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Urol Clin North Am. 2005 May;32(2):199-206.

Contemporary management of the urethra in patients after radical cystectomy for bladder cancer.

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  • 1Department of Urology, Wake Forest University Health Sciences, Medical Center Boulevard, Winston-Salem, NC 27104, USA.


The incidence of urethral TCC after radical cystectomy is approximately 8% overall. The most important risk factor for urethral TCC after radical cystectomy and urinary diversion is prostatic involvement by TCC, particularly stromal invasion. The safety of using the urethra for orthotopic urinary diversion seems to be best when intra-operative frozen section analysis of the urethral margin is performed at the time of radical cystectomy. There is provocative but unconfirmed evidence that orthotopic urinary diversion may be protective against the development of urethral TCC. Although most urethral "recurrences" occur within 5 years, delayed recurrences have been documented, mandating life-long follow-up of the retained urethra. Follow-up should include urinary cytology, either voided or urethral wash cytology as appropriate, with evaluation by endoscopy of any urethral related symptoms or change in voiding symptoms. The management of urethral TCC after cystectomy remains a total urethrectomy including excision of the meatus; however, in carefully selected patients with superficial disease and an orthotopic urinary diversion, urethra sparing may be attempted after a careful discussion with the patient. Survival after urethral TCC has generally been disappointing. The relative value of urethral versus original cystectomy pathologic stage and symptomatic versus nonsymptomatic recurrence in predicting survival remains controversial and awaits further studies that will most likely require the pooling of data from several large series.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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