To evaluate the risk factors for mortality and morbidity related to radical cystectomy (RC) in a medium-sized academic centre, and to analyse the rate and trends of perioperative morbidity and mortality, as although complications related RC to are lower in modern than historic series, RC is still associated with marked risks.
PATIENTS AND METHODS
The study included 258 patients undergoing RC for bladder cancer in Turku University Hospital in 1986–2005. Basic patient characteristics and in-hospital, early (from hospital discharge to 3 months) and combined morbidity and mortality were analysed. Risk analysis included 16 risk factors for complications. Trends were analysed by comparing the two study decades (1986–1995 vs 1996–2005).
The total complication rate was 34%, with minor and major complications in 26%, and 11% of patients, respectively. There were no significant changes in total morbidity, but the number of myocardial infarctions and atrial fibrillations decreased significantly (P = 0.045). Operative mortality was 2.7%, with an insignificant decrease (4.2% to 0.9%, P = 0.11) over time. Salvage RC, high American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) score (≥3), extensive blood loss (>3 L), a high number of transfusions (five or more), several comorbidities (two or more), age (≥65 vs <65 years), and extravesical tumours were significant risk factors for major complications. An ASA score of ≥3 and five or more transfusions were the only factors associated with mortality. A high ASA score (odds ration 3.25, 95% confidence interval 1.08–9.74) and high number of transfusions (2.74, 1.05–7.15) were independent risk factors for major complications.
Although RC is associated with acceptable morbidity, attention should be given to risk factors identified at the time of patient selection, and to meticulous haemostasis at the time of surgery. A predictable outcome comparable to that in high-volume centres is also possible in a medium-sized hospital.