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J Urol. 2002 Mar;167(3):1325-8.

A multicenter study of the morbidity of radical cystectomy in select elderly patients with bladder cancer.

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  • 1Department of Urologic Surgery and Andrology, Rangueil University Hospital, Toulouse, France.



We evaluated the morbidity of radical cystectomy for invasive bladder cancer in select patients older than 75 years using recent data from 2 academic hospitals.


We analyzed 73 radical cystectomies performed from January 1995 to June 2000 in patients 75 to 89 years old (median age 79.3). Cases were categorized according to the American Society of Anesthesiologists classification with a score of 2 in 41, 3 in 30 and 4 in 2. External urinary diversion was performed in 51 cases and an ileal neobladder was constructed in 22. We evaluated the incidence and type of complications, clinical outcome, and postoperative care unit and hospital stay. Statistical analysis was done using the chi-square and Student t tests.


Median operative time was 263 minutes (range 95 to 451). The perioperative mortality rate was 2.7%. The intraoperative, early and late postoperative complication rates were 38.4%, 46.5% and 16.4%, respectively. Three reoperations (4.1%) were necessary. The most common early complications were pyelonephritis in 12.3% of cases, disorientation in 10.9%, pneumonia in 8.2% and prolonged ileus in 12.3%. The most common late complications were ureteroileal anastomotic stenosis in 5 cases and hernia in 3. Median postoperative care unit and hospital stays were 12 and 34 days, respectively. At a median followup of 14.4 months (range 6 to 74) the overall mortality rate was 31.5%. Hospital stay was significantly higher in patients with complications. The incidence of complications was similar in the 2 groups.


These data support the aggressive surgical management of bladder cancer in select elderly patients. A rigorous multidisciplinary team approach can provide acceptable perioperative morbidity.

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