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J Urol. 2006 Nov;176(5):2063-7; discussion 2067.

A modified supine position to speed hand assisted retroperitoneoscopic nephroureterectomy: the Johnnie Walker position.

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  • 1Department of Urology, Medical College and Hospital, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan, Republic of China.



To minimize the operative time of hand assisted retroperitoneoscopic nephroureterectomy by avoiding position change we report an especially designed surgical position.


A total of 41 patients with upper tract transitional cell carcinoma who underwent hand assisted retroperitoneoscopic nephroureterectomy and bladder cuff resection were enrolled. Patients lay supine, and the flank and hip on the lesion side were elevated 30 degrees. The legs were extended and abducted in the Johnnie Walker position, allowing the operator to stand between them. Operation was completed via a 7 to 8 cm Gibson incision and 2 additional laparoscopic ports.


All procedures were successful except 1 open conversion due to bleeding, in which there was no need to reposition the patient. Average patient age was 65.2 years (range 34 to 85), mean operative time was 207.6 minutes (range 130 to 345) and mean estimated blood loss was 166 ml (range 50 to 900). Simultaneous transurethral endoscopic procedures were performed in 11 patients in the same position. Time to oral intake and ambulation was 2.1 and 2.0 days, respectively. Two patients had postoperative complications, including pneumonia and wound hematoma in 1 each. No complication was related to the position.


The Johnnie Walker position minimizes operative time by eliminating the delay caused by patient positioning and draping changes, allowing better coordination for the surgeon and assistant, and permitting more efficient use of the nondominant hand. The retroperitoneal approach prevents bowel interference in the visual field, making laparoscopic surgery in this modified supine position possible. Nephroureterectomy, bladder cuff resection and endoscopic procedures can be done with ease with the patient in this position.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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