Correcting and sharing our complications. Misplacement of pigtail catheter, during a Robot Assisted Pyeloplasty. Clinical findings, diagnosis, possible causes and endoscopic treatment

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Konstantinos Stravodimos
Ioannis Katafigiotis *
Evangelos Fragkiadis
Stavros Tyritzis
Constantinos A. Constantinides
(*) Corresponding Author:
Ioannis Katafigiotis |


Objective: Robotic assisted pyeloplasty (RAP) is rapidly adopted by surgeons around the world. We present a unique complication of the technique, consisting of pigtail misplacement, which was endoscopically resolved. We discuss the clinical findings, differential diagnosis and principles of endoscopic treatment. Materials and Methods: A 41 years old female patients underwent transperitoneal right side RAP with the Hynes-Anderson technique for ureteropelvic junction obstruction. Pigtail was placed intraoperatively in an antegrade fashion. Post operative course appeared normal but Kidney-Ureterer-Bladder(KUB) X-ray, revealed a misplaced pigtail. Patient underwent a semirigid ureterorenoscopy demonstrating that the pigtail was exiting the collecting system in the rear line of suturing between continuous sutures. Pigtail was retrieved with a stone retrieval forceps with short upward motions in the renal pelvis under fluoroscopy and then removed from patient, in order to avoid stressing the anastomosis. No leakage was noted in fluoroscopy, a pigtail was correctly placed and patient recovery was uneventful. Results: Retrograde pyelography was the key to accurate diagnosis and endoscopic treatment, because the exact point of exit and anastomosis integrity were established. Retrieval of the pigtail was the most challenging part. Lack of proper visualization and mobilization of the rear part of the anastomosis during surgery, combined with lack of tactile feedback, because of robotic instrumentation, were of critical importance in the manifestation of such a mishap. Endoscopy facilitated case resolve, but proper handling is required to protect the anastomosis. Conclusions: The introduction of novel techniques can carry the burden of novel complications. A surgeon must always keep in mind the complications inherent to the technique and at the same time the limitations of the equipment used, especially the lack of tactile feedback in robotic instrumentation.

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