Pediatric Robot Assisted Retroperitoneoscopic Pyeloplasty: A 5-Year Experience

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We report our 5-year experience with retroperitoneoscopic robot assisted pyeloplasty for the treatment of ureteropelvic junction obstruction in children using the da Vinci® Surgical System.

Materials and Methods

A total of 65 children (median age 7.9 years, range 1.7 to 17.1) underwent 67 robot assisted retroperitoneoscopic pyeloplasties with the da Vinci Surgical System between 2002 and 2006. Operative data were sampled prospectively, while outcome data were collected from chart review. Retroperitoneal access was modified from standard retroperitoneoscopic access due to the limits of the camera arm movement.


Median operative time was 143 minutes (range 93 to 300). Complications occurred in 12 of the 67 procedures (17.9%), with urinary tract infection observed in 2 cases, transient hematuria in 2, displaced Double-J® catheter in 3 and postoperative temporary nephrostomy in 4. One case was converted to open surgery due to lack of space and limits in the movement of the camera arm. Four patients (6%) underwent repeat surgery due to a kinking ureter (2 patients), an overlooked aberrant vessel (1) and decreasing differential function on renography necessitating balloon dilation (1). In all other cases followup was uneventful.


Robot assisted retroperitoneoscopic pyeloplasty gives more direct access to the ureteropelvic junction, allowing shorter operative times with results and complication rates comparable to transperitoneal robot assisted pyeloplasty, and laparoscopic and open procedures in children.

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