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J Urol. 2009 Sep;182(3):914-21. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2009.05.032. Epub 2009 Jul 17.

Complications and mortality after radical cystectomy for bladder transitional cell cancer.

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Department of Oncological and Surgical Sciences, Urology Clinic, University of Padua, Padua, Italy.



We evaluated early postoperative complications and 3-month mortality after radical cystectomy using a standardized method to report complications.


We retrospectively collected data on all 358 consecutive patients who underwent radical cystectomy for nonmetastatic bladder transitional cell carcinoma at a tertiary academic referral center from January 2002 to December 2006. The Martin criteria were used to report complications, which were graded according to a 5-grade modification of the Clavien system.


A total of 231 complications occurred in 174 patients (49%), of which 13% were grades 3 to 5. The 3-month mortality rate was 3%. After evaluating the whole patient cohort American Society of Anesthesiologists score was the only covariate significantly associated with grade 3 to 5 complications on univariate analysis. Subgroup analysis limited to patients with an orthotopic ileal neobladder showed that female gender (HR 0.204, p = 0.017) and American Society of Anesthesiologists score (HR 2.851, p = 0.013) were independent predictors of grade 3 to 5 complications on multivariate analysis.


When applying a standardized methodology to report early morbidity, about 50% of patients undergoing radical cystectomy had complications within 3 months of surgery. Although most complications were minor, about 13% of patients experienced grade 3 to 5 events, resulting in a 3-month mortality rate of 3%. American Society of Anesthesiologists score was significantly associated with major complications, while on subgroup analysis in patients who received an orthotopic ileal neobladder female gender was also an independent predictor of major complications.

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