Tag Archive for: pyeloplasty


Article of the Month: An analysis of robot-assisted vs conventional pyeloplasty in children

Every week the Editor-in-Chief selects the Article of the Week from the current issue of BJUI. The abstract is reproduced below and you can click on the button to read the full article, which is freely available to all readers for at least 30 days from the time of this post.

In addition to the article itself, there is an accompanying editorial written by a prominent member of the urological community. This blog is intended to provoke comment and discussion and we invite you to use the comment tools at the bottom of each post to join the conversation.

If you only have time to read one article this week, it should be this one.

Meta-analysis of robot-assisted vs conventional laparoscopic and open pyeloplasty in children

Thomas P. Cundy*, Leanne Harling†, Archie Hughes-Hallett*†, Erik K. Mayer†, Azad S. Najmaldin‡, Thanos Athanasiou†, Guang-Zhong Yang* and Ara Darzi*†

*The Hamlyn Centre, Institute of Global Health Innovation, and †Department of Surgery and Cancer, St Mary’s Hospital, Imperial College, London; and ‡Department of Paediatric Surgery, Leeds General Infirmary, Leeds, UK


To critically analyse outcomes for robot-assisted pyeloplasty (RAP) vs conventional laparoscopic pyeloplasty (LP) or open pyeloplasty (OP) by systematic review and meta-analysis of published data.


Studies published up to December 2013 were identified from multiple literature databases. Only comparative studies investigating RAP vs LP or OP in children were included. Meta-analysis was performed using random-effects modelling. Heterogeneity, subgroup analysis, and quality scoring were assessed. Effect sizes were estimated by pooled odds ratios and weighted mean differences. Primary outcomes investigated were operative success, re-operation, conversions, postoperative complications, and urinary leakage. Secondary outcome measures were estimated blood loss (EBL), length of hospital stay (LOS), operating time (OT), analgesia requirement, and cost.


In all, 12 observational studies met inclusion criteria, reporting outcomes of 384 RAP, 131 LP, and 164 OP procedures. No randomised controlled trials were identified. Pooled analyses determined no significant differences between RAP and LP or OP for all primary outcomes. Significant differences in favour of RAP were found for LOS (vs LP and OP). Borderline significant differences in favour of RAP were found for EBL (vs OP). OT was significantly longer for RAP vs OP. Limited evidence indicates lower opiate analgesia requirement for RAP (vs LP and OP), higher total costs for RAP vs OP, and comparable costs for RAP vs LP.


Existing evidence shows largely comparable outcomes amongst surgical techniques available to treat pelvi-ureteric junction obstruction in children. RAP may offer shortened LOS, lower analgesia requirement (vs LP and OP), and lower EBL (vs OP); but compared with OP, these gains are at the expense of higher cost and longer OT. Higher quality evidence from prospective observational studies and clinical trials is required, as well as further cost-effectiveness analyses. Not all perceived benefits of RAP are easily amenable to quantitative assessment.

Editorial: Robot-assisted pyeloplasty in children

The authors of the study on robot-assisted pyeloplasty in this issue of BJUI have carried out an excellent review of the current data on this common paediatric urology procedure [1]. Although the analysis involves small case numbers and series for meta-analysis, the data are useful for current practice. It may be worth waiting another 5 years to review the data again, by which time the learning curve for most of the surgeons will be over, and a true representation of practice and a comparison against the established standard open surgery, which has been established over decades, can be reported. The training of next-generation surgeons needs to be factored into this process, which is critically important.

With the different methods of critical evaluation presently available, we may be able to draw some conclusions from the results of robot-assisted pyeloplasty, but the problem that remains is the inconsistency of individual reports in terms of outcome and complications. We surgeons need to work on developing a consensus model for the evaluation of each procedure so that uniformity exists. The financial implications of new technology will always be higher than expected, but with a greater number of users and competitive producers the cost will be remarkably reduced. As paediatric surgeons, we do not know the unseen benefits of robot-assisted pyeloplasty, but the children’s families have a positive perception of post-surgical aesthetic appearance, and may also have some human capital gains in terms of reduced childcare expenditure. The paradigm shift to a digital era of surgery is here to stay, with safety and refinements to technology being universally available to all children.

Read the full article

Mohan S. Gundeti

BJUI Consulting Editor, Paediatrics, The Medicine University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA


1. Cundy TP, Harling L, Hughes-Hallett A et al. Meta analysis of robot-assisted vs conventional laparoscopic and open pyeloplasty in children. BJU Int 2014; 114: 582–94



Article of the week: 1-week and 4-week stenting equally effective after pyeloplasty

Every week the Editor-in-Chief selects the Article of the Week from the current issue of BJUI. The abstract is reproduced below and you can click on the button to read the full article, which is freely available to all readers for at least 30 days from the time of this post.

In addition to the article itself, there is an accompanying editorial written by a prominent member of the urological community. This blog is intended to provoke comment and discussion and we invite you to use the comment tools at the bottom of each post to join the conversation.

If you only have time to read one article this week, it should be this one.

One- vs 4-week stent placement after laparoscopic and robot-assisted pyeloplasty: results of a prospective randomised single-centre study

H. Danuser, C. Germann, N. Pelzer, A. Rühle, P. Stucki and A. Mattei

Klinik für Urologie, Luzerner Kantonsspital, Lucerne, Switzerland

Read the full article

To determine whether 1-week stenting of the pelvi-ureteric anastomosis of laparoscopic or robot-assisted pyeloplasty is as effective as 4-week stenting, based on their respective success rates.


A total of 100 patients with pelvi-ureteric junction obstruction were treated by Anderson-Hynes pyeloplasty and the anastomosis was stented using a 6-F JJ catheter for either 1 week (1W series) or 4 weeks (4W series), based on a randomisation protocol. Postoperative follow-up was performed at 3 months using intravenous urography (IVU), at 6 months using diuretic renography and at 1, 3 and 5 years using ultrasonography. Statistical analysis was performed using a one-sided Z-test, Pearsons’s chi-squared test and a Wilcoxon rank sum test.


The primary outcome measure, success rate, which was defined as no obstruction on IVU and diuretic renography, was 100% in the 1W series and not inferior to the success rate of 98% in the 4W series (P = 0.006). The following secondary outcome measures were not significantly different between the 1W and the 4W series with regard to residual symptoms (10 vs 6%; P = 0.48), rate of complications (4 vs 6%; P = 0.65), need for synchronous robot-assisted pyelolithotomy (4 vs 8%; P = 0.47), improvement in split renal function (1 vs 0%; P = 0.59) and duration of surgery (200 vs 192 min; P = 0.87). Only length of hospital stay was significantly different; this was shorter in the 1W series (5 vs 6 days; P = 0.01).


Stenting of the pelvi-ureteric anastomosis after laparoscopic or robot-assisted pyeloplasty for 1 week is as effective as stenting for 4 weeks. Both procedures, laparoscopic or robot-assisted pyeloplasty have an excellent success rate.

Editorial: Early stent removal after pyeloplasty

In the current issue of BJUI Danuser et al. [1] present their prospective randomised single-centre study evaluating the effectiveness of 1-week vs the more traditional 4-week ureteric stent placement, after either a laparoscopic (LPP) or robot-assisted laparoscopic pyeloplasty procedure (RALPP) for PUJO.

In recent years LPP and RALPP have become the standard treatments for PUJO. In the adult population most patients undergoing this procedure require a period of ureteric stenting with a JJ stent, while the newly formed anastomosis heals. Many published pyeloplasty series report a stenting period of between 3 and 6 weeks [2-4]. The present study questions the need for such an extended period of stenting. With current minimal access techniques, either LPP or RALPP, it is possible to create a direct anastomosis between the ureter and renal pelvis similar to, and some would argue even more accurately than, that achievable via open surgery. The authors make the case that as historically most open pyeloplasty procedures were successfully stented for a period of 1 week, it seems only right to question why many of us continue to leave our ureteric stents in for longer periods after LPP and RALPP.

The negative impact of ureteric stent placement on patient health-related quality of life has been well documented in the literature. In 2003, Joshi et al. [5] published their study investigating the prevalence of symptoms associated with ureteric stents. They found that 78% of patients reported bothersome urinary symptoms that included storage symptoms, incontinence and haematuria, and >80% of patients had stent-related pain affecting daily activities. Furthermore, 58% reported reduced capacity to work and 32% reported sexual dysfunction. With this in mind, it is clear why we should try to reduce the period of ureteric stenting wherever possible, as long as it does not compromise patient outcome.

Danuser et al. [1] studied 100 consecutive patients with PUJO treated by an Anderson-Hynes pyeloplasty performed laparoscopically or robotically. Patients were randomly assigned to have a 6-F JJ catheter for either 1 week, or for 4 weeks. Their primary outcome, success rate (defined as no obstruction on the IVU or renogram), was 100% in the 1-week group and 98% in the 4-week group (P = 0.006), showing that 1 week is equally effective. For secondary outcomes measures they found no difference in residual symptoms, rate of complications, need for synchronous robot-assisted pyelolithotomy, improvement in split renal function and duration of surgery between the two groups. They therefore conclude that stenting of the PUJO anastomosis for 1 week after LPP or RALPP is as effective as stenting for 4 weeks.

We are all responsible for constantly evaluating and challenging our medical and surgical practice to ensure that we are providing the best care possible for our patients. In surgery, in the absence of high-level evidence, many of the decisions and actions we take are those inherited from our teachers and mentors, as practices that are thought to be safe and effective. Postoperative patient management is one area where clinicians vary greatly in their practice and we all strive to ensure a safe and comfortable recovery for patients, while not compromising on surgical outcome.

In the postoperative management of pyeloplasty patients many of us continue to leave ureteric stents in for up to 4–6 weeks, as this is ‘safe’ practice. It has been my observation that despite careful counselling of what patients should expect postoperatively when they have a ureteric stent in situ, many complain of stent symptoms and often seek medical advice. This prospective randomised single-centre study by Danuser et al. [1] provides us with good evidence to support the role for a shorter duration of stenting, particularly in this group of patients where a good anastomosis can be created, without compromising patient outcome.

Read the full article

Jane Letitia Boddy
Department of Urology, New Cross Hospitals NHS Trust, Wolverhampton, UK


  1. Chow K, Adeyoju AA, Section of Endourology of The British Association of Urological Surgeons. National practice and outcomes of laparoscopic pyeloplasty in the United Kingdom. J Endourol 2011; 25: 657–662
  2. Mufarrij PW, Woods M, Shah OD et al. Robotic dismembered pyeloplasty: a 6 year, multi-institutional experience. J Urol 2008; 180: 1391–1396
  3. Joshi HB, Stainthorpe A, MacDonagh RP, Keeley FX Jr, Timoney AG, Barry MJ. Indwelling ureteral stents: evaluation of symptoms, quality of life and utility. J Urol 2003; 169: 1065–1069


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