What are the possible complications of partial cystectomy?

Updated: Apr 03, 2019
  • Author: E Jason Abel, MD; Chief Editor: Bradley Fields Schwartz, DO, FACS  more...
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Excluding recurrence of malignant disease, the overall complication rate of partial cystectomy is reported as 11-29%, with recent literature suggesting lower complication and mortality rates at higher-volume centers. [32] Common complications of partial cystectomy include: bleeding, infection, reduction of bladder capacity, and urinary extravasation. Less commonly, some patients develop fistulas (vesicocutaneous, vesicovaginal, colovesical). Other complications include those that are possible in any major surgery: myocardial infarction, pulmonary embolus, congestive heart failure, upper gastrointestinal hemorrhage, and death. 

The application of laparoscopic and robotic surgical approaches to partial cystectomy represents a significant advancement and promises to further reduce length of hospital stay, surgical morbidity, and complication rates.  Although large series of robotic partial cystectomy are lacking, Golombos et al recently reported their experience of 29 patients. While this series included a heterogenous patient population, they reported a median hospital length of stay of one day and overall 90 day complication rate of 24.1% (all Clavien I-II) following robotic partial cystectomy; which are concordant with other series. [29, 33]  


Perioperative mortality rates once approached 10%, although more recent studies have reported rates of 1-2%.

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