Laparoscopic and robotic-assisted repair of retrocaval ureter in children: a multi-institutional comparative study with open repair.

This retrospective study aimed to report a multi-institutional experience with laparoscopic and robotic-assisted repair of retrocaval ureter in children and to compare outcome of minimally invasive surgery (MIS) with open repair.

The records of all children, who underwent MIS and open repair of retrocaval ureters in six international pediatric urology units over a 5-year period, were retrospectively collected. Data were grouped according to the operative approach: a laparoscopic group (G1) included five patients, a robotic-assisted group (G2) included four patients, and an open group (G3) included three patients. The groups were compared in regard to operative and postoperative outcomes.

At follow-up, all patients (one G1 patient after redo-surgery) reported complete resolution of symptoms and radiologic improvement of hydronephrosis and obstruction. In regard to postoperative complications, one G1 patient developed stenosis of anastomosis and needed re-operation with no further recurrence (IIIb Clavien). G2 reported the lowest average operative time (135 min) compared to G1 (178.3 min) and G3 (210 min). MIS (G1-G2) reported a significantly better postoperative outcome compared to open repair (G3) in terms of analgesic requirements, hospitalization, and cosmetic results.

The study outcomes suggest that MIS should be the first choice for retrocaval ureter because of the minimal invasiveness and the better cosmetic outcome compared to open surgery. Furthermore, our results showed that robotic-assisted reconstruction was technically easier, safer, and quicker compared to laparoscopic repair, and for these reasons, it should be preferentially adopted, when available.

World journal of urology. 2018 Dec 05 [Epub ahead of print]

Maria Escolino, Lorenzo Masieri, Jean-Stephane Valla, Pedro Josè Lopez, Baran Tokar, Imran Mushtaq, Ciro Esposito

Division of Pediatric Surgery, "Federico II" University of Naples, Via Pansini 5, 80131, Naples, Italy., Division of Pediatric Urology, Meyer Children Hospital, Florence, Italy., Division of Pediatric Urology, CHU Lenval, Nice, France., Division of Pediatric Urology, Hospital Exequiel Gonzalez Cortes and Clinica Alemana, Santiago, Chile., Division of Pediatric Urology, Eskisehir Osmangazi University, Eskisehir, Turkey., Division of Pediatric Urology, Great Ormond Street Hospital, London, UK., Division of Pediatric Surgery, "Federico II" University of Naples, Via Pansini 5, 80131, Naples, Italy. .