Hand-assisted laparoscopic nephroureterectomy: Analysis of distal ureterectomy technique, margin status, and surgical outcomes

James A. Brown, Stephen E. Strup, Eric Chenven, Demetrius Bagley, Leonard G. Gomella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Objectives. To review our experience with various techniques used to manage the distal ureter during hand-assisted laparoscopic nephroureterectomy and to evaluate the surgical outcomes, including pathologic margin status and the incidence of disease recurrence. Methods. We retrospectively analyzed 55 hand-assisted laparoscopic nephroureterectomies performed to treat transitional cell carcinoma (TCC), with the distal ureter managed as follows: cystoscopic disarticulation in 16 patients, stapled division in 7, open distal ureterectomy in 3, and hand-assisted laparoscopic extravesical en bloc distal ureterectomy with bladder cuff in 29. The cystotomy was not closed in 7 patients. Results. The coexistence of renal pelvic and ureteral tumors was common but in 27% of cases was not recognized preoperatively. One outer and four distal ureteral margins were positive for tumor (n = 2) or carcinoma in situ (n = 3). Two (29%) of the seven cystotomies that were not closed and only 1 (2%) of the 42 that were closed demonstrated extravasation. The operative time was 60 to 90 minutes longer and the estimated blood loss, open conversion rate, and indwelling catheterization time were two to three times greater for the cystoscopic ureteral disarticulation cohort. The stapled division cohort had a greater positive margin rate (29%) than the other cohorts (10% or less). With a mean follow-up of 24 months, 19 patients had developed bladder cancer, 1 prostate cancer, 1 an extravesical malignancy with synchronous liver metastasis, and 4 distant recurrence (lung in 2 and the retroperitoneum and spine in 1 each). Conclusions. The results of our study have shown that distal ureteral tumors have the greatest likelihood for a positive margin. Cystoscopic ureteral disarticulation increased the operative time and estimated blood loss. Cystotomy closure reduced the extravasation rate. We favor hand-assisted laparoscopic en bloc distal ureterectomy followed by cystotomy closure to minimize the risk of distal ureteral or extravesical recurrence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1192-1196
Number of pages5
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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