What is the evidence base for this information?
This leaflet includes advice from consensus panels, the British Association of Urological Surgeons, the Department of Health and evidence based sources; it is, therefore, a reflection of best practice in the UK. It is intended to supplement any advice you may already have been given by your Urologist or Nurse Specialist as well as the Surgical team at Addenbrooke’s. Alternative treatments are outlined below and can be discussed in more detail with your Urologist or Specialist Nurse.
What does the procedure involve?
This procedure involves the telescopic removal of a bladder tumour with heat diathermy.
What are the alternatives to this procedure?
Open surgical removal of bladder, chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
What should I expect before the procedure?
If you are taking warfarin, aspirin, rivaroxaban, dabigatran, apixaban, edoxaban, clopidogrel, ticagrelor or blood thinning medication on a regular basis, you must discuss this with your Urologist because these drugs can cause increased bleeding after surgery. There may be a balance of risk where stopping them will reduce the chances of bleeding but this can result in increased clotting, which may also carry a risk to your health. This will, therefore, need careful discussion with regard to risks and benefits.
You will usually be admitted on the same day as your surgery. You will normally undergo pre-assessment on the day of your clinic or an appointment for pre-assessment will be made from clinic, to assess your general fitness, to screen for the carriage of MRSA and to perform some baseline investigations. After admission, you will be seen by members of the medical team which may include the consultant, junior urology doctors and your named nurse.
You will be asked not to eat or drink for six hours before surgery and, immediately before the operation, you may be given a pre-medication by the anaesthetist which will make you dry-mouthed and pleasantly sleepy.
Please be sure to inform your Urologist in advance of your surgery if you have any of the following:
- an artificial heart valve
- a coronary artery stent
- a heart pacemaker or defibrillator
- an artificial joint
- an artificial blood vessel graft
- a neurosurgical shunt
- any other implanted foreign body
- a prescription for warfarin, aspirin, rivaroxaban, dabigatran, apixaban, edoxaban or clopidogrel, ticagrelor or blood thinning medication
- a previous or current MRSA infection
- high risk of variant CJD (if you have received a corneal transplant, a neurosurgical dural transplant or previous injections of human derived growth hormone)
What happens during the procedure?
Either a full general anaesthetic (where you will be asleep throughout the procedure) or a spinal anaesthetic (where you are awake but unable to feel anything from the waist down) will be used. All methods minimise pain; your anaesthetist will explain the pros and cons of each type of anaesthetic to you.
You will usually be given injectable antibiotics before the procedure, after checking for any allergies.
A telescope is inserted into the bladder and the tumour removed in fragments by heat diathermy or laser. The tumour fragments are evacuated using suction and sent for pathology analysis. A catheter is usually inserted after the procedure.
What happens immediately after the procedure?
A catheter will normally be inserted into the bladder after this procedure. Before the catheter is removed, it is normal practice in most patients to instil a chemotherapy drug (mitomycin C) which reduces the risks of subsequent tumour recurrence in the bladder. This is often inserted in theatre or later on the ward.
This is left in place for one hour. If mitomycin has been given, the catheter maybe removed so that you pass the mitomycin in your urine. If no mitomycin has been given, once your urine is clear, the catheter will be removed. You will normally be allowed home once you have passed urine satisfactorily.
The hospital stay is usually 0 (day case) to two days.
Are there any side effects?
Most procedures have a potential for side effects. You should be reassured that, although all these complications are well recognised, the majority of patients do not suffer any problems after a urological procedure.
Please use the check boxes to tick off individual items when you are happy that they have been discussed to your satisfaction:
Common (greater than one in 10)
- Mild burning or bleeding on passing urine for short period after operation
- Temporary insertion of a catheter for bladder irrigation
- Need for additional treatments to bladder in attempt to prevent recurrence of tumours including drugs instilled into the bladder
Occasional (between one in 10 and one in 50)
- Infection of bladder requiring antibiotics
- No guarantee of cancer cure by this operation alone
- Recurrence of bladder tumour and/or incomplete removal
Rare (less than one in 50)
- Delayed bleeding requiring removal of clots or further surgery
- Damage to drainage tubes from kidney (ureters) requiring additional therapy
- Injury to the urethra causing delayed scar formation
- Perforation of the bladder requiring a temporary urinary catheter or open surgical repair
What should I expect when I get home?
When you leave hospital, you will be given a discharge summary of your admission. This holds important information about your inpatient stay and your operation. If, in the first few weeks after your discharge, you need to call your GP for any reason or to attend another hospital, please take this summary with you to allow the doctors to see details of your treatment. This is particularly important if you need to consult another doctor within a few days of your discharge.
When you get home, you should drink twice as much fluid as you would normally for the next 24 to 48 hours to flush your system through and minimise any bleeding.
You may notice some burning, frequency and pain in your lower abdomen initially but this usually settles over a few days.
What else should I look out for?
If you develop a fever, severe pain on passing urine, inability to pass urine or worsening bleeding, you should contact your GP immediately.
Are there any other important points?
The results of your biopsies will take 14 to 21 days to come through.
It is normal practice for all biopsies to be discussed in detail at a multidisciplinary meeting before any further treatment decisions are made. You and your GP will be informed of the results after this discussion.
Depending on the biopsy results, further investigations (eg x-ray, CT scan), instillation of drugs into your bladder (chemotherapy or immunotherapy) or a further admission may be arranged for you. Your consultant or named nurse will explain the details of this to you in hospital.
Driving after surgery
It is your responsibility to ensure that you are fit to drive following your surgery.
You do not normally need to notify the DVLA unless you have a medical condition that will last for longer than three months after your surgery and may affect your ability to drive. You should, however, check with your insurance company before returning to driving. Your doctors will be happy to provide you with advice on request.
Privacy & Dignity
Same sex bays and bathrooms are offered in all wards except critical care and theatre recovery areas where the use of high-tech equipment and/ or specialist one-to-one care is required.
Hair removal before an operation
For most operations, you do not need to have the hair around the site of the operation removed. However, sometimes the healthcare team need to see or reach your skin and if this is necessary they will use an electric hair clipper with a single-use disposable head, on the day of the surgery. Please do not shave the hair yourself or use a razor to remove hair, as this can increase the risk of infection. Your healthcare team will be happy to discuss this with you.
NICE clinical guideline No 74: Surgical site infection (October 2008); Department of Health: High Impact Intervention No 4: Care bundle to preventing surgical site infection (August 2007)
Is there any research being carried out in this field at Addenbrooke’s Hospital?
Yes. As part of your operation, various specimens of tissue will be sent to the pathology department so that we can find out details of the disease and whether it has affected other areas. This information sheet has already described to you what tissue will be removed.
We would also like your agreement to carry out research on that tissue which will be left over when the pathologist has finished making a full diagnosis. Normally, this tissue is disposed of or simply stored. What we would like to do is to store samples of the tissue, both frozen and after it has been processed. Please note that we are not asking you to provide any tissue apart from that which would normally be removed during the operation.
We are carrying out a series of research projects which involve studying the genes and proteins produced by normal and diseased tissues. The reason for doing this is to try to discover differences between diseased and normal tissue to help develop new tests or treatments that might benefit future generations. This research is being carried out here in Cambridge but we sometimes work with other universities or with industry to move our research forwards more quickly than it would if we did everything here.
The consent form you will sign from the hospital allows you to indicate whether you are prepared to provide this tissue. If you would like any further information, please ask the ward to contact your consultant.
Who can I contact for more help or information?
Uro-oncology nurse specialist
Bladder cancer nurse practitioner (haematuria, chemotherapy and BCG)
Prostate cancer nurse practitioner
Surgical care practitioner
Urology nurse practitioner (incontinence, urodynamics, catheter patients)
01223 274608 or bleep 154-594
Urology nurse practitioner (stoma care)
Urology nurse practitioner (stone disease)
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What should I do with this leaflet?
Thank you for taking the trouble to read this patient information leaflet. If you wish to sign it and retain a copy for your own records, please do so below.
If you would like a copy of this leaflet to be filed in your hospital records for future reference, please let your urologist or specialist nurse know. If you do, however, decide to proceed with the scheduled procedure, you will be asked to sign a separate consent form which will be filed in your hospital notes and you will, in addition, be provided with a copy of the form if you wish.
I have read this patient information leaflet and I accept the information it provides.
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Cambridge University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road, Cambridge
Telephone +44 (0)1223 245151