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A cystectomy is an operation to remove the urinary bladder.
Two groups of cancer survivors may have undergone a cystectomy during their childhood cancer treatment:
After the bladder is removed, surgeons create a new passageway for urine to leave the body. This process is called diversion.
There are 3 main types.
Incontinence, or the inability to control passage of urine, may occur after a neobladder is created.
Bladder surgeries involving portions of the small intestine sometimes cause abnormal levels of chemicals and fats in the blood. These problems may result in diarrhea, kidney stones, and/or low levels of Vitamin B12.
Cystectomy may also increase the risk of sexual dysfunction in both men and women. Surgery and medications may treat this complication.
Reviewed: December 2019