J Endourol 2012 Jun 4;26(6):618-20. Epub 2011 Oct 4.
Department of Urology, Democritus University of Thrace, Alexandroupolis, Greece.
One of the most difficult, time-consuming, and at the same time critical steps of laparoscopic pyeloplasty is ureteral spatulation. We describe a reproducible technique that greatly simplifies this surgical step. Using standard laparoscopic scissors, the ureter is partially cut just inferior to the ureteropelvic junction (UPJ) at a point where a normal (nonstenotic) ureter is discerned. This first cut involves only half of the circumference of the ureter. The ureter remains attached to the UPJ. Through the most cephalad port, a 5-mm articulating laparoscopic scissors is inserted in the abdomen. The instrument is fully articulated so that the axis of the jaws is almost in line with the ureteral axis. The jaws are opened, one jaw is inserted in the ureteral lumen, and the ureter is spatulated to the requisite length. At this point, the first apical ureteral stitch is placed outside-in while the ureter is stabilized by its remaining attachment to the UPJ. Subsequently, the ureter is freed completely from the UPJ; the UPJ is excised, and the rest of the procedure is performed in a standard fashion.