Transurethral resection of bladder tumors (TURBT) is the standard management for urinary bladder tumors; however, new techniques as Thulium laser en bloc resection of bladder tumors (TmLRBT) have been introduced as a substitute to TURBT.
In this study safety, efficacy, and tumor recurrence after TmLRBT and TURBT were prospectively compared in patients with primary (<4 cm) bladder tumors.
Patients and Methods:
Between August 2019 and May 2021, patients with primary (<4 cm) bladder tumors were enrolled. Patients were randomized between the two procedures. All perioperative data were collected prospectively. Pathological specimen findings and recurrence rates were reported during follow-up visits.
Sixty patients underwent TURBT, and another 60 had TmLRBT. No significant differences were detected in patient demographics or preoperative tumor characteristics between the two groups. Operation time was less (28.2 vs. 38.9 min, P < 0.001), and rate of bladder perforation was lower with TmLRBT compared to TURBT (3.3% vs. 15.0%, P = 0.027). In the TmLRBT group, higher rate of muscle detection (95.0% vs. 78.3%, P < 0.001) in the pathological specimen, and lower rate of tissue destruction (0.0% vs. 21.6%, P < 0.001) were obtained compared to TURBT. Recurrence rate in cases of nonmuscle invasive bladder cancer was lower with TmLRBT (6.7% vs. 33.0%, P < 0.001).
In this study, TmLRBT showed reduced operative time with lower perforation rates. Higher detection of detrusor muscle and less tissue destruction in the pathological specimen were obtained with TmLRBT, as well as lower rates of tumor recurrence. These findings suggest that TmLRBT is a safe and efficacious substitute to TURBT in tumors <4 cm.