinary tract.

As with any bladder substitute, it may take some time until the neobladder functions best. Soon after surgery, many people may have difficulties with urinary incontinence until the neobladder stretches to a normal bladder size.

Candidates

If you require complete bladder removal, you may be a candidate to have a neobladder reconstruction. Determining if this procedure is right for you depends on several factors, such as:

  • Your age and overall health, including your kidney function
  • Extent of your bladder cancer
  • Previous radiation or surgery to the bladder or prostate, which may affect the ability of the bowel to heal correctly after creation of a neobladder

Your doctor will review the risks and benefits of neobladder reconstruction with you and will discuss whether you're a candidate for this procedure. Neobladder surgery is not an option if you have urethral cancer.

  • Expertise and experience. Mayo Clinic's highly skilled urologic surgeons have been creating neobladders after cystectomy for more than 20 years.
  • Multispecialty team. Urologists work closely with specialists in medical oncology and radiation oncology to ensure that you receive the most comprehensive and supportive care possible.
  • Latest research. Mayo doctors are leaders in urologic clinical research, including examining the most effective techniques for creating neobladders. This research enables Mayo Clinic to offer the most advanced urologic treatments available.
  • Comprehensive cancer center. Mayo Clinic Cancer Center meets strict standards for a National Cancer Institute comprehensive cancer center, recognizing scientific excellence and a multispecialty approach focused on cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., is ranked among the Best Hospitals for urology by U.S. News & World Report. Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., and Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., are ranked high performing for urology by U.S. News & World Report.

At Mayo Clinic, we assemble a team of specialists who take the time to listen and thoroughly understand your health issues and concerns. We tailor the care you receive to your personal health care needs. You can trust our specialists to collaborate and offer you the best possible outcomes, safety and service.

Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit medical institution that reinvests all earnings into improving medical practice, research and education. We're constantly involved in innovation and medical research, finding solutions to improve your care and quality of life. Your doctor or someone on your medical team is likely involved in research related to your condition.

Our patients tell us that the quality of their interactions, our attention to detail and the efficiency of their visits mean health care — and trusted answers — like they've never experienced.

Why Choose Mayo Clinic

What Sets Mayo Clinic Apart

At Mayo Clinic in Arizona, neobladder reconstruction is performed by specialists in urology. Your comprehensive care team may also include specialists in medical oncology and radiation oncology.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 800-446-2279 (toll-free) 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mountain Standard Time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

At Mayo Clinic in Florida, neobladder reconstruction is performed by specialists in urology. Your comprehensive care team may also include specialists in medical oncology and radiation oncology.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 904-953-0853 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

At Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, neobladder reconstruction is performed by specialists in urology. Your comprehensive care team may also include specialists in medical oncology and radiation oncology.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 507-538-3270 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

See information on patient services at the three Mayo Clinic locations, including transportation options and lodging.

Mayo Clinic doctors and researchers in the Department of Urology are actively involved in research on the technique and outcomes of neobladder reconstruction. Research examples include:

  • Assessing outcomes after neobladder reconstruction to better understand the procedure's safety and long-term effectiveness
  • Development of new bladder substitutions that don't require the use of a bowel segment
  • Evaluation and refinement of new technologies, including optimal use of laparoscopy and the surgical robot

Mayo Clinic is a member of the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology, a national clinical research group that conducts top-quality trials aimed at controlling, treating and preventing cancer.

Publications

See a list of publications by Mayo Clinic doctors on neobladder on PubMed, a service of the National Library of Medicine.

Feb. 02, 2012