Defining Early Morbidity of Radical Cystectomy for Patients with Bladder Cancer Using a Standardized Reporting Methodology

Ahmad Shabsigh, Ruslan Korets, Kinjal C. Vora, Christine M. Brooks, Angel M. Cronin, Caroline Savage, Ganesh Raj, Bernard H. Bochner, Guido Dalbagni, Harry W. Herr, S. Machele Donat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1110 Scopus citations


Background: Reporting methodology is highly variable and nonstandardized, yet surgical outcomes are utilized in clinical trial design and evaluation of healthcare provider performance. Objective: We sought to define the type, incidence, and severity of early postoperative morbidities following radical cystectomy (RC) using a standardized reporting methodology. Design, setting, and participants: Between 1995 and 2005, 1142 consecutive RCs were entered into a prospective complication database and retrospectively reviewed for accuracy. All patients underwent RC/urinary diversion by high-volume fellowship-trained urologic oncologists. Measurements: All complications within 90 d of surgery were analyzed and graded according to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center complication grading system. Complications were defined and stratified into 11 specific categories. Univariate and multivariate regression models were used to define predictors of complications. Results and limitations: Sixty-four percent (735/1142) of patients experienced a complication within 90 d of surgery. Among patients experiencing a complication, 67% experienced a complication during the operative hospital admission and 58% following discharge. Overall, the highest grade of complication was grade 0 in 36% (n = 407), grade 1-2 in 51% (n = 582), and grade 3-5 in 13% (n = 153). Gastrointestinal complications were most common (29%), followed by infectious complications (25%) and wound-related complications (15%). The 30-d mortality rate was 1.5%. Conclusions: Surgical morbidity following RC is significant and, when strict reporting guidelines are incorporated, higher than previously published. Accurate reporting of postoperative complications after RC is essential for counseling patients, combined modality treatment planning, clinical trial design, and assessment of surgical success.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)164-176
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean urology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009


  • Complications
  • Radical cystectomy
  • Reporting guidelines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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