Bladder Disorders Treatment Surgery

Presuming incontinence isn’t due to some other treatable cause, incontinence patients may choose to undergo bladder surgery after exhausting therapeutic and non-surgical medical options. A wide range of surgeries are available that can repair or strengthen bladders, depending on the causes of the incontinence.

A small percentage of bladder control problems may be associated with bladder cancer. Treatment may include removal of tumors, extensive bladder reconstruction, or even surgery to remove the bladder altogether. These surgeries are typically more involved and extensive than those procedures for incontinence. Below you’ll find a breakdown of types of incontinence bladder surgery and bladder cancer treatment.

Bladder Muscle Anatomy

Surgical Bladder Repairs

Repairs for weakened or damaged bladders are the norm for most incontinence problems. Surgeries are available to remove blockages, raise fallen bladders, and even implant artificial sphincters.

Bladder Surgery


Possible Complications

Retropubic Suspension

This surgery is specifically for women. The bladder and urethra are raised in the pelvic area, bringing them back into the correct position. This prevents the bladder from pushing down onto the urethra.

Urinary tract infections.

Infections in the surgical area.Recurrence of incontinence

Sling Procedure

Usually performed on women. Either a synthetic material or abdominal tissue is used to help compress the urethral sphincter.

Infections.Urine retention.Gradual deterioration of the sling.

Bladder Stone Removal

A bladder stone can cause urinary tract infections and contribute to incontinence by blocking normal urine flow. More common in men than women, stones can usually be crushed by inserting a cystoscope into the bladder or broken up with ultrasonic waves.

Long term treatment to prevent recurrence is usually required.Enlarged prostates prevent stones from being flushed out. Prostate treatment may also be required.

Artificial Urinary Sphincter

An artificial sphincter replaces the faulty urinary sphincter. This is usually a last resort.

Infections.Deterioration of surrounding tissues, requiring removal of the mechanism.

Bladder Cancer Treatment

The following are some of the more common symptoms of bladder cancer:

  • blood in urine
  • pain while urinating
  • urge to urinate but unable to
  • incontinence.

Because incontinence is one of its symptoms, bladder cancer should be ruled out if bladder control is a problem. Surgery varies depending on the causes and location of the cancer. Here are the three most common procedures.



Possible Complications

Transurethral Resection

A tube is inserted into the bladder (a cystoscope). Through this tube a wire loop removes the cancer. Only used in early stages of bladder cancer.

Difficulty or pain urinating during recovery.

Segmental Cystectomy

A portion of the bladder is removed. Cancer must be located in one area.

May need to urinate more frequently.

Radical Cystectomy

The entire bladder is removed, along with surrounding tissue and organs that may be involved. A bag is inserted to replace the bladder, although sometimes a portion of the small intestine is adapted instead.

Possible impotence in men.

Inability to produce semen.

If ovaries and uterus are removed too, women cannot get pregnant and enter menopause immediately.


National Cancer Institute. (nd). What you need to know about bladder cancer. Retrieved February 15, 2002, from d3e-4fdc-4332-8f6b-1d6136ffdd5f#8. (nd). Bladder. Retrieved February 15, 2002, from