Bladder cancer is most commonly treated with a procedure called a transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT). This surgery can be both diagnostic and therapeutic in that it provides the cancer tissue necessary to make a diagnosis and, in many cases, with complete resection, is also the treatment.
This surgery is performed using a surgical instrument called a resectoscope. This scope is inserted into the urethra and passed into the bladder. The urologist will then attach a small electrode which allows the surgeon to cut into the bladder wall and remove the tumor from the bladder through the scope. These tumor pieces are collected and sent to the pathologist to review. A TURBT is typically an outpatient surgery, and you will go home the same day, possibly with a catheter in the bladder for a short period of time.
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