Surgical Techniques in Urology| Volume 126, P227-231, April 2019

Minimally-Invasive Ureteral Reconstruction for Ureteral Complications of Kidney Transplants

Published:January 14, 2019DOI:



      To present the technique, feasibility and results of minimally-invasive reconstruction of the transplanted ureter using the native ipsilateral ureter in post-transplant ureteral strictures and vesicoureteral reflux (VUR) causing graft pyelonephritis. Ureteral complications after kidney transplantation represent a significant cause of morbidity potentially leading to graft dysfunction or loss.


      A prospective database from October 2011 to August 2018 identified renal transplant recipients who underwent minimally-invasive pyeloureterostomies or ureteroureterostomies using the ipsilateral ureter. Indications for either transplant ureteral stricture or VUR correction were assessed. Preoperative evaluation included a technetium-99m mercaptoacetyltriglycine renal scan to assess residual native renal function and either a video cysto-urethrogram or cystoscopy and retrograde pyelography. Postoperative patency was evaluated with either cystograms or antegrade nephrograms in conjunction with a technetium-99m mercaptoacetyltriglycine study.


      Seven patients were followed with a mean follow-up time of 20.9 months (range 4.7-64.8 months). Three cases of VUR causing graft pyelonephritis and 4 cases of transplant ureteral stricture were identified. Five minimally-invasive transplant-to-native pyeloureterostomies and 2 transplant-to-native ureteroureterostomies were performed. Six cases were performed robotically and 1 laparoscopically. No recurrent episodes of pyelonephritis were observed for patients treated for VUR causing graft pyelonephritis. Postoperative renal scans and contrast studies demonstrated no evidence of obstruction or urinary leaks in all cases.


      Minimally-invasive reconstruction of the transplant ureter by pyeloureterostomy or ureteroureterostomy using the ipsilateral native ureter is feasible and can be safely performed with graft survival and acceptable complication rates.
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