INTRODUCTION: Nephroureterectomy (NUx) with full bladder cuff excision is the gold-standard treatment for upper urinary tract urothelial cancer.
Although minimally invasive techniques for NUx have demonstrated comparable outcomes to those of the open technique, the robotic technique is limited by the need for intraoperative patient repositioning and robot redocking to manage the distal ureter and bladder cuff. We describe our novel technique of robotic NUx that allows for complete access to the kidney and full bladder cuff excision.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: This modified technique was performed on a consecutive series of patients undergoing robotic NUx for upper urinary tract urothelial cancer from August 2012 to January 2014. Operative parameters and pathologic data were recorded, and patients were followed up for surveillance. After insufflation, the robotic trocars are placed in a standardized fashion, allowing for a one-time switch of instruments to facilitate distal ureteral dissection and a wide bladder cuff excision without patient repositioning or robot redocking.
RESULTS: Twenty-six patients have undergone NUx using our modified technique. Mean blood loss and operative time were 66 mL and 230 minutes, respectively. There were no intraoperative complications or open conversions, and there were no positive surgical margins. The average follow-up time was 7.8 months (range, 2-17 months), and 4 cases of cancer recurrence in the bladder were identified.
CONCLUSIONS: This novel technique for robotic NUx offers a standardized and easy-to-implement approach for NUx that requires a minimal learning curve for an experienced robotic surgeon, while affording a comparable oncologic control without the need for patient repositioning or additional port placement.
Badani KK, Rothberg MB, Bergman A, Silva MV, Shapiro EY, Nieder A, Patel T, Bhandari A. Are you the author?
Department of Urology, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, New York.
Reference: J Laparoendosc Adv Surg Tech A. 2014 Sep;24(9):647-50.