Aim: To compare the outcome of two perioperative protocols with respect to postoperative management of cystectomy patients. Patients and Methods: Between June 2007 and November 2008, 85 consecutive patients with bladder cancer were treated with cystectomy and urinary diversion. Patients were operated in two hospitals by four urologic surgeons. In protocol A, patients were enterally fed via a postpyloric tube while the nasogastric tube (NGT) was removed directly after cystectomy and selective decontamination of the digestive tract was given until normal oral intake. In protocol B, postcystectomy management consisted of total parenteral nutrition by a central venous line and NGT removal after 24 h. Hospital stay and complications were compared between the two hospitals. Results: More than half of all patients (52%) developed one or more complications within 30 days after surgery, 37% in protocol A and 71% in protocol B (p = 0.002). Higher ASA score and protocol type were the only factors significantly associated with early complications in both uni- and multivariate analyses. Length of stay was significantly shorter with protocol A as compared to protocol B, 13 days versus 19 days (p = 0.006). Conclusions: Cystectomy and urinary diversion is a procedure with considerable risk of complications. Enteral nutrition might be advantageous as compared to parenteral nutrition, showing fewer complications and shorter hospital stay. A high ASA score is associated with more early complications. Selective bowel decontamination may have an additional role in preventing infectious complications after cystectomy.

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