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Int Urogynecol J. 2014 Jul;25(7):953-60. doi: 10.1007/s00192-014-2341-x. Epub 2014 Mar 15.

Outcomes of a bladder preservation technique in female patients undergoing pelvic exenteration surgery for advanced gynaecological tumours.

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Department of Urology, University Hospital Munich-Grosshadern, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Marchioninistrasse 15, 81377, Munich, Germany.



The purpose of the study was to report the feasibility of the bladder preservation technique (BPT) during pelvic exenteration for primary advanced gynaecological pelvic tumours (PRSGT) as an alternative for continent urinary diversion.


Sixteen consecutive female patients underwent BPT during PRSGT. Median age was 50.8 years (range 37-65). Tumours included cervical (5 patients), corpus/vaginal (9), and ovarian (2) carcinomas. In resectable tumours, the excision of the distal ureters and the posterior bladder wall with an inverted "V" incision into the trigone down to the vaginal wall was performed with bladder blood and nerve supply preservation. The remaining mobilized leaflets were fixed to the psoas muscle/sacral promontory. Average follow-up was 34 months (range 24-108). Follow-up parameters included postoperative continence grade (full [no pads], stress incontinence grade I [1-2 pads], and grade II [>2 pads]), urinary tract infections, micturation problems/residual urine, ureteric reflux as well as patients' global satisfaction (PGS).


All surgeries were done successfully. One patient developed a vesicovaginal fistula 4 weeks postoperatively and was managed conservatively. Fifteen patients (94 %) were able to empty their bladders postoperatively. Prolonged full continence was reported from 8 patients (50 %), incontinence grade I in 3 (18.8 %), and grade II in 5 (31.3 %). Two patients (incontinence grade II) developed cystoceles necessitating transvaginal bladder neck suspension with a fascia lata sling and were continent postoperatively. Another patient (6 %) underwent re-excision of a recurrent pelvic tumour necessitating intermittent self-catheterization. Postoperative hydronephrosis (grade I-II) was observed in 4 patients (25 %) and vesico-ureteral reflux (grade IV) in 4 (25 %) without the need for intervention. PGS and willingness to recommend their procedure to others were favourable.


In patients for whom complete bladder resection is not indicated for oncological reasons, BPT during PRSGT with ureteric reimplantation is feasible and safe and provides good functional results as well as patient global satisfaction. Lower tract surgeries could be safely carried out afterward. Long-term functional results support durable good PGS.

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