Vaginal Complications after Radical Cystectomy for Bladder Cancer: A Systematic Review

Lee A. Richter, Jillian Egan, Emily C. Alagha, Victoria L. Handa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To summarize the published literature regarding pelvic organ prolapse, dehiscence or evisceration, vaginal fistula, and dyspareunia after radical cystectomy and to describe the management approaches used to treat these conditions. Methods: Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid EMBASE, and Web of Science were systematically searched from January 1, 2001 to January 25, 2021 using a combination of search terms for bladder cancer and radical cystectomy with terms for four categories of vaginal complications (prolapse, fistula, evisceration/dehiscence, and dyspareunia). A total of 229 publications were identified, the final review included 28 publications. Results: Neobladder vaginal fistula was evaluated in 17 publications, with an incidence rate of 3 – 6% at higher volume centers, often along the anterior vaginal wall at the location of the neobladder-urethral anastomosis. Sexual function was evaluated in 10 studies, 7 of which utilized validated instruments. Maintaining the anterior vaginal wall and the distal urethra appeared to be associated with improved sexual function. Pelvic organ prolapse was assessed in 5 studies, only 1 used a validated questionnaire and none included a validated objective measure of pelvic organ support. Conclusion: There is a need for more prospective studies, using standardized instruments and subjective outcome measures to better define the incidence of vaginal complications after radical cystectomy for bladder cancer, and to understand their impact on quality of life measures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e20-e29
StatePublished - Oct 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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