A cystectomy is a surgical procedure in which a portion of the bladder is removed. Cystectomies may be performed to treat recurrent invasive or non-invasive bladder cancer. Cystectomies may also be performed to treat advanced colon, prostate or endometrial cancer, interstitial cysts or congenital abnormalities. Radical cystectomies in men involve removing the seminal vesicles and prostate in addition to the bladder. In women, radical cystectomies result in the removal of the bladder, the uterus, the ovaries and a part of the vagina. Cystectomies can be performed via an open procedure or using minimally invasive techniques.
The cystectomy procedure also deals with reconstruction of an alternate channel to divert and store urine in, after the bladder is removed. This can be done in a number of ways. The surgeon may harvest a small piece of the small intestine to make an ileal conduit. Neobladder reconstruction using a larger piece of the small intestine is also an option.