To measure the quality-of-life (QoL) outcome and urinary and sexual function and bother after radical cystectomy and different types of urinary tract reconstruction (Bricker vs modified S-pouch neobladder), also assessing differences between them and a normal population.
PATIENTS, SUBJECTS AND METHODS
Two groups of patients with bladder cancer were assessed; group 1 comprised 58 (mean age 65 years, mean follow-up 28 months) with an ileal conduit diversion, and group 2, 50 (mean age 61 years, mean follow-up 26 months) with a modified S-pouch neobladder. All were disease-free. Group 3 comprised 54 healthy subjects (a control population) of similar age, gender and comorbidities other than bladder cancer. A QoL questionnaire was used to study changes in QoL, and a specific questionnaire for urinary and sexual function and bother was also constructed.
There were no differences in the QoL scores among the three groups; group 3 (control) tended to have a better QoL for all domains except emotional functioning. Urinary function was seriously affected in group 1, with more daytime leakage than in groups 2 and 3 (37.8% vs 10%, P = 0.005, and 9.3%, P = 0.01), night loss of urine (39.5% vs 28%, P = 0.07, and 3.7%, P = 0.002) and urine odour (58.6% vs 4%, and 5.5%, both P = 0.001). Patients in group 2 differed from healthy individuals only in night loss of urine. Consequently urinary bother was more pronounced in group 1, as fewer were satisfied (68.9% vs 86% and 83.2%, both P = 0.03). Sexual function was seriously and similarly affected in groups 1 and 2; the erection rate was 28.9% for group 1, 35.5% for group 2 (P = 0.1) and 83.3% in group 3 (P = 0.003), while firm erections were present at 17.7%, 22.2% (P = 0.2) and 83.3% (P = 0.002). Women reported equivalent dysfunction in all three groups (15.4%, 20% and 16.6%, P = 0.3). Sexual desire was also equal in all groups (48.2%, 50% and 48.1). Patients in group 1 expressed more bother, while those in group 2 seemed more satisfied by their sexual life (84.4%, 68% and 68.5%, P = 0.04).
Radical cystectomy does not affect QoL whichever urinary reconstruction is used, and this implies a determination by the patients to live and adjust to their new conditions. On the contrary, urinary and sexual function are affected and related to the method used to reconstruct the urinary system.