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Urol Int. 2009;82(4):432-9. doi: 10.1159/000218533. Epub 2009 Jun 8.

Influence of body mass index on operability, morbidity and disease outcome following radical cystectomy.

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Department of Urology, Technical University of Munich, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Munchen, Germany.



Obesity may influence postoperative outcome after tumor surgery. We evaluated the impact of patients' body mass index (BMI) on peri- and postoperative morbidity and outcome following radical cystectomy for bladder cancer.


390 consecutive patients who underwent radical cystectomy due to bladder cancer from January 1986 to December 2004 were reviewed. According to WHO criteria, patients were divided into normal weight (NW, 45.6%), overweight (OW, 44.4%) and obese (10.0%) subgroups. The BMI of patients was associated to the time of surgery, amount of intraoperative blood units, TNM stage, postoperative complication rate as well as overall survival.


The time of cystectomy increased with the degree of patients' obesity (NW, 330 min; OW, 355 min; p = 0.007). Between NW and OW patients no significant differences were noted in respect to intraoperative blood transfusion rate (NW, 3.0; OW, 2.0; p = 0.47), postoperative TNM stage (pTis-pT2b: 42.6 vs. 48.6%; pT3a-4: 38.2 vs. 27.2%; pN+: 20.2 vs. 24.2%) and postoperative complications, except for postoperative bleeding, which was more common in OW patients (p = 0.02). Mean overall survival times showed no significant differences between NW and OW patients receiving ileal conduits (5-year survival rate: 34.0 vs. 41.1%; p = 0.140) or ileal neobladders (5-year survival rate: 65.1 vs. 70.8%; p = 0.127).


Increased BMI poses a greater challenge for surgical interventions such as radical cystectomy in bladder cancer patients. However, in our series, intra- and postoperative morbidity was not significantly elevated in OW patients. Overall survival was not reduced in OW compared to NW patients. Therefore, elevated BMI is not an exclusion criterion for radical cystectomy in bladder cancer patients.

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