Beneficial impact of a clinical care pathway in patients with testicular cancer undergoing retroperitoneal lymph node dissection

Sam S. Chang, Joseph A. Smith, Christopher Girasole, Roxelyn G. Baumgartner, Bruce J. Roth, Michael S. Cookson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Purpose: Since 1997, we have used a clinical collaborative care pathway for patients undergoing retroperitoneal lymph node dissection. We examined its impact on perioperative care and outcome. Materials and Methods: We examined the records of all patients with germ cell carcinoma who underwent retroperitoneal lymph node dissection from July 1990 to July 2001. Variables examined included clinical/pathological stage, hospital stay, postoperative care and the complication rate. Results: A total of 118 patients underwent retroperitoneal lymph node dissection for germ cell carcinoma during this period, including 46 (39%) before pathway implementation in 1997 and 72 patients (61%) after pathway implementation. Of the 118 patients 40 (34%) underwent the procedure after chemotherapy. This rate remained fairly constant in the period before and after pathway initiation (31% and 36%, respectively). After pathway implementation fewer patients received a nasogastric tube (94% versus 5%, p <0.001) and had complications (26% versus 16%, p = 0.036). Mean hospital stay decreased after pathway implementation in all primary and post-chemotherapy retroperitoneal lymph node dissection cases (4.2 versus 6.4 days, p <0.005). Although patients who underwent the procedure after chemotherapy were more likely to have complications than those who underwent a primary procedure, the difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.09). Conclusions: Our collaborative clinical care pathway safely and efficiently outlines routine postoperative care and significantly decreased hospital stay.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-92
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002


  • Clinical pathways
  • Germ cells
  • Lymph nodes
  • Testicular neoplasms
  • Testis


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