Balloon Dilation of the Ureter: A Contemporary Review of Outcomes and Complications

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Kuntz N.J., Neisius A., Tsivian M., Ghaffar M., Patel N., Ferrandino M.N., Sur R.L., Preminger G.M., Lipkin M.E.

Journal of Urology 2015

Purpose: During ureteroscopy ureteral balloon dilation may be necessary to allow for passage of endoscopic instruments or access sheaths. We assessed the efficacy and complications associated with ureteral balloon dilation. Materials and Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the records at 2 institutions from 2000 to 2012 to identify patients who underwent ureteral balloon dilation during ureteroscopic treatment of upper tract stones. An 18Fr balloon dilator was used in all cases. Patients with documented ureteral stricture, radiation therapy or urothelial cancer were excluded from analysis. Primary outcomes were the stone-free rate, operative complications, balloon dilation failure and the postoperative ureteral stricture rate. Complications were divided into intraoperative and postoperative groups according to the Satava and Clavien-Dindo classifications, respectively. Results: A total of 151 patients fulfilled study criteria. Median followup was 12months. The stone-free rate was 72% and median time to first postoperative imaging was 2.8 months. Balloon dilation failed in only 8 patients (5%). Eight intraoperative ureteral perforations (5%) were identified, which were managed by a ureteral stent in 7 patients and a percutaneous tube in 1. Endoscopic re-treatment was required in 4 patients with Satava 2b postoperative complications. The postoperative complication rate was 8% (11 cases). A single ureteral stricture was attributable to balloon dilation. Conclusions: In this contemporary review balloon dilation of the ureter before endoscopic treatment of stone disease was associated with a high success rate and few complications. Ureteral balloon dilation may decrease the need for a secondary procedure in patients undergoing ureteroscopy to manage proximal ureteral and intrarenal stones.

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