Robotic Surgery for Bladder Cancer/Cystectomy

Bladder cancer is typically diagnosed using a combination of urine tests, specialized x-rays and cystoscopy with biopsy. Treatment is determined by the type and developmental stage of the cancer. The robotic cystectomy is a minimally invasive bladder surgery for the treatment of invasive cancer. NJCPC&U’s use of the da Vinci Robotic Surgical System offers bladder cancer patients an effective procedure to remove the cancerous bladder with smaller incisions and less problematic post-surgical outcomes as compared to open surgery, including less blood loss and lower transfusion rates. The magnification offered by the robotic system facilitates better precision during the procedure, thus, sparing vital delicate nerves and muscle tissue. The use of the da Vinci robot also provides our surgeons with more surgical dexterity during bladder removal and urinary tract reconstruction. With robotic cystectomy, NJCPC&U patients have had excellent cancer cure rates, as well as comfort and overall satisfaction.

Following removal of the urinary bladder one of three methods of urinary reconstruction may be utilized to allow urine an exit from the body called urinary reconstruction. In discussion with the patient the surgeon will take into account the patient’s unique situation. The three methods are:

  • Ileo-conduit – A simple urine diversion method using a small segment of intestine to allow urine to exit through a small stoma located to the right of the umbilicus. This diversion requires use of an external urine collection device/bag.
  • Indiana pouch – A continent urinary diversion. A more complex reconstruction creating a reservoir to collect urine inside the body with a small skin stoma that requires catheterization to
    empty. The stoma is located usually next to or in the umbilicus. May cover with a bandaid. These patients do not require use of an external urine device/bag.
  • Orthotopic neobladder – A continent urinary diversion in which a new bladder is constructed and reconnected to the urethra. Voiding will be via normal method from urethra. These patients do not requite an external urine collection device/bag.

The benefits of robotic cystectomy:

  • Spares vital muscle and delicate nerve tissue
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Faster return to normal activity
  • Minimal blood loss
  • Minimized chances of post-operative incontinence or impotence
  • Minimized chances of complications commonly associated with cystectomy
  • Minimal post-operative pain