Annals of Surgical Oncology

, Volume 12, Issue 10, pp 786–792 | Cite as

Hydronephrosis Does Not Preclude Curative Resection of Pelvic Recurrences After Colorectal Surgery

  • Leonard R. Henry
  • Elin Sigurdson
  • Eric Ross
  • John P. Hoffman



In one third of patients who die of rectal cancer, a pelvic recurrence after resection represents isolated disease for which re-resection may provide cure. These extensive resections can carry high morbidity. Proper patient selection is desirable but difficult. Hydronephrosis has been documented previously to portend a poor prognosis, and some consider it a contraindication to attempted resection. It was our goal to review our experience and either confirm or refute these conclusions.


We performed a retrospective analysis of 90 patients resected with curative intent for pelvic recurrence at our center from 1988 through 2003. Seventy-one records documented the preoperative presence or absence of hydronephrosis. Clinical and pathologic data were recorded. The groups with and without hydronephrosis were compared.


There were 15 patients with hydronephrosis in this study and 56 without. Although patients with hydronephrosis had shorter overall survival, disease-free survival, and rate of local control, none of these differences was statistically significant. Patients in the hydronephrosis group were younger and had higher-stage primary tumors and larger recurrent tumors. Subsequently, they underwent more extensive resections and were more likely to be treated with adjuvant therapies. There was no difference in the rate of margin-negative resections between the groups.


Hydronephrosis correlates with younger patients with larger recurrent tumors undergoing more extensive operations and multimodality therapy but does not preclude curative (R0) resection or independently affect overall survival, disease-free survival, or local control. We believe that it should not be considered a contraindication to attempting curative resection.


Hydronephrosis Colorectal cancer Recurrence Salvage 


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Copyright information

© The Society of Surgical Oncology, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leonard R. Henry
    • 1
  • Elin Sigurdson
    • 1
  • Eric Ross
    • 2
  • John P. Hoffman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Surgical OncologyFox Chase Cancer CenterPhiladelphia
  2. 2.Department of BiostatisticsFox Chase Cancer CenterPhiladelphia

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