Post-cystectomy enterocele: a case series and review of the literature

Bladder Cancer

Cruz AP, et al. Urology 2020.


OBJECTIVE: To present a case series and literature review on post radical cystectomy (RC) pelvic organ prolapse (POP) to heighten awareness of the symptoms, imaging findings, and risk factors associated with this complication and discuss opportunities for prevention. Women with muscle invasive bladder cancer undergo RC with anterior exenteration, significantly disrupting the pelvic floor. These women are at risk for POP.

METHODS: We present four cases of high-grade POP in women who underwent RC for bladder cancer. We reviewed the literature by conducting a Boolean search in PubMed with the terms "("radical cystectomy") AND ("enterocele" OR "pelvic organ prolapse" OR "rectocele" OR "vaginal vault prolapse")."

RESULTS: All four women reported a bulge sensation in the vagina and physical exam confirmed POP. Three had radiographic findings consistent with high-grade enterocele at rest. Three experienced prolonged intra-abdominal pressure rise post-RC that may have further weakened pelvic floor support, while the fourth had a history of surgery for high-grade POP. Nine articles on POP following RC were identified. Four focused on treatment and three focused on prevention.

CONCLUSIONS: Administration of a single validated question would have identified all four cases of postoperative enterocele and is sensitive to detect most women who are experiencing POP. Attention to the pelvic floor on cross-sectional imaging with identification of features that indicate POP, such as herniation of intestinal contents below the pubo-coccygeal line, will identify and/or confirm high-grade enterocele. Familiarity with risk factors for POP and identification of weakened vaginal

wall support opens up the opportunity for prevention.