Urethral recurrence after cystectomy: Current preventative measures, diagnosis and management

Yvonne Chan, Patrick Fisher, Derya Tilki, Christopher P. Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


To summarise the current literature on the diagnosis and management of urethral recurrence (UR) after radical cystectomy (RC), as UR after RC is rare but associated with high mortality. With the recently increased use of orthotopic bladder substitution and the questionable benefit of prophylactic urethrectomy, identification of patients at high risk of UR, management of the remnant urethra, and treatment of UR become critical questions. A review of the PubMed database from 1980 to 2014 was performed to identify studies evaluating recurrent urothelial cancer of the urethra after RC. The search terms used included 'urethral recurrence', 'cystectomy' or 'cystoprostatectomy'. Selected studies provided information on the type of urinary diversion performed, the incidence of UR, and the time to UR. Incidence of UR after RC ranges from 1% to 8% with most recurrences occurring within the first 2 years after surgery. Increased risk of UR is associated with involvement of the prostate, tumour multifocality, bladder neck involvement, and cutaneous diversion. The median overall survival after UR ranges from 6 to 54 months and the 5-year disease-specific survival after UR is reported to be between zero and 83%. UR remains a relatively rare event. Current literature suggests that urethral wash cytology may be useful in patients with intermediate- to high-risk of recurrence to enable early detection of non-invasive disease, which may be amenable to conservative therapy before urethrectomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)563-569
Number of pages7
JournalBJU international
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • review
  • urethral recurrence
  • urothelial carcinoma and urethrectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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