The aim of this study is to review 10 years experience of retroperitoneoscopy procedures.
600 patients treated between 1995 and 2007 netroperitoneoscopy (nephrectomy, partial and total nephrectomy, adrenalectomy, pyeloplasty, renal cyst, calyceal diverticulectomy) were reviewed for per, peri and post operative complications including patients in the learning curve.
The mean blood loss was 159mL. 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 4, urinary fistula in 1 and pancreatic fistula in another. Evisceration (hernias) was seen in 3 patients. Intestinal injury occurred in 2. The complication rate depended on the difficulty of the procedure and learning curve of the surgeon. Twenty eight patients (4.6%) presented medical post-operative 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.