Robotic Buccal Mucosal Graft Ureteroplasty for Complex Ureteral Stricture.

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OBJECTIVE: To demonstrate robot-assisted ureterolysis and buccal mucosal graft (BMG) ureteroplasty for the management of a complex, long recurrent ureteral stricture developing after ureterolysis, and also to demonstrate the use of near-infrared fluorescence (NIRF) imaging and intraoperative ureteroscopy during this procedure.

METHODS: A 58-year-old man with a history of cabergoline treatment and a cardiac catheterization through the left groin presented with left flank pain and hydronephrosis. A computed tomography scan showed extensive fibrosis around the ureter and a ureteral stricture close to a tortuous left external iliac artery. A computed tomography-guided biopsy showed a benign fibrous tissue around the stricture with no increase in IgG4-expressing plasma cells. A robot-assisted ureterolysis with an omental wrap was performed. One year after the ureterolysis, the patient developed a recurrent ureteral stricture. Retrograde ureterogram showed a long, 6-cm stricture in the upper ureter. For the robotic ureteroplasty, the patient was placed in modified lateral position with port placement similar to the left pyeloplasty. Intraoperative flexible ureteroscopy and NIRF were used to define the distal extent of the stricture. For this, the ureteroscope was advanced until the stricture, and transilluminance of light from the ureteroscope was seen from the robotic camera using Firefly. Ureteral stricture was incised along its length over the ureteroscope. Two BMGs were harvested and sown together to obtain a longer graft. The graft was minimally defatted and brought in the abdomen through one of the ports. The composite graft was then sutured with 4-0 PDS as an onlay graft with the mucosal side facing toward the lumen of the ureter. Ureteroscopy was used to confirm patency, followed by stent placement. NIRF was used to confirm the viability of the ureter and the surrounding tissue. The omental flap was then harvested using a vessel sealer, fixed to the psoas fascia beneath the ureter, and then wrapped over the reconstructed ureter. The omental flap was also tacked to the side of the BMG with a suture to promote blood supply.

RESULTS: The procedure was uncomplicated with an operative time of 280 minutes, an estimated blood loss of 75 mL, and an uneventful hospital stay. MAG3 Renal scan after 3 and 6 months of surgery showed no recurrence or obstruction.

CONCLUSION: Despite the limitation of being a single case with only a 6-month follow-up, our report shows that robot-assisted BMG is a safe option for the reconstruction of long upper ureteral strictures. This procedure may be a less morbid alternative to an autotransplant and ileal ureter in these patients. However, outcomes need to be studied in a larger series with a longer follow-up.

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Constriction, Pathologic; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Mouth Mucosa; Optical Imaging; Robotic Surgical Procedures; Ureter; Ureteral Obstruction; Ureteroscopy; Urologic Surgical Procedures, Male

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