Robot-assisted Laparoscopic Extravesical Ureteral Reimplantation: Technique Modifications Contribute to Optimized Outcomes.
BACKGROUND: Robot-assisted laparoscopic extravesical ureteral reimplantation (RALUR-EV) is being adopted at large pediatric urology centers in the United States, but currently there is not consensus on surgical technique to facilitate the best possible outcomes. OBJECTIVE: To describe technique modifications that may lead to improved radiographic vesicoureteral reflux (VUR) resolution. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Between December 2008 and February 2015, a single surgeon performed RALUR-EV at an academic medical center. Only children with persistent grade 3-5 VUR at age 5 yr on voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG), those who had breakthrough urinary tract infections, or those with renal scarring were selected to undergo surgical correction of VUR with RALUR-EV. Children undergoing RALUR-EV for obstructive megaureter or ureterovesical junction obstruction were excluded. Fifty-eight patients (83 ureters) fit the inclusion criteria. SURGICAL PROCEDURE: We highlighted adjustments to our technique, called LUAA to represent length of detrusor tunnel (L), use of a U stitch (U), placement of permanent ureteral alignment suture (A), and inclusion of ureteral adventitia (A) in detrusorraphy. OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS AND STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: The primary end point was resolution of VUR on postoperative VCUG. RESULTS AND LIMITATIONS: Because technique modifications were made at two distinct time points, we generated three patient groups for comparison. We observed complete resolution of VUR in 82% of ureters, including 8 of 12 ureters (67%), 8 of 11 ureters (73%), and 52 of 60 ureters (87%) for technique modification cohorts 1, 2, and 3, respectively. There were no ureteral complications at median follow-up of 30 mo. Retrospective design and possible confounding from the learning curve limit this study. CONCLUSIONS: Using the standardized LUAA technique, we demonstrated an improvement in outcomes. Given the wide range of published resolution rates following RALUR-EV, there is a need for standardization of technique to facilitate best possible outcomes. We propose the LUAA technique as a new standard for RALUR-EV to achieve this goal. PATIENT SUMMARY: We examined the safety and efficacy of a minimally invasive surgery in children. We identified several critical adjustments to surgical technique that improve rates of successful outcome.
Gundeti, MS; Boysen, WR; Shah, A
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