Minimally invasive management of retroperitoneal fibrosis.
OBJECTIVES: Ureteral obstruction is a common finding in retroperitoneal fibrosis (RPF). The management of ureteral obstruction in patients with RPF is challenging and controversial. To our knowledge we are the first to report on laparoscopic ureterolysis (LU) and robotic ureterolysis (RU) for the management of RPF to determine feasibility and success. METHODS: We reviewed the charts of all patients who have undergone laparoscopic ureterolysis with or without robotic assistance at our institution. RESULTS: Between 2001 and 2006, one surgical team performed laparoscopic ureterolysis with or without robotic assistance on 15 renal units in 10 patients. Mean age was 50.9 years (range, 28 to 71 years). Eight patients presented with back pain and all 15 renal units had radiographic evidence of obstruction. Five patients underwent LU, and 5 underwent RU. Mean operative times for bilateral and unilateral LU were 509.0 and 110 minutes, and the mean estimated blood loss was 362.5 and 50 mL. Mean operative times for bilateral and unilateral RU were 390 and 220.5 minutes, and the mean estimated blood loss was 25 and 35.5 mL. With a mean follow-up of 15.6 months, 90% of all patients were asymptomatic and 86.7% renal units had no signs of obstruction on imaging. CONCLUSIONS: Laparoscopic ureterolysis with or without robotics may be performed with minimal perioperative morbidity and provides excellent success rates for relief of symptoms and obstruction in RPF. RU appears to have better short-term outcomes and is now our technique of choice.
Stifelman, MD; Shah, O; Mufarrij, P; Lipkin, M
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