Introduction: Recent evidence suggests that radical cystectomy may be underutilized in elderly patients, despite literature supporting acceptable morbidity/mortality in this population. However, there is a paucity of literature reporting complications in a standardized manner. Therefore, we evaluated the morbidity and mortality of octogenarians treated with radical cystectomy using the modified Clavien complication reporting system.
Materials and methods: We retrospectively reviewed 443 consecutive patients undergoing radical cystectomy at our institution between January 2000 and April 2010. Patients who underwent cystectomy for benign conditions were excluded, leaving 359 for analysis. Baseline demographic and perioperative data were reviewed and all complications were graded. We compared the outcomes of our octogenarian population (n = 43) against our younger population (n = 316).
Results: There was no difference between octogenarians and the younger cohort for overall complication rates (86% versus 83%, p = 0.91), or major (33% versus 30%, p = 0.93) or minor (81% versus 80%, p = 0.91) complications. The younger group was more likely to encounter a late complication (41.5% versus 23.3%, p = 0.03). Those 80 years and older trended toward more intraoperative complications (21% versus 10%, p = 0.07). The older group also had a greater propensity for neurological complications (26% versus 11%, p = 0.02), but there was no difference in CVA (2% versus 3%, p = 0.22). There was no difference in mortality rates between the older and younger cohort (2.3% versus 0.9%, p = 0.95).
Conclusions: Radical cystectomy is a morbid procedure regardless of patient age. Age alone should not preclude radical cystectomy in the elderly.