Bladder cancer can take on many forms and a number of factors must be considered in deciding upon the best treatment. Many times, electrical cauterization, laser therapy, or medicine placed in the bladder are adequate to control the tumor. In other situations more aggressive therapy, including bladder removal, is required. Vanderbilt uses a team approach, including Urologic surgeons, Medical Oncologists, Radiation Therapists, and Radiologists to develop a treatment plan for each patient.
Vanderbilt is one of the leading centers in the world for surgical procedures requiring bladder removal and, when appropriate, replacement. Radical cystectomy (the surgical procedure for removal of the bladder) is performed frequently at Vanderbilt. Our experience with this operation has allowed us to develop patient care plans which minimize complications, hospital stay, and postoperative recovery. Vanderbilt has one of the largest experiences of any hospital in the world with performance of “neobladder” after cystectomy. This is a technique which creates a new bladder substitute and allows patients to void through normal channels. Our surgeons have pioneered techniques and published results which offer improved quality of life for patients after bladder removal. We continue to advance the field as an increasing number of patients undergo minimally invasive techniques for bladder removal.