In this medical video learn how a new surgery lets bladder cancer patients lead a more normal life.
Read the full transcript »
Jennifer Matthews: When Hans Neukomm learned he had advanced bladder cancer, he thought he'd also have to re-learn going to the bathroom. Hans Neukomm: That's what they were telling me, that the gold standard is the removal of the bladder, and then I'd have to wear an external pouch. Jennifer Matthews: It was a change he wasn't looking forward to making. Siamak Daneshmand: It can really hinder their lifestyle. If you're very active and exercise regularly then it's difficult to do it with a bag full of liquid or urine sloshing around. Jennifer Matthews: Now, there's a better alternative, using the patient's own small intestine to make a neobladder. This video shows Dr. Daneshmand constructing the neobladder. He takes a piece of intestine, then cuts and stitches it to make an inflatable pouch. That pouch attaches to the urethra, and lets patients urinate on their own. It acts very much like the real thing. Siamak Daneshmand: The voiding is essentially the same as before, you've relaxed your pelvic muscles and the urine starts flowing. Jennifer Matthews: Dr. Daneshmand says 90% of patients who have the surgery are able to go to the bathroom normally during the day. Hans Neukomm: During the night it's a different story. I sleep pretty well, and I wear a pad. Jennifer Matthews: Hans gets up about once a night to change the pad, but he says that's a lot better than the alternative. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.