Transurethral Resection for Bladder Cancer: What to Expect at Home

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Your Recovery

You have had a transurethral resection (TUR) of the bladder. Your doctor removed cancerous tissue.

You may have a small tube called a catheter in your urethra to help prevent blockage of the urethra. When the bleeding from surgery has stopped, the tube is removed. You may need to stay in the hospital 1 to 4 days.

You may feel the need to urinate frequently for a while after the surgery, but this should improve with time. It may burn when you urinate. Drink lots of fluids to help with the burning. Your urine also may look pink for up to 2 to 3 weeks after surgery. This is because there may be blood in it.

You may have to avoid strenuous activity and heavy lifting for about 3 weeks after TUR.

This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to feel better as quickly as possible.

How can you care for yourself at home?

Activity

  • Rest when you feel tired. Getting enough sleep will help you recover.
  • Try to walk each day. Start by walking a little more than you did the day before. Bit by bit, increase the amount you walk. Walking boosts blood flow and helps prevent pneumonia and constipation.
  • Avoid strenuous activities, such as bicycle riding, jogging, weight lifting, or aerobic exercise, for about 3 weeks, or until your doctor says it is okay.
  • For about 3 weeks, avoid lifting anything that would make you strain. This may include heavy grocery bags and milk containers, a heavy briefcase or backpack, cat litter or dog food bags, a vacuum cleaner, or a child.
  • Ask your doctor when you can drive again.
  • You may shower and take baths when your doctor says it is okay.
  • Ask your doctor when it is okay for you to have sex.

Diet

  • You can eat your normal diet. If your stomach is upset, try bland, low-fat foods like plain rice, broiled chicken, toast, and yogurt.
  • Drink plenty of fluids (unless your doctor tells you not to).

Medicines

  • Take pain medicines exactly as directed.
    • If the doctor gave you a prescription medicine for pain, take it as prescribed.
    • If you are not taking a prescription pain medicine, ask your doctor if you can take an over-the-counter medicine.
  • If you think your pain medicine is making you sick to your stomach:
    • Take your medicine after meals (unless your doctor has told you not to).
    • Ask your doctor for a different pain medicine.
  • If your doctor prescribed antibiotics, take them as directed. Do not stop taking them just because you feel better. You need to take the full course of antibiotics.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

When should you call for help?

Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • You passed out (lost consciousness).
  • You have severe trouble breathing.
  • You have sudden chest pain and shortness of breath, or you cough up blood.
  • You have severe pain in your belly.

Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You are sick to your stomach or cannot keep fluids down.
  • You have trouble passing urine or stool, especially if you have pain or swelling in your lower belly.
  • You have signs of a blood clot, such as:
    • Pain in your calf, back of the knee, thigh, or groin.
    • Redness and swelling in your leg or groin.
  • You have fever or severe chills.
  • You have pain in your back just below your rib cage. This is called flank pain.

Watch closely for any changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:

  • You have pain or burning when you urinate. A burning feeling is normal for a day or two after the surgery, but call if it does not get better.
  • The blood has not cleared out of your urine after several weeks.
  • You have a frequent urge to urinate but can pass only small amounts of urine.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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