Risk of in-hospital complications after radical cystectomy for urinary bladder carcinoma: population-based follow-up study of 7608 patients




  • To evaluate the risk of different in-hospital complications for patients undergoing a radical cystectomy (RC), as limited nationwide population data on short- and long-term complications after RC is available, despite it being the standard treatment for localised muscle-invasive urinary bladder cancer (UBC).

Patients and Methods

  • In all, 7608 persons underwent a RC after UBC diagnosis, as registered in the Swedish National Patient Register between 1964 and 2008.
  • We estimated the frequency and incidences and calculated hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) using multivariate Cox proportional hazards models.


  • Urinary tract infection/septicaemia was the most common complication following radical cystectomy, with an incidence of 90.4 per 1,000 person years.
  • There was a higher risk of urinary tract infection among patients who had a continent cutaneous reservoir (HR: 1.11 (0.94–1.30) or orthotopic neobladder 1.21 (1.05–1.39) than among those with ileal conduit.
  • Similarly, continent cutaneous reservoir and orthotopic neobladder were associated with increased risks for wound and abdominal wall hernias, stones in the urinary tract, hydronephrosis and nephrostomy tube treatment, and kidney failure.
  • In contrast, risk of bowel obstruction was lower among those with orthotopic neobladder than those with ileal conduit (HR: 0.64 (0.50–0.81)) and those with continent cutaneous reservoir (HR: 0.92 (0.73–1.16).


  • In-hospital complications after RC are numerous and continue to accumulate for many years after surgery, indicating the need for life-long follow-up of these patients.
  • Comparison between different types of diversion should, however, be made with care because of potential confounding by indication.