Urethrectomy Following Cystectomy for Bladder Cancer in Men: Practice Patterns and Impact on Survival

Jason L. Nelles, Badrinath R. Konety, Christopher Saigal, Jennifer Pace, Julie Lai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Purpose: The benefit of urethrectomy in patients with bladder cancer who are undergoing cystectomy is controversial. We describe the frequency of urethrectomy by bladder cancer stage and identify clinical characteristics that predict urethrectomy. We also investigated whether urethrectomy offers any additional independent survival benefit. Materials and Methods: A total of 2,401 men who underwent radical cystoprostatectomy between 1991 and 2002 were identified in the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results-Medicare database. A multivariate logistic regression model was used to analyze factors driving urethrectomy. We then analyzed the records of 195 men who underwent urethrectomy to find predictors of that procedure as salvage for urethral recurrence vs concurrently with cystoprostatectomy or as a staged procedure. Using multivariate Cox regression analysis we analyzed whether urethrectomy had an independent effect on disease specific survival. Results: The only significant predictor of urethrectomy was stage. Patients at a teaching hospital were more likely to undergo salvage urethrectomy for recurrence vs immediate urethrectomy compared to those at urban nonteaching hospitals. Patient age, race, number of comorbidities and tumor stage were significant independent predictors of survival. Survival in men who underwent urethrectomy concurrently with cystoprostatectomy was higher than in those who did not undergo urethrectomy but not statistically significant (HR = 0.775, 95% CI 0.592-1.014, p = 0.0632). Conclusions: Disease stage is related to urethrectomy performance. Age, race, stage and comorbidities were independent predictors of overall survival in patients with bladder cancer undergoing cystectomy. Urethrectomy did not confer a significant independent survival benefit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1933-1937
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2008


  • bladder
  • carcinoma, transitional cell
  • neoplasm recurrence, local
  • urethra
  • urethrectomy


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