A consensus conference convened by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Société Internationale d'Urologie (SIU) met to critically review reports of urinary diversion. The world literature on urinary diversion was identified through a Medline search. Evidence-based recommendations for urinary diversion were prepared with reference to a 4-point scale. Many level 3 and 4 citations, but very few level 2 and no level 1, were noted. This outcome supported the clinical practice pattern. Findings of >300 reviewed citations are summarized. Published reports on urinary diversion rely heavily on expert opinion and single-institution retrospective case series: (1) The frequency distribution of urinary diversions performed by the authors of this report in >7000 patients with cystectomy reflects the current status of urinary diversion after cystectomy for bladder cancer: neobladder, 47%; conduit, 33%; anal diversion, 10%; continent cutaneous diversion, 8%; incontinent cutaneous diversion, 2%; and others, 0.1%. (2) No randomized controlled studies have investigated quality of life (QOL) after radical cystectomy. Such studies are desirable but are probably difficult to conduct. Published evidence does not support an advantage of one type of reconstruction over the others with regard to QOL. An important proposed reason for this is that patients are subjected preoperatively to method-to-patient matching, and thus are prepared for disadvantages associated with different methods. (3) Simple end-to-side, freely refluxing ureterointestinal anastomosis to an afferent limb of a low-pressure orthotopic reconstruction, in combination with regular voiding and close follow-up, is the procedure that results in the lowest overall complication rate. The potential benefit of "conventional" antireflux procedures in combination with orthotopic reconstruction seems outweighed by the higher complication and reoperation rates. The need to prevent reflux in a continent cutaneous reservoir is not significantly debated, and this should be done. (4) Most reconstructive surgeons have abandoned the continent Kock ileal reservoir largely because of the significant complication rate associated with the intussuscepted nipple valve.
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