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Urol Int. 2013;90(2):195-201. doi: 10.1159/000345790. Epub 2013 Jan 30.

Systematic assessment of complications and outcome of radical cystectomy undertaken with curative intent in patients with comorbidity and over 75 years of age.

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Department of Urology, Technical University of Dresden, Dresden, Germany. vladimir.novotny @



To evaluate the complications, survival and oncological outcome of patients ≥75 years of age after radical cystectomy for muscle-invasive bladder cancer.


Between April 1993 and August 2010, 765 patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer underwent radical cystectomy at one high-volume center. Of these, 70 patients were ≥75 years of age. All 70 patients had at least one severe systemic comorbidity with an American Society of Anesthesiologists score of 3. Primary endpoints of this retrospective study were overall and recurrence-free survival with a mean follow-up of 22 months (1-159). Perioperative parameters such as need for blood transfusions, hospital stay, mortality, short- and long-term complications were also assessed. Complications were graded according to the Clavien-Dindo classification.


Perioperative complications occurred in 23/70 patients (33%) with a 30-day mortality rate of 1.4%. 16/70 patients (23%) developed late complications requiring hospitalization. Within 30 days of surgery, according to the Clavien-Dindo grading, 27% had no complications, 3% grade 1, 49% grade 2, 14% grade 3, 6% grade 4 and 1.4% grade 5 complications. Within 31-90 days after surgery, 76% had grade 1 complications, 3% grade 2, 6% grade 3, 9% grade 4 and 6% grade 4 complications. The calculated 5- and 8-year overall survival rates were 30 and 25%, respectively, with a recurrence-free survival rate of 52% at 5 and 42% at 8 years.


Radical cystectomy is an appropriate and effective treatment for comorbid elderly patients. The oncological long-term outcome is the same as in younger patients while overall survival is comparatively lower. Mortality and complication-related morbidity are comparable to those in younger patients with modern perioperative management.

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