Pediatric Laparoscopic Pyeloplasty in a Referral Center: Lessons Learned
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PURPOSE: We present our first-year experience with pediatric transperitoneal laparoscopic dismembered pyeloplasty (TLDP) in a large referral center. PATIENTS AND METHODS: A chart review was conducted in 27 consecutive children (M:F 23:4) aged 4 to 17 years (mean 9.7 years) with ureteropelvic junction obstruction who underwent TLDP (21 on the left, 6 on the right) in 2005. The key steps implemented to facilitate and streamline this procedure were: (1) clamping the Foley catheter before surgery to distend the renal pelvis and facilitate the transmesenteric approach; (2) stabilizing the renal pelvis with a traction suture; (3) performing the dismembered pyeloplasty using a modified double-armed suture; and (4) placing the ureteral stent percutaneously antegrade before completing the anastomosis. Operative time, hospital stay, complications, and follow-up radiologic studies were reviewed. RESULTS: The TLDP was performed with no open conversions. Crossing vessels and horseshoe kidney were present in 8 patients and 2 patients, respectively. The mean operative time was 221 minutes. Stent insertion was successful in all but one patient. Postoperative pain management was successful in all 27 patients. There were 4 postoperative complications (14.8%) consisting of prolonged leakage in two, obstruction in one, and obstruction with pyelonephritis in one. These last two complications occurred early in our experience and were treated successfully by percutaneous nephrostomy with subsequent retrograde endopyelotomy. The average hospital stay was 2.1 days (range 1-4 days). Radiologic studies 8 to 20 months after removal of the Double-J stents showed reduction of the degree of hydronephrosis in all patients. CONCLUSION: Our 1-year experience with TLDP gave us the opportunity to implement key steps to establish a standardized technique for this procedure. Although the follow-up period was short, most complications occurred early in this series, demonstrating that a learning curve is inevitable.
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