Recovery Period from TURBT?

I am an otherwise healthy 60-year-old who had my TURBT surgery on Feb. 25th with results showing 3 cm.,non-invasive, Ta, and low risk cells (level 1 & 2). After about 3 weeks of recovery I seemed to reach a plateau in getting my energy back. I am doing all of my regular volunteer and social activities (except exercise class) but fatigue more easily than before the TURBT. Also some periodic discomfort (no pain) in the bladder and mild unpleasantness when urinating. Does this sound normal to those of you with my procedure/diagnosis? I had hoped, being a very active person who doesn't smoke/drink, that I would feel normal after a month. Any thoughts on recovery patterns after the first 3 weeks? Thanks, everyone! This sight is so helpful and I appreciate everybody's wisdom and stories.

Report post

11 replies. Join the discussion

Nancy, I had my first TURBT on 3/7, three weeks ago from today. I came home with a catheter for 4 days. I had very little pain, just discomfort from the catheter. My second week was also uneventful. But the third week (last week), I had some discomfort in the pelvic and lower back region. I also seem to be urinating almost every hour, with just a little bit of discomfort when urinating. Per my research and what my urologist said, this is normal. But he also said that everyone is different. Some bounce back really quickly, while others need the entire 4-6 weeks to fully recover. My energy level seems to be about the same as before, though I did tire easy the first week. Perhaps some others here can offer you their thoughts. I'm 46, a bit younger than you, so perhaps that makes a difference. I'm not sure. But I would recommend you reach out to your doctor if you are that concerned or the problems don't go away.

Best of luck!



Report post

Hi Nancy,

I agree that each of us is different in how we recover from these procedures. I had 2 turbts and although, I don't recall a difference in fatigue or exercise tolerance (however my urologist had some restrictions, but not as many as my wife); I certainly had some urinary symptoms for at least one month including frequency, urgency and discomfort on urination. Hope you feel back to normal soon.


Report post


The TURBY is normally a very minor surgery. I had mine at age 76, was in the hospital less than four hours. My cancer was invasive, extensive and the most aggressive grade. I was only lightly under general anesthetic, went home several hours later, and resumed all my normal activities the following day. AAfter the first evening, I experience no pain, no bleeding, no after-effects of any kind. I had no difficulty urinating or doing any of my normal activities.

While we are all different, I cannot recall anyone having symptoms lasting more than a week.

Your comment that you quit your exercise class does disturb me. Nothing is more important that exercise in aiding our recovery from surgery. I always increased exercising following surgery. It is so important to recovery from surgery.

There is also always the chance that you may have an infection or other medical condition unrelated to your TURBT!

I would recommend that you embark on an exercise progrram and if dthat doesn't help, seeing a doctor. You should not be having a reaction to TURBT this long a period.


Report post

Nancy, I am sorry to hear of all your problems post TURBT but am not sure your symptoms now are related. However if your physician says that it's normal. he certainly should know.

I have had a TURBT and came home with catheter and also a restaging TURBT that didn't require a catheter afterwards. After the first week i never experienced any problems at all. As HighlandGuy states, we are all different and experience different reactions but your experience does seem rather extreme. Wishing you the best in returning to normal again.


Report post

had Turb 2/25, started bleeding heavily, ran to dr and put back the catheter
bleeding was from his cutting the prostrate neck to get into the bladder
after one week fine, back to work, some discomfort urinating, eventually goes away
cipro for 10 days
good luck

Report post

I didn't mean to imply that I am not doing any exercise. After 2 or so weeks post-op when I had the energy, I started taking 45-50 minute good-paced walks in the neighborhood. Today I did my hour-long aerobics class but didn't do high impact moves. I may call my urologist to see if he thinks I have a low-grade infection maybe.

Report post


I am pleased to hear that you have been exercising. It is so imporftant to a good recovery.

I would suggest that you compare your post operation exercising with what you were having prior to the surgery. As a general rule of thumb, if exercising after surgery was equal to or greater than what you were having prior to surgery, I would certainly see your physician to have tests if there is an infection of other disease. Your recovery is taking too long in my judgement.

I should point out that following surgery we may require different excercising such as walking instead of lifting heavy weights that may place an undue pressure on organs not already healed.


Report post

My replay was posted prematurely. One of the handicaps we who are blind have to put up with occassionally.

I wanted to point out that not only are all people different, but the differences in doctors is perhaps even more extreme. Doctors are trained by different docors at different schools, using different techniques and procedures. There is incredible differences between how different surgeons perform differnt procedures. Not only are they trained ifferenctly, they are materially effected by their experiences persorming the same or similar operations. Where the tumor is located in the bladder also makes a major difference. Many doctors prefer to have the patient wear a catheter for several days, while oheers, like mine evidently never considered that was necesssary.

I certainly wish that you will recover shortly and regain your normal activities without any further problems. You have already had too many.



Report post

77 years old, 24 hour recovery to normal activity level. I was one of the fortunate ones.

Report post

well, to be honest, i had many turbts over a 3 yr period. each after a 6 week course of BCG. perhaps that wore on my body over time. i recovered much more slowly than some folks have mentioned. for me the most important thing was to listen to my body. if i am overdoing, my body tells me so.
not everyone can jump right back in, we are all different. listen to your body, pay attention, and respect the fact that your body has
to recover at it's own pace. sorry if i disagree with some of the posts here, but that's my experience. take care of yourself,

Report post

Thank you to those of you who have replied to my question about the recovery period from the TURBT surgery. I am in awe of those of you who bounce back so quickly and have endured much. much more serious, invasive surgeries countless times. I am regaining my energy and guess I am one of those who require the full 4 to 6 weeks to feel completely normal again, which for me is high energy and very busy. I have done 2 aerobics classes this week (one of my favorite activities) just with less intensity. I think perhaps my urethra got traumatized from the procedure so that may be why I still have some discomfort. I will be patient and persistent and positive, as I realize the future will likely hold other BC curveballs and complications. Amongst you all in this BCAN e-community I can truly say I am one of the fortunate ones with only Ta, Grade 1 & 2 cells. The diagnosis remains a stunner however. I am starting a journal, did return to the community theatre play I was acting in, am singing two concerts this weekend in a 105-person chorale performance, and have very supportive family & friends. For these aspects of my life I am truly blessed!
Nancy aka DrSocks

Report post

This discussion is closed to replies. We close all discussions after 90 days.

If there's something you'd like to discuss, click below to start a new discussion.

Things you can do

Support BCAN

Help the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network reach its goals and support people like yourself by making a donation today.

Donate to the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network

Discussion topics

Walk for Bladder Cancer May 3rd

Walk for Bladder Cancer

Resources from BCAN

BCAN on Facebook

Like the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network on Facebook

Community leaders