Upper pole heminephrectomy: is complete ureterectomy necessary?

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ObjectiveTo determine the re-operation rate on the distal ureter after upper pole heminephrectomy with incomplete ureterectomy.Patients and methodsThe case notes from one institution were reviewed retrospectively; 60 upper pole heminephrectomies with incomplete ureterectomy were undertaken in 39 girls and 16 boys (mean age at primary surgery 27 months, range 3–88).ResultsThirty-two children (58%) had an antenatal diagnosis while 12 (22%) presented with a urinary tract infection (UTI) and six (11%) with urinary incontinence. Twenty-nine of the 60 renal units (48%) had an associated ureterocele and in nine (15%) the ureter was ectopic. Ten infants (18%) underwent initial puncture of a ureterocele. Five patients (8%), all females, required lower urinary tract re-operation. The indications for secondary surgery were recurrent UTIs in all and a prolapsed ureterocele in one. All five had ultrasonographic evidence of a dilated ureteric stump. Reflux into the retained stump was detected in one child.ConclusionsThe re-operation rate for a redundant ureteric stump in this series was 8%. The risk of injury to the good ureter may outweigh the benefits of a complete ureterectomy.

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