Robotic Pyeloplasty

Robotic Surgery for Kidney Blockage

NYU Langone Medical Center has one of the largest and most successful series on robotic pyeloplasty for the treatment of ureteral pelvic obstruction in this country. Our highly experienced surgical team has performed hundreds of robotic surgeries using the da Vinci® surgical system since 2003, and our faculty have co-authored some of the largest clinical research studies describing the efficacy of robotic surgery.  Based on our experience, we believe that robotics offers an excellent minimally invasive approach for upper urinary tract reconstruction to manage obstructions of the ureteropelvic junction.

What is Robotic Pyeloplasty?

Robotic pyeloplasty is the removal of a blockage in the ureter, where the ureter meets the kidney. In a healthy functioning upper urinary tract, urine drains from the kidney into a tube called the ureter, which carries the urine down to the bladder. This area of of drainage is known as the ureteropelvic junction (UPJ). In some instances a blockage may be present at birth and become progressively worse over time. Kidney stones or scar tissue can also cause a blockage to develop. This condition can eventually lead to the deterioration of kidney function or even the loss of a kidney.

Advantages of Robotic Pyeloplasty over Open Pyeloplasty

Robotic pyeloplasty is less invasive and non-scarring

Managing this complex problem through a traditional open approach often requires a long incision. Using the robotic approach with the daVinci SI, we are able to access the entire operative field from three small incisions. Often our surgeons are able to hide two of these incisions: one in the patient’s belly button; and one below the panty line. This robotic procedure does not leave a large, permanent disfiguring scar. (As seen in the figure to the right).

Robotic pyeloplasty is precise and safe

Robotics offers increased range of motion at the tips of each instrument. This allows for improved scaling of motion, dampening of tremor and 3D vision in high definition. All of these factors combined with extensive experience, provide for more precise dissection and suturing of the ureter, which typically is only a quarter of an inch in diameter. Robotic pyeloplasty makes suturing of the ureter easier, making this procedure safer.

Robotic pyeloplasty offers a quicker recovery time

Patients who undergo robotic pyeloplasty typically have shorter hospital stays and are able to return to their daily activities much sooner than those who undergo the open procedure. Other benefits experienced by patients may include less pain, less risk of infection, less blood loss and fewer transfusions.

Why Choose NYU Langone Medical Center for Robotic Pyeloplasty

The robotic surgeons at NYU Langone Medical are some of the most experienced in the country and have been using robotics to perform upper urinary tract reconstruction since 2005. We have one of the largest and most successful series on robotic pyeloplasty to treat ureteral pelvic obstructions. As the head of the Robotics Department, Dr. Stifelman has led the way in upper urinary reconstruction using minimally invasive procedures with the goal of maximizing the preservation of renal function.

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NYU Publications on Robotic Pyeloplasty