Laparoscopic cystectomy is the removal of the bladder along with the lymph nodes for the treatment of bladder cancer that has spread to nearby tissue. In men, the bladder along with the prostate gland is removed by making a small incision on the abdomen. In women, an incision is made on the wall of the vagina to remove the bladder.
Laparoscopic cystectomy is performed under general anesthesia. Your surgeon makes 3 to 4 small keyhole incisions. A laparoscope (tube with a light and a miniature camera) is inserted to locate cancer. The camera is fixed to a video screen, which allows your surgeon to have a magnified view of the operating field. Surgical instruments are inserted through the incisions to free the bladder from the surrounding tissue. Depending on the extent of cancer spread, the bladder may be excised partly or completely, along with the surrounding lymph nodes and removed through one of the incisions. The ureter (the tube that carries urine from the kidneys to the bladder) is connected to a bag worn outside the body to drain the urine. The openings are sutured.
Like all surgical procedures, laparoscopic cystectomy may be associated with certain complications, which include:
- Injury to surrounding tissues or organs
- Blood clots
- Urine leakage
- Blockage of urine flow
The advantages of laparoscopic cystectomy over open cystectomy include:
- Reduced hospital stay
- Less post-operative pain
- Smaller incisions and less scarring
- Faster recovery