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Complete ureter avulsion causing a long defect as a complication of posterior spine fusion: a rare case treated with nonrobotic laparoscopic repair

Authors Lai CJ, Chang MY, Huang PC, Chu YC

Received 30 September 2018

Accepted for publication 12 December 2018

Published 17 January 2019 Volume 2019:11 Pages 15—19


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Jan Colli

Chien-Jung Lai,1 Ming-Yuan Chang,2 Po-Chien Huang,1 Yuan-Chung Chu1

1Division of Urology, Department of Surgery, Min-Sheng General Hospital, Taoyuan, Taiwan; 2Division of Neurosurgery, Department of Surgery, Min-Sheng General Hospital, Taoyuan, Taiwan

Purpose: Ureter avulsion, a challenging urologic complication, has been rarely found in lumbar spine surgeries. Once ignored, the leaked urine usually leads to significant morbidity and also makes further repair more difficult. We present an unusual ureter injury causing a long defect which occurred in posterior spine fusion; immediate repair was performed with minimal invasion.
Case presentation: A 61-year-old female was receiving microscopic spine fusion (transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion) for her L3–L5 spondylosis. Ureter avulsion with one 3-cm defect occurred unexpectedly. We confirmed urine extravasation promptly, and performed end-to-end ureteroureterostomy with laparoscopy. Retrograde double-J stenting was indwelled. Her postoperative condition was uneventful.
Conclusion: This rare case with good outcome highlights the importance of early diagnosis and immediate repair for complete ureter avulsion. We prove that reanastomosis for ureter loss as much as 3 cm is feasible with laparoscopy in regional hospitals where a robot is not available. To deal with large gaps between stumps, adequate kidney mobilization is required before anastomosis.

Keywords: posterior spine fusion, iatrogenic ureter injury, realignment, end-to-end ureteroureterostomy, urine extravasation

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