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J Urol. 2005 Nov;174(5):1729-36.

Quality of life after cystectomy and urinary diversion: an evidence based analysis.

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Department of Urology, Julius Maximilians University Medical School (EWG), Würzburg, Germany.



We critically examined the evidence supporting the widely accepted notion that patients undergoing continent urinary tract reconstruction after cystectomy experience superior quality of life outcomes than patients receiving a conduit.


Based on a comprehensive MEDLINE literature search we retrieved and evaluated all full-length articles published in the English, French, German, Italian and Spanish languages comparing conduit diversion with continent cutaneous diversion and/or orthotopic bladder substitution with respect to quality of life or similar concepts. All studies were rated according to the International Consultation on Urological Diseases modification of Oxford Center for Evidence-Based Medicine levels of evidence.


The literature on quality of life after radical cystectomy for bladder cancer was rather extensive but generally of questionable quality. The main problems were flaws in the patient materials and methodologies used. To our knowledge not a single randomized, controlled study exists in the field. Because only few articles achieved a level of evidence better than III, the International Consultation on Urological Diseases rating system does not allow further differentiation among studies. Most studies showed that overall quality of life after cystectomy remained good in most patients irrespective of urinary diversion type.


Existing studies are unable to prove that continent reconstruction after radical cystectomy is superior to conduit diversion. This review emphasizes the importance of performing well designed studies in the future.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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