The treatment of muscle invasive bladder cancer or superficially recurrent bladder cancer includes the removal of the bladder. In men the prostate is also removed and in women the uterus, ovaries, cervix, and a small part of vagina is also removed. This is one of the most complicated urologic surgeries.
After removing the bladder, a piece of intestine is reconstructed to allow for the storage or passage of urine. These include an ileal conduit that brings urine to the skin, a continent reservoir that holds urine inside the abdomen until the patient catherizes him or herself to empty the urine, or a bladder replacement that acts similar to a bladder.
Parts or all of these operations can be performed through a laparoscopic or robotic approach. The Robotic Radical Cystectomy allows excellent visualization and control in removing the bladder and for parts of the reconstruction.
Dr. Savatta performed the first robotic cystectomy in New Jersey in 2005.