Retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND) is a standard treatment in the management of metastatic testicular cancer. Due to modified treatment algorithms, it is becoming less frequent.
We analyzed data from the nationwide German hospital billing database covering 2006-2015. Cases with a testicular cancer diagnosis combined with RPLND were included. We assessed the length of hospital stay (LOS), blood transfusion, and in-hospital mortality stratified for surgical approach, hospital characteristics, and annual caseload. Annual hospital caseload categories were defined as low (< 4), medium (4-10), and high (> 10). We supplemented tumor incidence and staging data from the German cancer registry (60% of population).
4926 cases were included with decreasing annual caseload numbers from 623 in 2006 to 382 in 2015. The incidence of testicular cancer and higher tumor stages remained stable. High-volume hospitals performed 19.4%, medium-volume hospitals 43.7%, and low-volume hospitals 36.8% RPLNDs. Low- abd medium-volume hospitals declined, while high-volume hospitals (n = 5) maintained their annual caseload. Overall in-hospital mortality was 0.47%. Blood transfusion rates were higher in high-volume centers assumedly due to selection of more complex cases. However, high-volume hospitals showed a shorter LOS with 10.5 vs. 11.2 (medium volume), and 12.7 days (low volume).
Total numbers of RPLND have declined from 2006 to 2015, while tumor incidences and stages remained fairly stable. Constant reduction of indication in guidelines contributes to this finding. High-volume hospitals achieve shorter hospital stays in spite of assumedly more complex and extensive cases. There is a modest trend towards unregulated centralization.
World journal of urology. 2019 Oct 11 [Epub ahead of print]
Christer Groeben, Rainer Koch, Tim Nestler, Klaus Kraywinkel, Angelika Borkowetz, Stefanie Wenzel, Martin Baunacke, Christian Thomas, Johannes Huber
Department of Urology, Medical Faculty Carl Gustav Carus, Technical University of Dresden, Fetscherstrasse 74, 01307, Dresden, Germany. ., Department of Urology, Medical Faculty Carl Gustav Carus, Technical University of Dresden, Fetscherstrasse 74, 01307, Dresden, Germany., Department of Urology, University Hospital of Cologne, Cologne, Germany., National Center for Cancer Registry Data, Robert Koch Institute, Berlin, Germany.