Retrograde balloon cautery incision of ureteropelvic junction obstruction.
Retrograde balloon endopyelotomy has produced durable success rates of approximately 80% for all patients with UPJ obstruction. Patients with poor renal function, high-grade hydronephrosis, or stricture lengths of more than 2 cm fair worse, and these factors should be considered prior to balloon endopyelotomy. The debate concerning the functional significance of crossing vessels continues. However they are probably more important in terms of the risk of postoperative bleeding than in regards to overall success rates. With the use of endoluminal ultrasound, angiography, or spiral CT, patients with significant size crossing vessels can be identified preoperatively. The retrograde approach to UPJ obstruction using a cutting balloon is a quick and relatively inexpensive (shorter operative time and hospital stay, and no percutaneous nephrostomy) method for accomplishing an endopyelotomy incision. With the development of the 5-F balloon catheter and the use of a 7-F post-endopyelotomy stent, the need to stent the ureter for 7 days prior to the procedure is overcome. In this regard, the entire retrograde endopyelotomy may be performed in a one-step outpatient procedure.
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