Ileal Conduit as the Standard for Urinary Diversion After Radical Cystectomy for Bladder Cancer

Renzo Colombo, Richard Naspro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


For >30 yr, the ileal conduit (IC) has been considered the " standard" urinary diversion for bladder cancer patients submitted to radical cystectomy. It is universally recognised as being the most clinically adequate, cost-effective, and reliable solution in the long term. During the last two decades, this surgical procedure has been challenged by the dissemination and the excellent clinical outcome of bladder substitutions, which gave the surgeon options in supporting the patient's final choice. Despite this, from a survey of recent literature, IC remains a widely used urinary diversion in most urologic centres. In particular, it is most frequent in female patients and in patients >70 yr with high preoperative comorbidities and unfavourable clinical tumour stage.Enhanced recovery protocols with standardised perioperative plans of care or " fast-track" approaches as well as advances in postoperative patient surveillance have consistently decreased the overall morbidity related to the IC procedure. Although technically simpler to perform when compared with continent reservoirs, IC has not been associated with lower complications. This can be explained partly by the more unfavourable clinical characteristics of patients who undergo the procedure and partly by technical surgical errors. Postoperative complications strictly related to IC contribute to reduce the postoperative quality of life. These complications include uretero-ileal anastomotic strictures and stomal, peristomal, and abdominal wall-related complications. Most prospective studies, however, found no difference in overall quality of life when comparing different types of transposed intestinal segment surgery. The ileal conduit can still be considered an appropriate surgical solution after radical cystectomy in most patients because of the relative simplicity of the surgical technique, the acceptable complication rate, and the satisfactory postoperative quality of life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)736-744
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Urology, Supplements
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010


  • Complications
  • Continent urinary reservoirs
  • Ileal conduit
  • Quality of life
  • Radical cystectomy
  • Stoma
  • Surgical anastomosis
  • Urinary bladder neoplasms
  • Urinary diversion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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