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Surgical correction of an obstruction between the kidney and the tube (ureter) that takes urine to the bladder, also known as an ureteropelvic junction obstruction (UPJ), was described by Trendelenberg in 1886. Since that time, a number of advances in techniques to correct UPJ obstruction have been made, and one of these modern approaches is laparoscopic pyeloplasty. Laparoscopic pyeloplasty was first described in 1993, by Schuessler (et al.)

Over the past decade, laparoscopic pyeloplasty has gained acceptance by mirroring the principles and results of open surgery without the associated morbidity of a flank incision.


However, pure laparoscopic pyeloplasty requires the necessary skills to perform precise intracorporeal suturing. The introduction of computer-assisted robotic surgical systems has enhanced the ability to perform intracorporeal suturing with a short learning curve and high precision.

Reported small series comparing standard laparoscopic pyeloplasty to robotic pyeloplasty revealed shorter total operative time and UPJ anastomosis times in the latter with excellent success rates and minimal complications.


Robotic-assisted dismembered pyeloplasty can be performed efficiently by the retroperitoneal laparoscopic technique. Our surgical outcomes are comparable to previously published laparoscopic and transperitoneal robotic-assisted dismembered pyeloplasty series in adults with excellent clinical and radiologic success rates.

Ten adult patients with unilateral ureteropelvic junction (UPJ) obstruction underwent robotic-assisted retroperitoneoscopic Anderson-Hynes dismembered pyeloplasty between February 2004 and March 2005. UPJ obstruction was primary in six patients and secondary in four patients after failed endopyelotomy. Dismembered pyeloplasty was performed utilizing a retroperitoneal approach (developed by balloon dissection). Three retroperitoneal laparoscopic ports were placed for the robot, and a fourth port was used by the assistant. Robotic-assisted laparoscopic technique was utilized to perform the entire procedure in all cases.

All cases (seven right, three left) were successfully completed using the robot without conversion to conventional laparoscopic or open technique.

Parameter Median (CI 95%) Range

CI = confidence interval.
a Time from skin incision till incisions sutured, excluding stent placement time.
b Time from the patient enters the room until the time the patient leaves the room
c Reported as mean follow-up.

Total operative time (min)a 175 (95% CI 128–185) 90–200
Total cystoscopy time (min) 25 (95% CI 21–32) 20–45
Total time patient spend in operating room (min)b 295 (95% CI 279–340) 240–355
Estimated blood loss (mL) 50 (95% CI 26–62) 50–100
Total length of hospital stay (h) 48 (95% CI 27–65) 18–72
Jackson-Pratt Drain removal (d) 6
Follow-up (mo)
30c 24–36
Resolution of flank pain postoperatively All 10 patients
Intraoperative complications None
Postoperative complications None

Pyeloplasty FAQs

Pyeloplasty FAQs

Pyeloplasty FAQs

What is a laparoscopic pyeloplasty?

A pyeloplasty is a laparoscopic kidney surgery procedure used to correct a kidney ureteropelvic junction obstruction.

When is this procedure used?

Laparoscopic pyeloplasty is suitable for patients with ureteropelvic junction obstruction of the kidney.

What does this procedure involve?

Unlike a conventional open pyeloplasty, laparoscopic pyeloplasty surgery requires only several small incisions. Through these incisions, a surgeon uses a powerful endoscope – a tiny camera – and specialized surgical instruments to conduct the operation and repair the kidney.

How long does this surgery take?

This laparoscopic kidney surgery takes approximately 2 to 3 hours, and the hospital stay is usually just overnight.

What are the advantages of this procedure?
  • Reduced hospital stay (one day in younger, healthy patients) and faster healing
  • Less postoperative pain and less need for pain medication
  • Quicker return to normal activity and work
  • Smaller incisions and less scarring
How long has Cleveland Clinic been performing laparoscopic pyeloplasties ?

Cleveland Clinic has been performing laparoscopic pyeloplasties since 2001. Cleveland Clinic now offers laparoscopic options for a majority of kidney surgeries and has, by far, the most experience with laparoscopic kidney surgery in the United States.

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Urology Appointments: 800.223.2273 ext. 4-5600
Nephrology Appointments: 800.223.2273 ext. 4-6771

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Do you have a question about our services? Ask the nurse in the Glickman Urological & Kidney Institute.

This information is provided by Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.

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