Perioperative outcomes in radical cystectomy: how to reduce morbidity?

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Purpose of review

To define the incidence of perioperative morbidity following contemporary radical cystectomy and identify preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative strategies to reduce complications.

Recent findings

When complications are methodically and systematically recorded, 64% of patients will sustain a complication within 90 days of radical cystectomy. Various preoperative, postoperative, and intraoperative strategies have been identified to reduce morbidity. Prior to surgery, patients should have reversible medical conditions treated, mechanical bowel preparation can be omitted if using small bowel for reconstruction, venous thromboembolism and antimicrobial infection prophylaxis should be initiated, nutrition should be optimized, and patient education should be provided. During surgery, complications can be attenuated by utilizing meticulous surgical technique, minimizing blood loss, fluid management can be guided by transesophageal cardiovascular Doppler, and lower extremity repositioning should be performed as soon as feasible. After surgery, early mobilization, incentive spirometry, early nasogastric tube removal, alvimopan usage, and judicious jejunostomy tube feeding, or total parenteral nutrition usage may reduce morbidity.


Morbidity is common following radical cystectomy, but careful attention to preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative details can help reduce this risk.

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