Robot-assisted ureteroureterostomy in pediatric patients: current perspectives.

Developments in pediatric robotic surgery have increased the feasibility of minimally invasive surgery for complex urinary tract reconstruction. Ureteroureterostomy is a commonly employed strategy for the management of a duplicated ureteral system with either upper pole obstruction or lower pole vesicoureteral reflux, and this approach minimizes the risk to a healthy ureter as might be seen in a common sheath ureteral reimplant and avoids complex dissection around the renal hilum as with a heminephrectomy. The robotic platform enables optimum instrument manipulation for an end-to-side ureteral anastomosis as well as excellent visualization deep into the pelvis for excision of the distal ureteral stump. In this study, the indications and preoperative evaluation for pediatric robotic ureteroureterostomy (RUU) were described and intraoperative considerations for a successful repair were highlighted. In order to assess the outcomes, a PubMed search was performed to find the articles focusing on RUU in the pediatric population. The institutional experience of the authors was also reviewed. As with an open procedure, both minimizing dissection on the recipient ureter and ensuring a tension-free, watertight anastomosis are key principles to minimize complications. Although port placement is similar to that in robotic pyeloplasty, small adjustments may need to be made to ensure access to the pelvis. An assistant port and/or traction sutures is often used to aid in the dissection and anastomosis. RUU was first described in 2008, and several reports have demonstrated positive short-term results. However, median follow-up times are limited with most series reporting outcomes <1 year postoperatively. A future study is required to establish the long-term efficacy of this procedure and define the optimum patient population for a robotic approach.

Robotic surgery (Auckland). 2017 Apr 24*** epublish ***

Jonathan S Ellison, Thomas S Lendvay

Division of Pediatric Urology, Seattle Children's Hospital, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA, .