Your urologist may be correct in that this is something to consider. Someone very wise has said that she cannot understand why people are so in love with their bladders that they would risk their lives to keep them!!
Cystectomy is not minor surgery. It is a very complicated process and does require a long recovery period and training to adapt to the new situation. However, patients who have done this lead very full lives regardless of what diversion they chose....engaging in activities ranging from scuba diving to race car driving.
Here is an excellent, if brief, overview of the possible diversions.
It is critical that should you decide to go this route, you have a urological surgeon who performs MANY of these surgeries a year. All urologists are trained in the simplest version, a urostomy. Sometimes a urologist will indicate that this is the only option for a patient when, in reality, it is the only one he is competent to do!
Also, you may wish to seek a second opinion. My urologist has told me that should it ever come time for me to consider this (it hasn't so far) he would INSIST that I get a second opinion. A good second opinion may only confirm what your doctor has already told you and this would help to settle your mind. On the other hand, someone else might have some other suggestions.
You need to have a serious conversation with your doctor about all the possible options/outcomes.
Diagnosis 2-08 Small papillary TCC; CIS
BCG; BCG maintenance
Vice-President, American Bladder Cancer Society
My doctor said where I keep getting tumors in spite of immuno. therapy, maybe should consider a radical cystectomy. I am 78 years old, and in good health other than afib, which is being treated, and this. Has anybody any advice for me, and how difficult is this operation, and post op.