Surgical safety in radical cystectomy: the anesthetist's point of view—how to make a safe procedure safer



The aim of this review is to present an anesthesiological overview on surgical safety for radical cystectomy implementing the cornerstones of today's rapidly evolving field of perioperative medicine.


This is a narrative review of current perioperative medicine and surgical safety concepts for major surgery in general with special focus on radical cystectomy.


The tendency for perioperative care and surgical safety is to consider it a continuous proactive pathway rather than a single surgical intervention. It starts at indication for surgery and lasts until full functional recovery. Preoperative optimization leads to superior outcome by mobilizing and/or increasing physiological reserve. Multidisciplinary teamwork involving all the relevant parties from the beginning of the pathway is crucial for outcome rather than an isolated specialist approach. This fact has gained importance in times of an ageing frail population and rising health care cost. We also present our 2019 Cystectomy Enhanced Recovery Approach for optimization of perioperative care for open radical cystectomy in a high caseload center.


With the implementation of in itself simple but crucial steps in perioperative medicine such as multimodal prehabilitation, safety checks, better perioperative monitoring and enhanced recovery concepts, even complex surgical procedures such as radical cystectomy can be performed safer. Emphasis has to be laid on a more global view of the patients’ path through the perioperative process than on the surgical procedure alone.

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DE: data collection, manuscript drafting/writing/editing. MAF: manuscript editing. PYW: project development, data collection, manuscript writing/editing. LML: project development, data collection, manuscript drafting/writing/editing.

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Correspondence to Lukas M. Löffel.

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Engel, D., Furrer, M.A., Wuethrich, P.Y. et al. Surgical safety in radical cystectomy: the anesthetist's point of view—how to make a safe procedure safer. World J Urol 38, 1359–1368 (2020).

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  • Perioperative medicine
  • Patient safety
  • Radical cystectomy