Robotic-assisted laparoscopic repair of ureteral injury: An evidence-based review of techniques and outcomes

Andrew T. Tracey, Daniel D. Eun, Michael D. Stifelman, Ashok K. Hemal, Robert J. Stein, Alexandre Mottrie, Jeffrey A Cadeddu, J. Uwe Stolzenburg, Andre K. Berger, Niccolò Buffi, Lee C. Zhao, L. E.E. Ziho, Lance Hampton, Francesco Porpiglia, Riccardo Autorino

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


INTRODUCTION: Iatrogenic ureteral injuries represent a common surgical problem encountered by practicing urologists. With the rapidly expanding applications of robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery, ureteral reconstruction has been an important field of recent advancement. This collaborative review sought to provide an evidence-based analysis of the latest surgical techniques and outcomes for robotic-assisted repair of ureteral injury. EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: A systematic review of the literature up to December 2017 using PubMed/Medline was performed to identify relevant articles. Those studies included in the systematic review were selected according to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis criteria. Additionally, expert opinions were included from study authors in order to critique outcomes and elaborate on surgical techniques. A cumulative outcome analysis was conducted analyzing comparative studies on robotic versus open ureteral repair. EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: Thirteen case series have demonstrated the feasibility, safety, and success of robotic ureteral reconstruction. The surgical planning, timing of intervention, and various robotic reconstructive techniques need to be tailored to the specific case, depending on the location and length of the injury. Fluorescence imaging can represent a useful tool in this setting. Recently, three studies have shown the feasibility and technical success of robotic buccal mucosa grafting for ureteral repair. Soon, additional novel and experimental robotic reconstructive approaches might become available. The cumulative analysis of the three available comparative studies on robotic versus open ureteral repair showed no difference in operative time or complication rate, with a decreased blood loss and hospital length of stay favoring the robotic approach. CONCLUSIONS: Current evidence suggests that the robotic surgical platform facilitates complex ureteral reconstruction in a minimally invasive fashion. High success rates of ureteral repair using the robotic approach mirror those of open surgery, with the additional advantage of faster recovery. Novel techniques in development and surgical adjuncts show promise as the role of robotic surgery evolves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-241
Number of pages11
JournalMinerva Urologica e Nefrologica
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2018


  • Robotic surgical procedures
  • Surgical flaps
  • Ureter
  • Wounds and injuries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology
  • Urology


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