When bladder cancer penetrates the bladder wall, a cystectomy, a procedure that removes part of or the entire bladder, is recommended.

Partial cystectomy, which removes only part of the bladder, is an effective treatment when the bladder cancer is confined to a single region of the bladder and hasn’t invaded other parts of the urinary system. Reconstructive surgery will likely not be required, and the patient will be able to urinate normally. The resulting smaller bladder will hold less urine so the patient will probably urinate more frequently.

Radical cystectomy is a bladder cancer treatment that removes the entire bladder. In some cases, this procedure also involves removing nearby organs such as the lymph nodes and (for men) the prostate or (for women) ovaries, uterus, fallopian tubes and part of the vagina. This treatment is aggressive but can help ensure that all bladder cancer is removed. After radical cystectomy, reconstructive surgery will be required to create a new way for urine to pass from the body.

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