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J Urol. 2002 Jan;167(1):208-11.

Causes of increased hospital stay after radical cystectomy in a clinical pathway setting.

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Departments of Urologic Surgery and Patient Care Services, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee, USA.



Our institution targets postoperative days 6 to 8 for discharge home after radical cystectomy. We examined this population to determine the causes of increased hospital stay and risk factors that may predict prolonged hospitalization.


We reviewed the records of 304 consecutive patients who underwent radical cystectomy from October 1995 to July 2000. The variables examined included age, gender, race, American Society of Anesthesiologists score, urinary diversion type, smoking history, estimated blood loss, transfusion requirement, operative time, hospital stay, perioperative minor and major complications, and the mortality rate.


Of the 304 patients 144 (47.4%) underwent ileal conduit diversion and 145 (47.7%) underwent orthotopic bladder substitution. Median hospital stay was 7 days (range 4 to 48). Of 302 patients 225 (74%) were discharged home by postoperative day 8, while 52 of the remaining 77 (67.5%) with increased hospital stay were discharged home by day 12. Postoperative ileus was the most common cause of increased hospitalization (53 of 77 cases or 68.8%). Major complications developed in 15 patients (4.9%), of whom 66% required a hospital stay of greater than 12 days. There was a single perioperative death (0.3%). No preoperative variables other than race predicted increased hospitalization. Of the clinical variables increased estimated blood loss, transfusion and minor or major complications correlated with an increased stay (p <0.05). However, on multivariate analysis only complications were associated with prolonged hospitalization.


Our cystectomy clinical care pathway targets a hospital discharge date that is safely achieved in the majority of patients. Postoperative ileus is the most common cause of prolonged hospitalization. Age, gender, American Society of Anesthesiologists score, urinary diversion type and pathological stage did not correlate with increased hospital stay.

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