Can laparoscopic cystectomy become the method of choice in the treatment of invasive urothelial urinary bladder cancer?

Radical cystectomy with pelvic lymphadenectomy is the method of choice for muscle-invasive urothelial cell cancer (UCC) treatment and provides the best cancer-specific survival. It can be performed as an open radical cystectomy (ORC), laparoscopic radical cystectomy (LRC) or robot-assisted surgery (RARC).

The aim of this study was to compare laparoscopic and open radical cystectomy in terms of perioperative and oncological results.

This retrospective study included 260 patients who underwent surgery due to invasive bladder cancer. A laparoscopic radical cystectomy (LRC) was performed on 131 patients and an open radical cystectomy (ORC) on 129 patients. Group was stratified according to the urinary diversion. Oncologic results expressed as perioperative variables were analyzed, adjusted to the type of urinary diversion.

The LRC patients were in worse perioperative condition according to the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) score than the ORC group (3.1 and 2.52, respectively; p = 0.001). The serum protein level was significantly lower in the ORC group, with no difference in body mass index (BMI) between the groups. The median operation time was significantly shorter in the LRC group with ileal conduit and uretero-cutaneostomy than in the same groups operated using open approach (252.5 min and 180 min vs 290 min and 225 min, respectively), as was the hospital discharge time (8.18 days and 11.63 days, respectively; p = 0.004). In both LRC groups, median blood loss was lower, compared with corresponding ORC groups (325 mL and 400 ml vs 800 mL and 1,100 mL, respectively; p < 0.001 in both cases). The level of complications was significantly lower in both LRC groups than in the ORC groups (p < 0.001 and p = 0.001, respectively). The lymph node yield was 12 in the LRC group and 10 in the ORC group. The LRC group had a lower positive surgical margins ratio.

The laparoscopic approach should be a valid option for radical cystectomy, given the fewer complications, smaller blood loss, and shorter operating and hospitalization times experienced by patients who underwent a laparoscopic cystectomy.

Advances in clinical and experimental medicine : official organ Wroclaw Medical University. 2020 Mar 24 [Epub ahead of print]

Przemysław Adamczyk, Kajetan Juszczak, Mateusz Kadłubowski, Adam Ostrowski, Piotr Maciukiewicz, Tomasz Drewa

Department of General and Oncologic Urology, Nicolaus Copernicus Hospital in Toruń, Poland., Department of Urology, Memorial Rydygier Hospital, Kraków, Poland., Clinic of General and Oncologic Urology, Collegium Medicum of Nicolaus Copernicus University, Bydgoszcz, Poland.