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Summary

The seemingly high complication and re-operation rates associated with continent urinary diversion have led some to criticise its morbidity and question its role in reconstructive urological surgery. We therefore reviewed our experience with all patients undergoing either continent or standard urinary diversion performed by 3 urological surgeons during a specified 3-year period. In 73 consecutive patients (22 continent urinary diversion, 51 standard urinary diversion), no significant difference was demonstrated with respect to the number of post-operative in-hospital days, complication rate, re-operation rate and operative mortality rate between the 2 groups. While those undergoing continent diversion were on average younger and healthier than their counterparts receiving standard diversion, stratification of patients in each group according to age and a pre-operative “fitness” score showed no significant difference in operative mortality or major morbidity between comparable patients in each group. The mean post-operative length of hospital stay was, however, 3 days shorter for the youngest and fittest patients receiving standard versus continent urinary diversion.