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Transurethral resection of bladder tumour (TURBT)

This section contains answers to frequently asked questions about this topic. Questions have been suggested by health professionals, website feedback and requests via email.

What can I do to speed up my recovery after transurethral resection of bladder tumour?


You should take it easy and drink plenty of fluids to flush your bladder. Having a diet that is rich in fibre, fruit and vegetables will also help speed up your recovery.


It can take up to three weeks for your bladder to heal after transurethral resection of bladder tumour (TURBT). During this time, you will be at increased risk of a bladder infection and you may have some blood in your urine. It’s therefore important to drink plenty of fluids for the first few weeks after surgery to help flush your bladder and reduce your risk of infection.

You should also eat plenty of vegetables, fruit and high-fibre foods such as brown rice and wholemeal bread and pasta. A well-balanced diet provides vital nutrients needed by your body to repair tissue and maintain a healthy immune system. A high-fibre diet will help to prevent constipation. This will help your recovery because straining when you go to the toilet can put pressure on your bladder and increase bleeding.

If you smoke, it’s important to stop as this will help reduce the chance of your bladder cancer coming back.

Will my bladder function normally after transurethral resection of bladder tumour?


During the first three weeks after surgery, you will feel the need to pass urine more often. Once your bladder has healed, your bladder function should return to normal.


It's possible that specific complications of TURBT may affect the way your bladder functions. For example, if you develop a bladder infection you will feel the need to pass urine more often and more urgently than usual until the infection clears. Your bladder function may be affected permanently if your bladder is damaged during surgery.

Otherwise, you can expect your bladder function to return to normal after you have made a full recovery. This can take up to three weeks. During this time, your surgeon will recommend that you drink plenty of fluids to help flush your bladder and reduce your risk of infection. So, as a result, you will need to pass urine more often than usual.

What happens if I don't want to have transurethral resection of bladder tumour?


Your surgeon will recommend the best treatment for you and explain suitable alternatives. Your treatment options will depend on the type of bladder cancer you have, its position and how far it has spread.


TURBT is an essential first step in diagnosing and treating bladder cancer. TURBT procedure is usually followed by bladder treatment with mitomycin C or Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) to destroy any remaining cancer cells. The treatment is given directly into your bladder through a catheter (a thin plastic tube passed through your urethra into your bladder).

Depending on the type of bladder cancer you have, your surgeon may offer mitomycin C or BCG treatment alone. There are also a number of experimental therapies that you can ask your surgeon about.

Your surgeon will recommend the best treatment in your particular situation and explain the benefits and risks of the procedure. Your surgeon will explain what may happen if you don't have the recommended treatment and discuss alternative treatment options with you.

You're free to choose not to have the recommended treatment, have a different treatment (if available) or not to have any treatment at all. You don't have to give any reasons for your decision but it can help your surgeon to know your concerns so that he or she can give you the best advice.

If you have any questions, don't be afraid to ask your surgeon. It often helps to make a list of the questions you want to ask and to take a close relative or friend with you to remind you of the things you want to know. You can always ask for more time to decide about the treatment if you feel that you can't make a decision immediately.


Produced by Krysta Munford, Bupa Health Information Team, November 2012.

For our main content on this topic, see Information.

For sources and links to further information, see Resources.

  • This information was published by Bupa's Health Information Team and is based on reputable sources of medical evidence. It has been reviewed by appropriate medical or clinical professionals. Photos are only for illustrative purposes and do not reflect every presentation of a condition. The content is intended only for general information and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional. For more details on how we produce our content and its sources, visit the about our health information page.

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