Perforation of the bladder during transurethral resection is a worrisome complication for most urologists. Little is known about the consequences of seeding of tumor cells into the peritoneum or retroperitoneum. We reviewed several hospital patient databases as well as the literature to determine the outcome of such situations.Materials and Methods
We performed a local multi-institutional case and MEDLINE review using key words, such as bladder neoplasm, neoplasm seeding, perforation, rupture, transurethral resection, peritonitis and tumor. We also contacted several urologists and oncologists at major cancer centers in the United States and Europe regarding the incidence and followup of perforated/violated bladder cancer cases.Results
There were 16 bladder violations in the presence of transitional cell carcinoma, including 2 partial cystectomies that had negative margins and no subsequent metastatic recurrences, a bladder tumor that was detected during suprapubic prostatectomy and perforations during transurethral resection (extraperitoneal in 4 cases and intraperitoneal in 9). Two patients died of sepsis and existing metastatic disease, respectively. The only recurrence among the remaining 11 patients developed after intraperitoneal bladder perforation during transurethral resection for Ta grade 2 tumor. Several anecdotal reports discussed local and distal tumor recurrences, suggesting that even superficial transitional cell carcinoma can behave aggressively if grown in an environment outside the bladder. However, these reports are rare. Any benefit of prophylactic chemotherapy was not proved.Conclusions
While perforation of the bladder during transurethral resection for cancer and the possibility of tumor implantation are matters of concern, our review demonstrates that few patients return with an extravesical tumor recurrence either locally or distally compared to those with a nonruptured bladder after resection. Although our patient sample is small and there are a limited number of reports in the literature, the risk of recurrence still exists and the urologist should be aware of its possibility. Since recurrences are usually rapid, they may easily manifest to the urologist at followup. However, one should also consider chest x-rays and/or computerized tomography to rule out recurrences that are not clinically obvious.