Purpose: We analyzed the practice of mandatory surgical intensive care unit admission after radical cystectomy, and defined objective criteria to predict active treatment requirements and surgical intensive care unit stay. Materials and Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the records of 115 consecutive patients admitted to the surgical intensive care unit after radical cystectomy and urinary diversion during the 36-month study period of January 1996 to December 1998. An Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II score was calculated from postoperative patient parameters at admission to the unit. Active treatment mandating admission was defined as postoperative invasive cardiopulmonary monitoring, administration of vasopressors or inotropic medications, monitoring or treatment for life threatening complications, or mechanical ventilation for longer than 12 hours. We analyzed the correlation of outcome variables with the requirements for active treatment and surgical intensive care unit stay, and developed a stratification model of low versus high risk. Low risk was defined as a calculated likelihood of less than 10% for requiring active treatment postoperatively. Results: Mean stay in the surgical intensive care unit plus or minus standard error was 34.4 ± 3.1 hours. No active treatment was required in 63.5% of patients during the stay. The evaluation score, intraoperative complications and number of intraoperative transfusions were the strongest predictors of required postoperative active treatment. By combining these variables we developed a clinically applicable algorithm to stratify patients into a low and a high risk category. In patients at low and high risk the active treatment rate was 5.9% and 42.8% (p = 0.001), and the mean stay was 24.6 ± 2.2 and 38.7 ± 4.5 hours (p = 0.039), respectively. Conclusions: Mandatory surgical intensive care unit admission of all patients after radical cystectomy and urinary diversion does not appear indicated. A subset of patients at low risk for requiring active treatment may be identified who may be safely treated in an intermediate care setting after initial postoperative observation in the recovery room. The results of our retrospective analysis and risk stratification model should be validated in a prospective trial.
- Critical care
- Urinary diversion