Surgical treatment is RARELY used for the treatment of interstitial cystitis and only AFTER a patient has tried and failed ALL of the easier therapies, including oral medications, bladder instillations, some experimental therapies (i.e. botox), physical therapy and perhaps even alternative or complementary strategies (i.e. acupuncture, etc.). Several surgical options are available. Patients with severe Hunner’s Ulcers may undergo a “resection” of their bladder to remove those ulcers that are bleeding heavily or recur. For very small bladders, an “augmentation” can help increase bladder holding capacity by using a section of the bowel to enlarge the bladder. Bladder removal or “cystectomy” is rarely performed and only in the most extreme cases. Surgery requires very careful research as well as several discussions with your physician about the pros and cons, potential risks vs. benefits. You can talk with other patients who have undergone surgery in the ICN Support Forum. If you’re not sure about your treatment options or would like to learn more, an excellent resource is the The Interstitial Cystitis Survival Guide by Robert Moldwin MD.