Ureteropelvic Junction Obstruction: Which Surgical Approach?

Andrei Nadu*, Alex Mottrie, Petrisor Geavlete

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Context: Open pyeloplasty has been considered the referral standard of treatment for ureteropelvic junction obstruction (UPJO). Minimally invasive procedures, however, have evolved and have gradually replaced open surgery, with various success and complication rates. The ideal universal treatment for UPJO is still elusive and controversial. Objectives: The current status of three surgical approaches to the treatment of UPJO are reviewed: laparoscopic pyeloplasty (LP), robotic-assisted pyeloplasty, and endopyelotomy. Evidence acquisition: The interactive discussion among the expert presenters and urologists participating at the Second Congress on Controversies in Urology in Lisbon, Portugal, is summarized. Evidence synthesis: A review of the relevant literature and the experts' opinions seem to indicate that LP, either conventional or robotic, should be considered as the treatment of choice for UPJO, because it achieves the highest success rates (90%) while still offering the patient the advantages of minimally invasive surgery. The conventional laparoscopic approach demands a high level of surgical expertise and dedicated training that can be partially obviated by the robotic system. Evidence proving clear advantages of robotic pyeloplasty over conventional laparoscopy, however, is lacking due to short follow-up. Additionally, in its current version, the robotic system is financially prohibitive for many centers worldwide. In experienced hands, endopyelotomy performed either percutaneously or by the retrograde ureteroscopic approach can achieve long-standing satisfactory results in carefully selected patients (short strictures, minimal hydronephrosis, no crossing vessel). Additionally, endopyelotomy is the procedure of choice for failed pyeloplasty, with success rates of up to 80%. Conclusions: It can be concluded from the presented data that, given the surgical expertise, LP should be considered the current standard of care for UPJO, with high success rates comparable to the open procedure. The advantages of the robotic system for the patient remain to be proved by scientific data. Endopyelotomy is still indicated in selected cases as a primary therapeutic option and should be considered the procedure of choice for pyeloplasty failures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)778-781
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Urology, Supplements
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Endopyelotomy
  • Laparoscopic pyeloplasty
  • Robotic assisted pyeloplasty
  • Ureteropelvic junction obstruction


Dive into the research topics of 'Ureteropelvic Junction Obstruction: Which Surgical Approach?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this