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World J Urol. 2008 Dec;26(6):523-30. doi: 10.1007/s00345-008-0319-3. Epub 2008 Sep 19.

Analysis of complications from 600 retroperitoneoscopic procedures of the upper urinary tract during the last 10 years.

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INSERM U841Eq07, Department of Urology, CHU Mondor, 94000, Créteil, France.



The aim of this study is to review 10 years experience of retroperitoneoscopy procedures.


A total of 600 patients treated between 1995 and 2007 by retroperitoneoscopy (nephrectomy, partial and total nephrectomy, adrenalectomy, pyeloplasty, renal cyst, calyceal diverticulectomy) were reviewed for per, peri and postoperative complications including patients in the learning curve.


The mean blood loss was 159 mL. Conversion to open surgery was required in 28 patients (4.6%) primarily due to technical problems during dissection (elective). There were 32 (5.3%) surgical complications, including bleeding or hematomas in 12 cases and 2 of them required reintervention, urinomas in 8 which were treated by installation of a ureteral drainage (JJ stent). Wound or deep abscesses happened in four, urinary fistula in one and pancreatic fistula in another. Evisceration (hernias) was seen in three patients. Intestinal injury occurred in two. The complication rate depended on the difficulty of the procedure and learning curve of the surgeon. A total of 28 patients (4.6%) presented medical postoperative complications (hyperthermias, deep venous thrombosis, pyelonephritis, pulmonary superinfections, pulmonary atelectasia and transient vascular ischemic accident). Mean postoperative hospital stay was 6.2 days (ranged from 2 to 20).


Retroperitoneoscopy can be the technique of choice for accessing and carrying out all the surgery of the upper urinary tract respecting the principles of oncological surgery. After experience with 600 cases during the last 10 years the technique has become safe, simplified, reproducible and effective although not easy. Most complications are minor and easily managed.

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