To review our cystoprostatectomy (CP) database to determine the urethral recurrence rate. Urethral recurrence after CP has been reported to occur in up to 10% of patients. Recent data have suggested a much lower incidence. This has important implications when considering the type of urinary diversion and postoperative monitoring. We retrospectively analyzed our single-surgeon, consecutive CP series and determined the urethral recurrence rate and prognostic factors for recurrence. Urethrectomy was performed at CP if the prostatic apical margin was positive for carcinoma. All patients were followed up quarterly for 2 years and then semiannually. Urethral wash cytology was obtained if the patient had an ileal conduit. Cytology and cystoscopy were performed if they had an orthotopic neobladder. A total of 226 men had undergone radical CP. The mean age for all patients was 69 years. Eight (3.5%) had undergone urethrectomy at CP. The mean follow-up was 42 months for the remaining 218 patients, of whom 108 had an orthotopic neobladder and 110 had supravesical diversion. Of the 218 patients, 8 (3.7%) developed urethral recurrence, 7 (6.4%) in the 110 who had undergone supravesical diversion and 1 in the 108 (0.9%) who had an orthotopic neobladder. Seven patients underwent urethrectomy for the recurrence and had no evidence of disease at last follow-up. One patient died of metastatic transitional cell carcinoma at 61 months. In our series, the risk of urethral recurrence after radical CP was low. The risk was substantially lower for patients who had an orthotopic neobladder. Our results show that urethrectomy at CP is rarely necessary because the proximal urethral margin is usually free of cancer. An orthotopic neobladder can therefore be safely considered in most patients. Delayed urethrectomy can be safely performed in those few patients with isolated urethral recurrence without compromising their survival.
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