Massive intra-abdominal recurrence after robotic-assisted radical cystectomy: A case report and critical appraisal of literature

Bladder Cancer

Urologia. 2020 Sep 18:391560320957235. doi: 10.1177/0391560320957235. Online ahead of print.


INTRODUCTION: Over the years, the robotic surgery is gaining increasing importance in the treatment of bladder cancer. Some doubts remain about the oncological safety of robotic approach and alerts have been raised about the occurrence of atypical recurrences, including peritoneal carcinomatosis and port-site metastasis.

CASE PRESENTATION: The patient referred to our Emergency Department because of acute confusional state probably due to severe anemia and sepsis. A left nephroureterectomy, left hemicolectomy with end colostomy and the surgical excision of the huge mass was performed through a xipho-pubic incision associated to another left peri-stomal incision. The histological specimen analysis showed a high-grade sarcoma, not otherwise specified (sarcoma, NOS-type), measuring 29 cm × 8 cm × 5 cm in diameters. The left kidney and ureter were not infiltrated by the neoplasm while serosa membranes and muscular layers of left colon were infiltrated by the mass. The patient died because of a cardiac arrest 4 days after surgery.

DISCUSSION: RARC is a safe and feasible alternative to open radical cystectomy (ORC) with satisfactory operative time, little blood loss, and low transfusion rates. Despite this, RARC is associated with a low, but not neglectable, risk of atypical metastases like peritoneal implants and port-site metastasis. Although a small amount (7%) of RARC were performed in non-urothelial variants of bladder cancer, the sarcomatoid one can be related to a greater risk of atypical recurrence and special precaution should be taken to reduce potential causes of tumor seeding.