Bladder cancer

Also known as: robotic cystectomy


Our world-class robotic surgeons are experts at treating bladder cancer. Compared to traditional surgery, robotic surgery leads to smaller scars, shorter hospital stays and quicker recovery times.

How does bladder cancer robotic surgery work?

Bladder cancer robotic surgery is performed under general anaesthetic, which means you’ll be asleep during your operation. 

A high-definition, 3D camera is inserted through a small cut in your belly. This sends detailed images of inside your bladder to a special, wraparound computer screen. 

In the operating theatre, your surgeon sits in front of the screen, which is located close to you. 

The screen gives your surgeon a magnified, three-dimensional view of what the camera is seeing inside your body.

This allows your surgeon to remove your bladder with great precision, using specially designed, flexible surgical instruments. 

The exceptional accuracy of the operation helps to ensure that nerves, blood vessels and muscles that are important to good health and sexual function are not damaged. 

If you have robotic surgery for bladder cancer, your surgeon may also remove your prostate gland or your womb and ovaries. 

This is to reduce the risk of the cancer spreading or coming back. 

After your bladder has been removed, your surgeon will also create a new way for urine to leave your body. 

This may involve one of the following procedures:

Ileal conduit 

A tube made from a piece of your small intestine is used to carry urine to an opening in your belly (known as a stoma). Your stoma is connected to a urine collection bag that’s worn on the outside of your body.

A continent urinary diversion 

Part of your bowel is used to make a pouch that holds urine inside your body. A stoma is also created using body tissue connecting the pouch to the wall of your belly. 

You empty urine from the pouch by using a tube (catheter) that passes through your stoma, meaning you don’t need to wear an external urine collection bag.

An orthotopic bladder 

A new bladder is created from bowel tissue allowing urine to leave your body through the normal route. 

How is bladder cancer treated?

Surgery to remove the bladder (also known as cystectomy) may be necessary to treat some bladder cancers. 

Your consultant may recommend this for you if:

  • The cancer has gone into the muscle of the bladder 
  • The bladder cancer cannot be treated effectively with an operation called a transurethral resection of bladder tumour (trbt), chemotherapy or immunotherapy 

Compared to conventional open surgery, robotic surgery is minimally invasive. This can reduce scarring and speed up your recovery time, as well as limit complications.

The London Clinic is a centre of excellence in robotic surgery. We use the state-of-the-art Da Vinci surgical system to assist our surgeons in performing bladder cancer surgery. 

By choosing The London Clinic, you’ll also benefit from exceptional personalised care that puts your recovery and wellbeing at the heart of your experience with us.

Contact us today to find out if bladder cancer robotic surgery is right for you and start your five-star treatment journey.

What are the benefits of bladder cancer robotic surgery?

Traditionally, open surgery was used to remove the bladder from a person with bladder cancer. This involved a surgeon making a cut in your belly and removing your bladder. 

This was a major operation that put a person at risk of serious blood loss, nerve damage and infections after their surgery.

In comparison, a robot-assisted cystectomy usually results in smaller scars, less pain, shorter stays in hospital and quicker recovery times. This type of innovative surgery also has a lower risk of complications.

What are the risks of bladder cancer robotic surgery?

Robotic cystectomy is major surgery, and any major operation has risks. Our world-class surgeons, anaesthetists and specialist nurses will do everything they can to minimise your risk and support your safe recovery. 

Generally, the risks of bladder cancer robotic surgery are:

  • Bleeding
  • Blood clots
  • Infection
  • Organ or nerve damage
  • A bad reaction to your anaesthetic

Because of your surgery, the way you pee and your sexual function may also be affected.

At The London Clinic, our expert specialist nurses will talk to you about these possible side effects so you can make an informed decision.

We also offer a range of first-class services to help nurture your physical and mental health and wellbeing. 



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