Princess Margaret surgeon performs ground-breaking robot bladder cancer surgery


Dr. Girish Kulkarni, a surgeon at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, performed a new robotic cystectomy this week. The surgery created a neobladder, a new bladder constructed using the patient’s bowel, for those battling cancer.

Bladder cancer is the fifth most common type of cancer and when traditional bladder sparing treatments are not possible, a patient’s bladder is removed or a neobladder is created.

Traditionally, a neobladder surgery is performed through an open operation, which leaves a relatively sizable incision in the abdomen, approximately 6 – 10 inches in length.

“The robot allows us to do the operation in a minimally invasive manner,” says Dr. Kulkarni. 

It also allows for a much shorter recovery time, both in hospital and at home along with fewer complications. 

The funding for the robot was made possible with philanthropy and the help of a generous donor.

“Much of what we do at The Princess Margaret in terms of ground-breaking research is philanthropy-driven,” says Dr. Kulkarni.