Association Between Antibiotic Prophylaxis Before Cystectomy or Stent Removal and Infection Complications: A Systematic Review

Enhanced Recovery After Surgery ERAS Cystectomy Committee

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Context: Patients undergoing radical cystectomy frequently suffer from infectious complications, including urinary tract infections (UTIs) and surgical site infections (SSIs) leading to emergency department visits, hospital readmission, and added cost. Objective: To summarize the literature regarding perioperative antibiotic prophylaxis, ureteric stent usage, and prevalence of infectious complications after cystectomy. Evidence acquisition: A systematic review of PubMed/Medline, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, and reference lists was conducted. Evidence synthesis: We identified 20 reports including a total of 55 306 patients. The median rates of any infection, UTIs, SSIs, and bacteremia were 40%, 20%, 11%, and 6%, respectively. Perioperative antibiotic prophylaxis differed substantially between reports. Perioperative antibiotics were used only during surgery in one study but were continued over several days after surgery in all other studies. Empirical use of antibiotics for 1–3 d after surgery was described in 12 studies, 3–10 d in two studies, and >10 d in four studies. Time to stent removal ranged from 4 to 25 d after cystectomy. Prophylactic antibiotics were used before stent removal in nine of 20 studies; two of these studies used targeted antibiotics based on urine cultures from the ureteric stents, and the other seven studies used a single shot or 2 d of empirical antibiotics. Studies with any prophylactic antibiotic before stent removal found a lower median percentage of positive blood cultures after stent removal than studies without prophylactic antibiotics before stent removal (2% vs 9%). Conclusions: We confirmed a high proportion of infectious complications after cystectomy, and a heterogeneous pattern of choice and duration of antibiotics during and after surgery or stent removal. These findings highlight a need for further studies and support quality prospective trials. Patient summary: In this review, we observed wide variability in the use of antibiotics before or after surgical removal of the bladder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)631-636
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Urology Focus
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Antibiotic prophylaxis
  • Cystectomy
  • Infection
  • Postoperative complications
  • Sepsis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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