Segmental cystectomy: what it is and what it is used for

Surgical Solution for Bladder Cancer

A commonly used surgical approach in this regard is represented by segmental cystectomy, which involves the removal of a portion of the bladder where cancer cells are present. This procedure is mainly performed for patients with low-grade bladder tumors concentrated in a very limited area of the bladder. Compared to radical cystectomy, where the entire bladder is removed, segmental cystectomy preserves much of the bladder function.

Procedure and Surgical Techniques

During a segmental cystectomy, surgeons remove the part of the urinary bladder that is contaminated by the tumor while sparing healthy areas. The technique can be performed using “open” or laparoscopic surgical techniques. Open surgery involves an incision through the abdomen to gain access to the bladder. Laparoscopy employs instruments that make small incisions, making the procedure more precise and less invasive. After the tumor removal, the bladder is reconstructed by the surgeon to prepare it for storing and expelling urine.

Reasons and Risks of Segmental Cystectomy

One of the major advantages of segmental cystectomy is the preservation of urinary function. Since only a part of the bladder is removed, the patient often can continue to urinate normally after complete recovery. However, like any other surgical intervention, it carries its own risks. These include infections, bleeding, and cancer recurrence in the remaining part of the bladder. After the procedure, patients need to be regularly monitored to check for tumor recurrence.

Indications and Possible Long-Term Results

Ideal candidates for segmental cystectomy are patients with low-grade tumors, where the tumor cells have not invaded the muscular part of the bladder walls. This procedure is not appropriate for advanced and widespread tumors. Scientific research has shown that patients selected for segmental cystectomy may have positive long-term outcomes with effective cancer control and a better quality of life compared to patients undergoing radical cystectomy.


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