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Transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT)


Non-Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer (includes Ta, T1, CIS tumors)

Treatment Category:



Transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT)

Suitable for:
  • Suitable for most people with early-stage or non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer
  • Suitable for most people as a first treatment for muscle-invasive bladder cancer to find out the cancer stage and grade
How it works:
  • A surgeon inserts a surgical instrument, called a resectoscope, through the urethra into the bladder
  • This is done under general or regional anesthetic, and usually you can go home the same day. The average recovery time for this procedure is ~10–14 days, however this can vary from person to person
  • This procedure lets the doctor examine the bladder and remove cancer cells. The cancer cells are then analyzed to find out the stage, grade, and type. This helps the doctor decide if more treatment is needed
How it is typically used:
  • Usually the first treatment, to remove cancer cells
  • May be followed by another treatment such as intravesical Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) or intravesical chemotherapy to help the body to fight any remaining cancer cells
  • Can also be used to check if you have bladder cancer that has invaded the muscle layer of the bladder. In this case, additional treatments may be needed, depending on the type and stage of cancer
How it is administered:


Side effects:
  • Bleeding, pain and burning when urinating after the procedure
  • Some people may be given a catheter – a flexible tube used to empty the bladder
  • In some cases, people may experience blood clots
Is this given with other treatments?

Treatment with intravesical BCG after the area heals, or intravesical chemotherapy may be given within 6–24 hours after the TURBT

Disclaimer: Information and services provided by the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network (BCAN) are for informational purposes only. The information and services are not intended to be substitutes for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are ill, or suspect that you are ill, seek professional medical attention immediately! BCAN does not recommend or endorse any specific physicians, treatments, procedures or products even though they may be mentioned on this site.

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