Implementation of a comprehensive prehabilitation program for patients undergoing radical cystectomy

Woodson W. Smelser, Jacob E. Tallman, Veerain K. Gupta, Bashir Al Hussein Al Awamlh, Niels V. Johnsen, Daniel A. Barocas, Cristina Kline-Quiroz, Carey A. Tomlinson, Matthew D. McEvoy, Jill Hamilton-Reeves, Sam S. Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Coordinated preoperative optimization programs for radical cystectomy (RC) are limited and non-comprehensive. We evaluated the feasibility and acceptability of a coordinated, multi-faceted prehabilitation program for RC patients at a high-volume bladder cancer referral center. Methods: We performed a narrative literature review for prehabilitation in bladder cancer management as of December 1, 2020, with specific emphasis on examining higher-level evidence sources. We selected domains with the highest level of evidence and recruited a multidisciplinary team of experts to design our program. We implemented a comprehensive prehabilitation program with a pre-defined order set as standard of care for all patients undergoing RC beginning February 1, 2021. Demographic and clinicopathologic data were collected prospectively. Rates of adherence to the prehabilitation program services were analyzed using Stata version 13. Results: A total of 82 patients were enrolled between February – December 2021, of which 67 (81%) had undergone RC at data cutoff. Mean age was 68 years (SD 11) and 63 (76%) identified as male. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) was utilized in 48 (59%) patients. The mean Charlson Comorbidity Index was 3.8 (SD 2.3). 100% of patients were screened for malnutrition, with 82% consuming nutritional supplements. Fifty-two percent of patients attended physical therapy pre-op. The 30-day and 30- to 90-day rates of complications were 56% and 40%, respectively. Resource length of stay (RLOS) declined after implementation of prehabilitation. Conclusions: Implementation of a comprehensive prehabilitation program at a high-volume bladder cancer referral center is feasible and has a modest effect on resource consumption and complications in our early experience.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108.e19-108.e27
JournalUrologic Oncology: Seminars and Original Investigations
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • Complications
  • Implementation science
  • Outcomes
  • Prehabilitation
  • Quality improvement
  • Radical cystectomy


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