Bladder Removal Care

Learn what care is required for the Bladder Removal procedure. Find out what you need to do prior to the procedure, how long it will take, if you will be required to stay in the hospital and what the postoperative care is.

Bladder Removal Details

Alternate Names for Bladder Removal:
Radical cystectomy

What to Expect Prior to Procedure

Doctors recommend that you quit smoking before surgery. You may also need to take antibiotics to prevent infection and laxatives to clean out the bowels.

The night before, you may be asked not to eat anything and only drink clear liquids. After midnight and on the morning of the procedure, do not eat or drink anything. This includes avoiding clear liquids, coffee, tea, and water.

Talk to your doctor about your medicines. You may be asked to stop taking some medicines up to one week before the procedure, like:

  • Aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Blood thinners, such as clopidogrel (Plavix) or warfarin (Coumadin)


General anesthesia is given before surgery. You will be asleep.

Description of Procedure

An incision will be made in the abdomen to expose the bladder. All blood vessels to the bladder will be cut. The bladder will then be removed. Other tissues and organs may also need to be removed with the bladder.

The doctor will also need to create a new way for urine to be passed out of the body. A new bladder may be built using pieces of intestine, or an external bag may be attached to the abdomen.

How Long Will It Take?

About 1-5 hours

How Much Will It Hurt?

Anesthesia will prevent pain during the surgery. Recovery is usually painful. Your doctor will give you medicine to help manage the pain.

Average Hospital Stay

The usual length of stay is 5-12 days. The specific length will depend on your condition and the reason for surgery. Your doctor may also choose to keep you longer if complications arise.

Post-procedure Care At the Hospital
  • A stay in the intensive care unit for 2-3 days may be needed.
  • During surgery, a tube will be placed from the nose to the stomach. It will remain in for several days. Since you cannot eat with the tube in place, you will receive IV fluids.
  • If a urine bag was attached during the surgery, you will be taught how to dispose of urine.
At Home

When you return home, do the following to help ensure a smooth recovery:

  • Strenuous activity should be avoided for 4-6 weeks.
  • Avoid heavy lifting, straining, and sexual activity for a period of time.
  • Driving, showering, and climbing stairs is usually allowed. Ask your doctor about any restrictions.
  • Be sure to follow your doctor's instructions .


Learn what Bladder Removal is
What Is
Learn what the procedure is. Find out how it is performed.
Reasons For Bladder Removal
Reasons For
Find out why and when this procedure should be done.
Bladder Removal Complications
Learn about possible complications and what might increase the risk of them.
Bladder Removal Details
What to Expect
Find out how long it will take, what they will be doing and what to expect afterwards.
Bladder Removal Results
What are the next steps and other possible tests needed after you have received the results.
When to Contact Doctor about Bladder Removal
Call Your Doctor
What to look out for and when to call your doctor after a procedure has been done.

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Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright ©2014 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved. Source: EBSCO