Complication rate after cystectomy following pelvic radiotherapy: an international, multicenter, retrospective series of 682 cases

The Young Academic Urologists Urothelial Carcinoma Group of the European Association of Urology

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8 Scopus citations


Purpose: Conflicting evidence exists on the complication rates after cystectomy following previous radiation (pRTC) with only a few available series. We aim to assess the complication rate of pRTC for abdominal–pelvic malignancies. Methods: Patients treated with radical cystectomy following any previous history of RT and with available information on complications for a minimum of 1 year were included. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression models were used to assess the relationship between the variable parameters and the risk of any complication. Results: 682 patients underwent pRTC after a previous RT (80.5% EBRT) for prostate, bladder (BC), gynecological or other cancers in 49.1%, 27.4%, 9.8% and 12.9%, respectively. Overall, 512 (75.1%) had at least one post-surgical complication, classified as Clavien ≥ 3 in 29.6% and Clavien V in 2.9%. At least one surgical complication occurred in 350 (51.3%), including bowel leakage in 6.2% and ureteric stricture in 9.4%. A medical complication was observed in 359 (52.6%) patients, with UTI/pyelonephritis being the most common (19%), followed by renal failure (12%). The majority of patients (86%) received an incontinent urinary diversion. In multivariable analysis adjusted for age, gender and type of RT, patients treated with RT for bladder cancer had a 1.7 times increased relative risk of experiencing any complication after RC compared to those with RT for prostate cancer (p = 0.023). The type of diversion (continent vs non-continent) did not influence the risk of complications. Conclusion: pRTC carries a high rate of major complications that dramatically exceeds the rates reported in RT-naïve RCs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1959-1968
Number of pages10
JournalWorld Journal of Urology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020


  • Bladder cancer
  • Complications
  • Radiation therapy
  • Radical cystectomy
  • Urinary diversion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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