Bipolar en bloc tumor resection versus standard monopolar TURBT - which is the best way to go in non-invasive bladder cancer?

Vol. 59 No. 3, 2018


Georgiana Xenia Balan, Petrisor Aurelian Geavlete, Dragos Adrian Georgescu, Cosmin Victor Ene, Catalin Andrei Bulai, Maria Alexandra Paunescu, Andrei Niculae, Ileana Peride, Ioan Lascar, Tiberiu Paul Neagu, Bogdan Florin Geavlete

The aim of the study was to observe similarities and differences regarding surgical safety and prognosis between en bloc bipolar resection and monopolar transurethral resection of bladder tumors (TURBTs) in medium size papillary non-muscle invasive bladder tumors (NMIBTs). A total of 90 patients with papillary bladder tumors presenting a diameter between 1 and 3 cm were equally divided and alternatively assigned for en bloc bipolar ablation (the study group) and conventional TURBT (the control group). During one year, every three months, the follow-up was performed and the protocol included urinary cytology and cystoscopy. Similar mean patients age and tumor diameter were determined in both groups. In the study group, it was noticed an important reduced rate of obturator nerve reflex adverse event that caused bladder wall perforation. In addition, comparing the results between the two groups, the following aspects were observed in the study arm: decreased mean operation time (13.4 versus 19.7 minutes), hemoglobin level drop (0.28 versus 0.76 g/dL), catheterization period (1.9 versus 2.8 days) and hospital stay (2.3 versus 3.1 days). A total of 41 and respectively 40 patients completed the 12 months follow-up protocol. After one year, the en bloc group presented a significantly lower recurrence rate, superior surgical safety, decreased perioperative morbidity and faster recovery. Therefore, the en bloc surgery approach presented a better oncological prognosis due to the reduced heterotopic NMIBT recurrences up to one year.

Corresponding author: Andrei Niculae, Associate Professor, MD, PhD; e-mail:

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