The method of bladder cuff excision during laparoscopic radical nephroureterectomy does not affect oncologic outcomes in upper tract urothelial carcinoma
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PURPOSE: To determine whether the method of bladder cuff excision (BCE) during laparoscopic radical nephroureterectomy for upper urinary tract urothelial carcinoma is associated with rates of disease recurrence or metastases. METHODS: We performed a retrospective review of all laparoscopic radical nephroureterectomies performed at our institution over 10 years. Three methods of BCE were used: transurethral incision (TUI) with Collins knife and a single intravesical port, open extravesical, and open intravesical via cystotomy. Logistic regression analyses were performed to determine whether BCE method was associated with recurrence or metastases. RESULTS: Laparoscopic radical nephroureterectomy was performed in 110 patients. BCE was performed via TUI in 61 patients, open extravesical in 29, and open intravesical in 20. After a median follow-up of 22 months, 36 patients (32.7 %) developed recurrences. Metastases were observed in 18 patients (16.4 %). Recurrence rates were 32.8, 27.6, and 40.0 % in the TUI, extravesical, and intravesical groups, respectively (p = 0.69). Positive surgical margins occurred in nine patients with no significant difference between groups. Factors associated with recurrence or metastases in a multivariate regression analysis were stage, positive surgical margins and carcinoma in situ (CIS). The method of BCE was not associated with oncologic outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: The three methods of bladder cuff excision (TUI, extravesical, and intravesical) are oncologically valid with similar recurrence and metastases rates when performed during laparoscopic radical nephroureterectomy. Stage, positive margin status and CIS are predictive of adverse oncologic outcomes and can facilitate postoperative prognostication.