Transurethral Resection Of Bladder Tumors

What you should know

Transurethral resection of bladder tumors (TURBT) is surgery to remove one or more tumors ) from your bladder. Your bladder is the organ that holds your urine. Urine flows from your bladder through your urethra, and then outside of your body. With TURBT, your caregiver will remove bladder tumors, muscle, and tissue through your urethra. Having TURBT may decrease symptoms such as blood in your urine, or pain when you urinate. If you have bladder cancer, TURBT can help you and your caregiver plan treatment, or it may show how well your treatments are working. TURBT may remove your bladder cancer, or show if cancer has spread to other parts of your body.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.


  • During TURBT, a muscle may tighten and damage your bladder. You may get an infection in your bladder or blood. You may have bleeding inside your bladder. You may need to have more surgery to treat these problems. After surgery, urination may be painful, and you may have blood in your urine. You may feel pain in your abdomen or pelvis. You may feel like you need to urinate more often, or without warning.

  • With or without TURBT, you may get more tumors. If you have cancer, it may spread to other parts of your body. If you do not have TURBT, you and your caregiver may not know the cause of your tumors. Your symptoms, such as blood in your urine and pain when you urinate, may worsen. Call your caregiver if you have questions or concerns about your surgery, medicine, or care.

Getting Ready

Before your surgery:

  • Ask your caregiver if you need to stop using aspirin or any other prescribed or over-the-counter medicine before your procedure or surgery.

  • Bring your medicine bottles or a list of your medicines when you see your caregiver. Tell your caregiver if you are allergic to any medicine. Tell your caregiver if you use any herbs, food supplements, or over-the-counter medicine.

  • You may need to have blood and urine tests before your surgery. You also may need to have computed tomography (CT) or cystoscopy. Ask your caregiver for more information about these and other tests that you may need. Write down the date, time, and location of each test.

The night before your surgery:

  • Ask caregivers about directions for eating and drinking.

The day of your surgery:

  • Write down the correct date, time, and location of your procedure.

  • You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives caregivers permission to do the procedure or surgery. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your choices. Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign this form.

  • Caregivers may insert an intravenous tube (IV) into your vein. A vein in the arm is usually chosen. Through the IV tube, you may be given liquids and medicine.

  • An anesthesiologist will talk to you before your surgery. You may need medicine to keep you asleep or numb an area of your body during surgery. Tell caregivers if you or anyone in your family has had a problem with anesthesia in the past.


What will happen:

  • You may be given spinal anesthesia, which is medicine put into your back to numb you below the waist. With this type of anesthesia, you will be awake during surgery. If you have general anesthesia, you will be asleep during surgery. Your caregiver will put a tool called a resectoscope through your urethra and into your bladder. The scope has a wire with an electric current. The current may be used to stop bleeding in your bladder, and remove bladder tumors. Your caregiver also may remove muscle and tissue from your bladder. The tumors, muscle, and tissue will be sent to a lab for tests.

  • If you have cancer, your caregiver may use the scope to put medicine into your bladder. This medicine may kill pieces of tumor that are still in your bladder, and help prevent new tumors from growing. Ask your caregiver for information if you need other treatments during your TURBT. After surgery, the scope will be removed.

After your surgery:

You will be taken to a room to rest. Do not get out of bed until caregivers say it is okay. When your caregivers see that you are okay, you may be able to go home. If you are staying in the hospital, you will be taken to your room.

Waiting area:

This is an area where your family and friends can wait until you are able to have visitors. Ask your visitors to provide a way to reach them if they leave the waiting area.

Contact a caregiver if

  • You cannot make it to your surgery.

  • You have a fever.

  • You have new or more blood in your urine.

  • You have new or more pain when you urinate.

Seek Care Immediately if

  • You have bleeding from your urethra that does not stop.

  • You start to urinate less often, very little, or not at all.

  • You have severe pain in your abdomen or pelvis.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.