Partial Cystectomy in Dogs

Partial Cystectomy in Dogs - Conditions Treated, Procedure, Efficacy, Recovery, Cost, Considerations, Prevention

What is Partial Cystectomy?

A partial cystectomy is the surgical procedure used to remove part of your dog’s bladder when bladder cancer or other disease occurs. During this procedure, 40 to 70% of your dog’s bladder can be removed when necessary by your veterinarian under general anesthesia. The most common form of neoplasia requiring partial cystectomy in dogs in transitional cell carcinoma, TCC. Bladder torsion, rupture, urinary tract stones and necrosis of bladder tissue from infection may also result in this procedure being required. Supportive care on an ongoing basis is required, a special diet to address urinary tract function may be required, and incontinence can be an issue. In addition, your dog will have a smaller bladder resulting in lower urinary retention capacity and necessitating more frequent bathroom trips. 

Partial Cystectomy Procedure in Dogs

Prior to surgery, your dog may have pre-anesthetic bloodwork performed to ensure they are in adequate health to be administered general anaesthetic and undergo surgery. Your dog will need to fast from food prior to surgery and administration of general anesthetic. Your dog will be sedated, administered intravenous anesthesia and intubated for gaseous anesthetic administration. Vital signs will be monitored and supportive care given as needed. Your dog's abdomen will be shaved and antiseptically cleaned. An incision is made towards the rear of your dog's abdomen. In male dogs, this is made off to the side of the penis. The bladder is isolated and pulled up to the surface of the incision. The bladder is incised and urine suctioned away. Blood vessels are ligated or cauterized as required. Stay sutures may be used to hold the bladder in place and isolate the section to be removed. Stones, damaged tissue, or tumors are removed along with bladder tissue around a tumor required to ensure healthy margins of tissue around the growth and prevent spread of cancer. Infected tissue or neoplasia is sent to a veterinary pathologist for assessment. Once bladder tissue has been excised away, reconstruction of the bladder to restore functioning may be required, and the bladder incision is repaired. The abdomen is flushed to remove any urine that may have leaked into the abdominal cavity prior to closure The abdominal incision is sutured shut. Your dog will be monitored during recovery and may be hospitalized for a few days to monitor fluid intake and output.

Efficacy of Partial Cystectomy in Dogs

Partial cystectomy is effective for addressing localized necrosis or neoplasia in the bladder. Because it is less invasive than total cystectomy, urinary tract functioning post-surgery is preserved and overall outcome is more positive.

Partial cystectomy is effective for localized TCC caught in its early stages that has not spread. It is not effective for TCC that has progressed to advanced stages. For treatment of bladder cancer, partial cystectomy may be combined with anticancer drugs or radiation therapy. 

Tumor recurrence with bladder neoplasia is common.

Partial Cystectomy Recovery in Dogs

Analgesics, anti-inflammatories, and antibiotics will be prescribed post-surgery to keep your dog comfortable and prevent infection. Your dog should have activity restricted and fluid intake and output monitored post-surgery. Your dog should be maintained on a leash when outside for at least 2 weeks after surgery to restrict activity and strain in the pelvic region. Sutures will need to be removed in 10 to 14 days. You will need to prevent your dog from licking or chewing the abdominal incision and an e-collar may be required to assist with this. The incision should be monitored to ensure rupture, hemorrhage or infection does not present. Any concerns should be addressed with your veterinarian immediately. On an ongoing basis, your dog may require more frequent opportunities to urinate as their bladder will have a smaller capacity. Also, specialized diet to facilitate urinary tract functioning is often recommended.

Cost of Partial Cystectomy in Dogs

The cost of partial cystectomy in dogs is $700 to $3,000. This will vary depending on your location and the degree of cystectomy required. Pre-surgery tests, anesthetic, procedure, hospitalization and post surgery medications are included in this cost.

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Dog Partial Cystectomy Considerations

Wound dehiscence, infection, or urinary tract obstructions are possible complications of partial cystectomy. Recurrence of tumors are possible if cancer was present, and long-term prognosis may be guarded as a result. Long-term supportive care, a specialized diet, and more frequent urination are factors dog owners will need to address.

Partial Cystectomy Prevention in Dogs

The requirement for partial cystectomy may be largely unavoidable when it comes to neoplasia. A healthy diet and adequate water supply may reduce the incidence of disease in your dog's bladder. Regular veterinary care to address urinary issues when they first manifest may provide the opportunity for alternative treatments or increase the efficacy of surgical interventions. 

Partial Cystectomy Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals






14 Years


6 found this helpful


6 found this helpful

My dog had 25% of her bladder removed. She is diabetic and 14 years old. Will her bladder heal without complications or rupturing? What are the symptoms to watch for during recovery for a diabetic did who had had this procedure?

Nov. 16, 2017

6 Recommendations

Removal of a section of the bladder wall is a relatively routine procedure as long as the neck of the bladder wasn’t affected, healing is usually fast even in an older dog like Lily. Many symptoms of uroabdomen (urine seeping into the abdomen) are similar to bladder rupture apart from the symptoms of trauma (see link below). A dog with diabetes would be more prone to infections and healing time may be slightly longer, but with good nursing care and movement restriction she should be on the mend. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Nov. 16, 2017

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