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BJU Int. 2003 Nov;92(7):748-50.

The natural history of hydronephrosis after radical hysterectomy with no intraoperatively recognisable injury to the ureter: a prospective study.

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Departments of Urology and Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.



To investigate, in a prospective study, the natural history of hydronephrosis of the urinary tract after radical hysterectomy.


From December 1997 to March 2001, 34 patients with localized cervical cancer underwent radical hysterectomy by one gynaecologist, with no intraoperatively identifiable injury to the ureter. Intravenous urography was used routinely before and at 2 and 4 weeks after surgery. The degree of hydronephrosis was graded I-IV.


Urography before surgery showed no abnormal finding in any of the patients, except in one with a unilateral duplex kidney. Hydronephrosis was found in 10 units in the upper tract (grade II in eight, III in one and IV in one) in seven patients (21%) 2 weeks after surgery (one right, three left and three bilateral). All the ureteric narrowing was in the distal ureter. The hydronephrosis disappeared in four units in three patients, but became worse in two units in two patients with bilateral pathology in the fourth week. At 3 months after surgery no hydronephrosis had deteriorated and the hydronephrosis in all units had disappeared by 6 months. The presence of hydronephrosis was significantly correlated with pathological stage and age (P < 0.05).


Hydronephrosis was detected after radical hysterectomy even with no intraoperatively recognisable injury to the ureter, but in most the hydronephrosis improved spontaneously and needed no ureteric stenting or surgical intervention.

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