Bladder cancer starts when cells that make up the urinary bladder start to grow out of control.
The bladder is a hollow organ in the lower pelvis. It has flexible, muscular walls that can stretch to hold urine and squeeze to send it out of the body. The bladder's main job is to store urine. Urine is liquid waste made by the 2 kidneys and then carried to the bladder through 2 tubes called ureters. When you urinate, the muscles in the bladder contract, and urine is forced out of the bladder through a tube called the urethra.
Most bladder cancers start in the innermost lining of the bladder, which is called the urothelium or transitional epithelium. As the cancer grows into or through the other layers in the bladder wall, it has a higher stage, becomes more advanced, and can be harder to treat. Over time, the cancer might grow outside the bladder and into nearby structures. It might spread to nearby lymph nodes, or to other parts of the body. (When bladder cancer spreads, it tends to go to distant lymph nodes, the bones, the lungs, or the liver.)
A cystectomy is a major surgery to remove the entire bladder (radical cystectomy) or part of the bladder (partial cystectomy) The bladder is removed along with surrounding lymph nodes. The surgeon then reconstructs the urinary tract so urine can move out of the body. Depending on how the cancer has advanced, it is necessary to remove parts of the reproductive system (including the prostate, seminal vesicles in men; cervix, ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, part of the vaginal wall in women).
A robotic radical cystectomy does the same thing, but is less invasive, using smaller incisions in the abdomen. A robotic console helps the surgeon guide instruments more precisely in the body.
Robotic surgery, or robot-assisted surgery, allows doctors to perform many types of complex procedures with more precision, flexibility and control than is possible with conventional techniques.
Typically, a few small incisions (about the diameter of a pencil) are needed. Your surgeon controls the highly precise instruments attached to robotic arms during the entire operation. Your surgeon can clearly see the tissues and nerves in 3D-HD with up to 10x magnification. Your surgeon can reach tissues from many angles to remove the prostate and cancer cells precisely. Your surgeon can carefully work around the nerves that control erections when indicated.
Often, robotic surgery makes minimally invasive surgery possible. The benefits of minimally invasive surgery include:
Fewer complications, such as surgical site infection
* Less pain and blood loss
* Quicker recovery
* Smaller, less noticeable scars
* Shorter Hospital Stay
* Better Cosmetic Results