Transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT) uses an electrified loop through the telescope passed up the urethra to scrape away abnormal tissue from the bladder lining.

When to ask a Urologist about Transurethral Resection of Bladder Tumor

You should speak with a Urologist about Transurethral Resection of Bladder Tumor if you have been diagnosed with a bladder tumor on prior imaging or cystoscopy.


Typically covered by most insurances (although coinsurance and deductibles may apply). Coverage will be verified prior to proceeding. If you do not have insurance, our office will be able to give you an out-of-pocket cost estimate.


TURBT is very effective to remove abnormal tissue from the bladder. Complete resection is not always possible however due to particular bladder location. Furthermore, some types of bladder cancers prone to invasion require repeat TURBT in effort to remove possible microscopic residual tumor. Some tumors are too advanced to be removed completely with this method.

Possible Side Effects

The risks of the procedure include pain, bleeding, infection, prolonged catheterization, damage to surrounding structures, and the risks of anesthesia. The risk of bladder wall perforation requiring prolonged catheterization is less than 5%. It is extremely rare to need additional surgery with an abdominal incision to fix a bladder perforation. The risk of bleeding that requires additional procedure is also less than 5%.

Alternative Approaches

Alternatives to TURBT include obtaining a biopsy of abnormal tissue or cauterization of the tumor instead of complete removal.

What to do to Prepare for Surgery

You will receive detailed instructions from the surgical schedulers regarding any necessary testing or appointments prior to surgery. In general, you should temporarily stop blood-thinning medications prior to surgery (when to stop depends on the type of blood thinner). Prescription blood-thinning medications should be stopped following clearance from the doctors that prescribed them though other medications that thin the blood including fish oil and pain relievers such as ibuprofen should be stopped as well.

On the day before surgery, you will receive a phone call alerting you to the time that you should arrive.

You should not eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of surgery, but you may take approved home medications in the morning before surgery with a small sip of water.

What to Expect after Surgery

The surgery typically may require an overnight stay in the hospital for observation. A catheter is often left in place following surgery. Continuous bladder irrigation may be performed overnight with water continually rinsing the bladder through the catheter to prevent blood clots from forming. Typically the catheter is removed after 1-3 days. Blood in the urine is expected and may persist for several days or longer. You may have burning with urination and other bothersome urinary symptoms such as urgency.