In 1980 Mitrofanoff described the use of the isolated appendix as an intermittent catheterization route to empty a continent urinary reservoir. The procedure was popularized and numerous variations on the same principle were reported. Presence of histopathological abnormalities in the appendix may limit its suitability for reconstructive purposes. We studied the frequency of incidental histopathological abnormalities in appendixes removed electively in 122 urological patients during a radical pelvic operation. The implications for incorporation of the appendix in urinary tract reconstruction are evaluated. A total of 38 patients (31.1%) had notable histological abnormalities of the appendix: 35 had fibrous obliteration of the lumen, 2 had carcinoid tumor and 1 had a mucocele of the appendix. The rate of abnormal appendixes was significantly higher in elderly patients (more than 70 years old). Incidental pathology of the appendix is a frequent finding that may affect the immediate results and the late outcome of urinary tract reconstruction using the appendix. When such strategy of urinary tract reconstruction is considered, potential histopathological abnormalities should be anticipated. The patients should be informed and aware of possible unexpected changes in the preplanned procedure, while the surgeon must be familiar with these alternative reconstructive methods.
- urinary diversion
- urinary tract