Critical analysis of complications after robotic-assisted radical cystectomy with identification of preoperative and operative risk factors

Authors

  • Eric C. Kauffman,

    1. Department of Urology, Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York, and Department of Biomechanical Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA
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  • Casey K. Ng,

    1. Department of Urology, Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York, and Department of Biomechanical Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA
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  • Ming Ming Lee,

    1. Department of Urology, Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York, and Department of Biomechanical Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA
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  • Brandon J. Otto,

    1. Department of Urology, Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York, and Department of Biomechanical Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA
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  • Alyse Portnoff,

    1. Department of Urology, Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York, and Department of Biomechanical Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA
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  • Gerald J. Wang,

    1. Department of Urology, Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York, and Department of Biomechanical Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA
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  • Douglas S. Scherr

    1. Department of Urology, Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York, and Department of Biomechanical Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA
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Eric C. Kauffman, Department of Urology, Weill Cornell Medical Center, 525 E. 68th Street, Starr 900, New York, NY 10065, USA.
e-mail: erk9005@nyp.org.

Abstract

Study Type – Therapy (case series)
Level of Evidence 4

OBJECTIVE

To better characterize short- and long-term complications in patients after robotic-assisted radical cystectomy (RRC) using standardized complications-reporting systems, and to identify preoperative and operative risk factors predicting their occurrence.

PATIENTS AND METHODS

Data were collected for 79 consecutive patients with bladder cancer undergoing RRC with extracorporeal urinary diversion by one surgeon at our institution. Complications occurring ≤90 days after RRC were graded according to two standardized reporting methods (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Modified Clavien), and additionally stratified by organ system. Nineteen preoperative and operative variables were tested by univariate analysis for association with the occurrence of one or more postoperative complications. Variables with a significant (P < 0.05) or near-significant (P < 0.20) association on univariate analysis were included in multivariate analysis to identify independent risk factors.

RESULTS

Patients were of relatively poor health, with 58% having an American Society of Anesthesiology class or Charlson Index score of ≥3. Advanced bladder disease was frequent (41% had pT3/pT4). After RRC, one or more complications occurred within 90 days of surgery for 39/79 (49%) patients. The vast majority of complications were low grade (79%), and mostly infectious (41%) or gastrointestinal (27%). Sixteen high-grade complications occurred in 13/79 (16%) patients. Urinary obstruction, abscess, enteric fistula, gastrointestinal bleeding and thromboembolism constituted most of the high-grade complications, nearly half (seven of 16) of which occurred 31–90 days after RRC. On multivariate analysis, only preoperative renal insufficiency and intraoperative intravenous (i.v.) fluids of >5000 mL were significantly associated with postoperative complications of any grade, with respective odds ratios (ORs) of 4.2 and 4.1. For high-grade complications, significant independent risk factors included an age of ≥65 years, operative blood loss of ≥500 mL and intraoperative i.v. fluids of >5000 mL, with respective ORs of 12.7, 9.7 and 42.1.

CONCLUSION

Even among relatively sick patients with frequent advanced disease, the vast majority of complications after RRC are low grade. High-grade complications are infrequent and similar in nature to high-grade events after open RC, and a notable proportion may occur at >30 days after RRC underscoring the importance of longer reporting intervals. The surgeon’s ability to limit blood loss and i.v. fluids during RRC may provide effective risk reduction, particularly for high-grade events.

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