Radical cystectomy is the treatment of choice for nonmetastatic, muscle-infiltrating bladder cancer. Several researchers have proposed the use of a bladder-sparing approach in carefully selected patients. Strict selection criteria and close follow-up are needed for bladder-preservation protocols. Although repeated transurethral resection of bladder tumors or partial cystectomy might be offered to high-risk patients, combined protocols with transurethral resection of bladder tumors and chemotherapy, with or without additional radiotherapy, seem to provide the best results, with 5-year survival rates of about 50%. Even if the chance of preserving the bladder is appealing, and despite evidence of some promising results, these protocols should still be considered investigative because, as yet, there are no randomized trials available that compare cystectomy with bladder-sparing surgery.