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J Endourol. 2002 May;16(4):241-4.

Laparoscopic omentectomy for salvage of peritoneal dialysis catheters.

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  • 1Department of Urology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73104, USA.



Maintaining long-term peritoneal catheter function for peritoneal dialysis is commonly threatened by problems with catheter obstruction. Multiple methods have been used to salvage nonfunctioning catheters, including omentopexy, catheter repositioning, and omentectomy. We report on our experience with a laparoscopic method of omentectomy and catheter fixation for salvage of nonfunctioning peritoneal dialysis catheters.


Thirteen patients with nonfunctioning peritoneal dialysis catheters underwent 16 laparoscopic procedures with the intent to restore function. Clinically, all patients presented with outflow obstruction. At initial presentation, all patients underwent diagnostic laparoscopy and a definitive procedure. In 12 patients, catheters were enveloped by omentum, and we performed laparoscopic omentectomy and catheter fixation to the anterior pelvic wall. In one patient, we identified a broken catheter and performed a laparoscopic omentectomy at the time of catheter replacement. One 10-mm and two 5-mm trocars were utilized. Omentectomy was performed using either endo-GIA stapled resection (2 patients) or the Harmonic Scalpel (11 patients). All trocar incisions (including the 5-mm site) were closed with a suture-passing (Carter-Thomason) device to provide water-tight closure in anticipation of immediate return to peritoneal dialysis. Patients were followed postoperatively for an average of 17 months (range 4-35 months).


All patients' catheter function was restored intraoperatively with laparoscopic omentectomy and catheter fixation. Eight catheters remained functioning following omentectomy without further intervention. Five patients (38%) experienced repeat catheter malfunction and underwent laparoscopic exploration. Of these, three catheters (60%) were restored to function with laparoscopic manipulation alone. Three catheters were found encased in extensive adhesions. Laparoscopic adhesiolysis was successful in one patient and unsuccessful in one patient, who converted to hemodialysis. One patient failed laparoscopic salvage and required open laparotomy and fibrin clot removal to restore catheter function. One catheter was found to be obstructed within a pericolic hematoma. One catheter was found within residual omentum at the hepatic flexure. Both of these catheters were freed laparoscopically and continued to function at 12 and 16 months' follow-up. Complications included one episode of peritonitis, one case of postoperative ileus, and one trocar site hernia necessitating repair. The nephrologists were instructed that they could begin peritoneal dialysis on postoperative day 1. Seven patients resumed peritoneal dialysis without leak from trocar sites. The remaining patients received temporary hemodialysis through a central venous catheter and returned to peritoneal dialysis at the discretion of their nephrologists.


Laparoscopic omentectomy with catheter fixation is a minimally invasive means of salvaging peritoneal dialysis catheters with outflow obstruction. Complications are few, and closure of laparoscopic incisions in water-tight fashion allows rapid return to peritoneal dialysis.

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