Management of hydronephrosis after radical cystectomy and urinary diversion for bladder cancer: A single tertiary center experience


To clarify the incidence of postoperative hydronephrosis and verify the validity of diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for hydronephrosis after cystectomy and urinary diversion for bladder cancer.


Totally, 290 patients receiving urinary diversion from 2005 through 2017 with complete data were enrolled, including 258 (89.0%) with an ileal conduit and 32 (11.0%) with an ileal neobladder. Postoperative radiographic images were reviewed. In patients with postoperative hydronephrosis, antegrade pyelography and ureteroscopy were performed to exclude malignant etiology. Balloon dilation and open surgical revision were performed according to the conditions.


Forty-six patients (58 renal units) developed postoperative hydronephrosis. The cumulative incidence was 11.4% by a median follow-up of 59.5?months. Ureteral recurrence was detected by antegrade examinations in two patients, whereas malignant strictures were subsequently revealed in three patients. Thus, malignant etiology was found in hydronephrosis in five renal units (12.8%) of five patients (16.1%). The median times to diagnosis of hydronephrosis were 0 (interquartile range [IQR] 0–4) and 14?months (IQR 9–12) for benign and malignant strictures, respectively (p?=?0.003). Of them, 31 patients (39 renal units) received interventions. Balloon dilation was performed in 13 renal units with benign strictures, and was successful in two (15.4%). Open surgical revision was performed in eight patients (11 renal units), including two with failed balloon dilation, all of which was successful.


Postoperative hydronephrosis is potentially associated with recurrent disease. Accurate differential diagnosis is challenging although antegrade procedures may be helpful in some cases. Open surgical revision is highly effective to treat benign strictures.