Purpose: Ileal conduit is considered a safe procedure and the gold standard to which newer forms of urinary diversion should be compared, although few long-term results are known. We analyzed a consecutive series of patients who lived a minimum of 5 years after ileal conduit diversion.
Materials and methods: A total of 412 patients underwent ileal conduit diversion between 1971 and 1995 at our institution. We analyzed all conduit related complications occurring later than 3 months after surgery in 131 long-term survivors (survival 5 years or greater).
Results: Median followup was 98 months (range 60 to 354). Overall 192 conduit related complications developed in 87 of 131 (66%) patients. The most frequent complications were related to kidney function/morphology in 35 patients (27%), stoma in 32 (24%), bowel in 32 (24%), symptomatic urinary tract infection (including pyelonephritis) in 30 (23%), conduit/ureteral anastomosis in 18 (14%) and urolithiasis in 12 (9%). Within the first 5 years complications developed in 45% of patients. This percentage increased to 50%, 54% and 94% in those surviving 10, 15 and longer than 15 years, respectively. In this last group 50% had upper urinary tract changes and 38% had urolithiasis, for which the respective numbers after 5 years were 12% and 17%.
Conclusions: This study demonstrates a high conduit related complication rate in long-term survivors and underlines the need for vigorous long-term followup. Only studies lasting more than 1 decade cover the entire morbidity spectrum.