Rapid Communications| Volume 54, ISSUE 6, P964-967, December 1999

Hydro-jet dissection for laparoscopic nephrectomy: a new technique


      Objectives. The Hydro-Jet technique has been used to cut various industrial materials. In the medical field, this technique has been successfully used for selective dissection of the parenchyma of organs such as the liver. Recently, this technique was successfully used for laparoscopic cholecystectomy in humans. We developed a new Hydro-Jet probe and a technique of Hydro-Jet dissection during laparoscopic nephrectomy (LN) in a porcine model and compared the results with those of conventional laparoscopy.
      Methods. Fourteen pigs underwent unilateral LN using the Hydro-Jet and a conventional LN on the contralateral side. A Muritz 1000 Hydro-Jet generator was used. An adjustable water pressure gauge allowed manual control up to a maximum of 30 atm, and coagulation was applied by way of a bipolar thermoapplicator. The bent end of the probe allowed both blunt dissection and concomitant high-pressure water application. Results were compared with regard to ease of anatomic dissection, complications, and operative time between the two techniques.
      Results. LN was successful in all animals with no conversion to open surgery. The dissector allowed anatomic planes to be created in a relatively bloodless field, and continuous water flow allowed a clear view for the operator. The high-pressure stream resulted in excellent dissection of adventitial and soft tissue adjacent to vascular structures, with complete preservation of vessels and ureter for selective ligation. The dissection time was shortened (mean 27 minutes for the Hydro-Jet versus 40 minutes for the conventional technique).
      Conclusions. To our knowledge, we describe the first report of Hydro-Jet dissection for LN as an alternative to the conventional technique. The improved anatomic dissection may decrease complications. Moreover, shorter operating times were achieved, which may result in cost savings. Further studies in humans are necessary to investigate this technique.
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