Older patients and those with comorbidities have slower recovery and worse outcomes after radical cystectomy for bladder cancer, according to a study presented at the Canadian Urological Association annual meeting in Ottawa.

For the study, a research team led by Jasmir G. Nayak, MD, of the University of Washington in Seattle, examined outcomes following radical cystectomy for almost 6,500 bladder cancer patients. Following surgery, 37% of patients experienced a prolonged hospital stay of more than 10 days, 16% were discharged to a skilled nursing facility, and 2% died during admission. Among those discharged from the hospital, more than a quarter were readmitted within 2 months.

The likelihood of a prolonged hospital stay or discharge to a nursing facility was linked with older age (above 70) and increasing comorbidities, the researchers found. Mortality was associated with older age and having 3 or more comorbidities. Hospital readmissions were linked with comorbidities, but not age. The researchers adjusted for other relevant factors, such as hospital location, provider volume, and patient marital status.

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“These data may inform preoperative patient counseling regarding the potential for prolonged recovery and mortality and facilitate improved shared decision-making between patients and clinicians anticipating cystectomy for bladder cancer,” the researchers concluded in their study abstract.