Surgery for Urethral Cancer

Minimally Invasive Approach

At Scott & White, the majority of our operations for urethral cancer are performed with minimally invasive techniques. Benefits of minimally invasive surgery include:

  • Better cosmetic result
  • Quicker recovery times, allowing you to:
    • Return to your daily routine sooner
    • Begin future treatment sooner
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Less pain
  • Less blood loss
  • Lower risk of infection
  • Fewer complications

Not all patients are candidates for a minimally invasive approach. Factors affecting the decision to use minimally invasive techniques include:

  • Tumor size, stage or location
  • Patient obesity and health
  • Prior surgeries

Your Integrated Care Team may recommend the surgical removal of your urethral tumor. Your physician team may recommend other treatments in addition to surgery.

We use minimally invasive techniques whenever possible and appropriate, based on your condition.

At Scott & White, treatment goals for urethral cancer generally are centered on urethra-preserving treatments. Our philosophy is to preserve as much of your urethra as reasonable while removing as much cancer as possible.

Surgical Procedures

Surgery is often the first treatment approach for men with urethral cancer. It is one of the treatment choices for women with urethral cancer.

In most cases, your urologic surgical oncologist will remove your tumor and surrounding lymph nodes. Your physician may recommend other treatments in addition to surgery.

Your operation will be performed using one of the following methods:

Your physician will discuss which option is best for you. As with all operations, there are some risks. Your surgeon will discuss those risks with you.

Open Excision

In this surgical procedure, your surgeon will make a small incision in your groin area and remove your tumor. This procedure is generally performed in your surgeon’s office with local anesthesia.

Lymph Node Dissection

In this surgical procedure, your surgeon will make a small incision in your groin area and remove any lymph nodes in the groin area. This procedure is generally performed in your surgeon’s office with local anesthesia.

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Cystoprostatectomy (for Men)

In this surgical procedure, your surgeon will make several small incisions in your groin area and remove your:

  • Tumor
  • Bladder
  • Urethra
  • Prostate

If your urethra or bladder is removed, your surgeon will reconstruct a new route for urine to leave your body:

  • Urethra — urinary diversion
  • Bladder — urostomy or continent reservoir

Your physician will discuss the details of your reconstructive surgery in full.

Penectomy (for Men)

In this surgical procedure, your physician will remove your tumor and all or a significant part of your penis. Your physician may recommend a partial penectomy if the tumor is small and near the tip of the penis.

A penectomy is generally recommended if cancer has spread to the tissues within your penis. The goal of your surgeon is to save as much of your penis as reasonable while removing as much cancer as possible.

Anterior Extenteration (for Women)

In this surgical procedure, your surgeon will make several small incisions in your groin area and remove your:

  • Tumor
  • Bladder
  • Urethra
  • Vagina

If your urethra or bladder is removed, your surgeon will reconstruct a new route for urine to leave your body:

  • Urethra — urinary diversion
  • Bladder — urostomy or continent reservoir

Your physician will discuss the details of your reconstructive surgery in full.

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