Single staff cystectomy in a low-volume center: Oncological outcomes and complications
Keywords:bladder cancer; radical cystectomy; complications; lymph node dissection; urothelial cancer; extended lymph node dissection
Introduction: Radical cystectomy (RC) with bilateral pelvic lymph node dissection (PLND) is a complex surgical procedure, associated with substantial perioperative complications. Previous studies suggested reserving it to high-volume centers in order to improve oncological and perioperative outcomes. However, only limited data exist regarding low-volume centers with highly experienced surgeons. We aimed to assess oncological and perioperative outcomes after RC performed by experienced surgeons in the lowvolume center of Luzerner Kantonsspital, Lucerne, CH.
Methods: We retrospectively analyzed the data of 158 patients who underwent RC and PLND performed between 2009 and 2019 at a single low-volume center by three experienced surgeons, each having performed at least 50 RCs. Complications were graded according to the 2004 modified Clavien-Dindo grading system.
Results: A total of 110 patients (70%) received an incontinent urinary diversion (ileal conduit or ureterocutaneostomy) and 48 patients (30%) received a continent urinary diversion (ileal orthotopic neobladder, ureterosigmoidostomy, or Mitrofanoff pouch). Median operating time was 419 minutes (interquartile range [IQR] 346–461). Overall, at RC specimen, 71.5% of patients had urothelial carcinoma,12.6% squamous, 3.1% sarcomatoid, 1.2% glandular, and 0.6% small cell carcinoma. Median number of lymph nodes removed was 23 (IQR 16–29.5). Positive margins were found in eight patients (5.1%). Overall five-year survival rate was 52.4%. The complication rate was 56.3%: 143 complications were found in 89 patients, 36 (22.8%) with Clavien ≥3. The 30-day mortality rate was 2.5%.
Conclusions: RC could be safely performed in a low-volume center by experienced surgeons with comparable outcomes to high-volume centers.
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