Bladder Cancer Recovery Pathways: A Systematic Review


Enhanced recovery pathways, also known as fast-track protocols, have been adopted since the early 2000s by various surgical specialties with the goal of improving patient outcomes and reducing the cost burden of major surgery on the health care system.

To review the scientific literature on the origin of enhanced recovery pathways, track the contemporary utilization of such practices for patients undergoing radical cystectomy, and analyze the available data regarding their effect on morbidity, mortality, and treatment cost.

A literature search of multiple electronic databases was undertaken. Manuscripts including patients undergoing radical cystectomy were chosen based on predefined criteria with an emphasis on randomized controlled trials and cohort studies. Strength of evidence for each study that met inclusion criteria was assessed based on the risk of bias, consistency, directness, and precision.

Database searches resulted in 1,236 potentially relevant articles. A total of 485 articles were selected for full-text dual review and 106 studies in 52 publications met the inclusion criteria.

The utilization of enhanced recovery pathways with the goal of improving overall patient morbidity and mortality is well supported in the literature, however standardization of implementation and adherence across institutions is lacking, and their direct efficacy on reducing preventable treatment related expenditures is unconfirmed.


Authors: Maloney, Ian | Parker, Daniel C. | Cookson, Michael S. | Patel, Sanjay

Journal: Bladder Cancer, vol. 3, no. 4, pp. 269-281, 2017

Keywords: Bladder cancer, radical cystectomy, enhanced recovery, fast track