Purpose: Orthotopic lower urinary tract reconstruction has revolutionized urinary diversion following cystectomy. Initially performed solely in male patients, orthotopic diversion has now become a viable option in women. Currently, the orthotopic neobladder is the diversion of choice for women requiring lower urinary tract reconstruction at our institution. We evaluate and update our clinical and functional experience with orthotopic reconstruction in female patients. Materials and Methods: Since June 1990, 34 women 31 to 86 years old (median age 67) have undergone orthotopic lower urinary tract reconstruction following cystectomy. Indications for cystectomy included transitional cell carcinoma in 29 patients, urachal adenocarcinoma in 1, mesenchymal tumor of endometrial origin in 1, cervical carcinoma in 1 and a fibrotic radiated bladder in 1. In addition, 1 woman underwent undiversion to the native urethra following a previous simple cystectomy and cutaneous diversion for eosinophilic cystitis. Data were analyzed according to postoperative early and late complications, survival, tumor recurrence, pathological evaluation of the cystectomy specimen, continence status, voiding pattern and patient satisfaction. The median followup in this group of patients was 30 months (range 17 to 70). Results: There were no perioperative deaths, and 4 early (11%) and 3 (9%) late complications. Four patients died, none with a urethral recurrence, including 3 of metastatic bladder cancer and 1 of unrelated causes. In another patient with an extensive mesenchymal tumor of the uterus a sigmoid tumor recurred requiring conversion of the orthotopic reservoir to a cutaneous diversion. All of the remaining 29 patients are alive without evidence of disease. Intraoperative frozen section of the distal surgical margin (proximal urethra) accurately evaluated (confirmed by permanent section) the proximal urethra prospectively for tumor in all 29 specimens removed for transitional cell carcinoma, including 28 specimens (97%) without evidence of tumor and 1 specimen with carcinoma in situ. Complete daytime and nighttime continence was reported by 29 (88%) and 27 (82%) of 33 evaluable patients, respectively. A total of 28 patients (85%) void to completion, while 5 (15%) require some form of intermittent catheterization to empty the neobladder. Patient satisfaction is overwhelming. Conclusions: The excellent clinical and functional results demonstrated with further followup confirm our initial experience with orthotopic diversion in women. Careful selection of appropriate female candidates for orthotopic diversion is critical, and includes preoperative evaluation of the bladder neck and intraoperative frozen section analysis of the distal cystectomy margin. Furthermore, close monitoring of the retained urethra is mandatory in all women undergoing orthotopic diversion. We believe that the orthotopic neobladder is the urinary diversion of choice in women following cystectomy.
- Bladder neoplasms
- Urinary diversion