Ureterolysis for extrinsic ureteral obstruction: A comparison of laparoscopic and open surgical techniques

Osama M. Elashry, Stephen Y. Nakada, J. Stuart Wolf, R. Sherburne Figenshau, Elspeth M. Mcdougall, Ralph V. Clayman

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72 Scopus citations


Purpose: We evaluated the role of laparoscopy in the management of extrinsic ureteral obstruction due to benign retroperitoneal fibrosis or ovarian pathology. The results of laparoscopic ureterolysis were compared to those of a contemporary series of open ureterolysis performed for the same pathological conditions. Materials and Methods: We compared 6 patients undergoing unilateral laparoscopic ureterolysis for extrinsic ureteral obstruction to 7 undergoing open unilateral ureterolysis for similar pathological conditions. Patient demographic, operative, and early and late postoperative data were collected. Results: Laparoscopic ureterolysis was associated with less intraoperative blood loss and need for parenteral pain medications, and significantly shorter hospital stay and convalescence than open surgery. Although there were no intraoperative or postoperative complications in the laparoscopy group, 1 patient in the open surgery group had an intraoperative ureteral avulsion and 4 had minor postoperative complications (blood transfusion, ileus and/or wound cellulitis). Operative time was longer in the laparoscopy group (255 versus 232 minutes). Subjective followup with an analog pain scale and/or telephone interview showed improvement in all patients in the laparoscopy group and all 6 contacted in the open surgery group. Likewise, excretory urography and/or renal scan showed improved renal function and relief of obstruction in all patients. Conclusions: Laparoscopic unilateral ureterolysis for extrinsic ureteral obstruction is a less morbid, yet equally effective procedure with several clinical advantages over conventional open surgical ureterolysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1403-1410
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1996


  • laparoscopy
  • retroperitoneal fibrosis
  • surgery
  • ureteral obstruction


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