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Advances in Urology
Volume 2009, Article ID 721371, 8 pages
Review Article

Laparoscopic Nephroureterectomy and Management of the Distal Ureter: A Review of Current Techniques and Outcomes

Department of Urology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL 60208, USA

Received 27 May 2008; Accepted 3 November 2008

Academic Editor: Norm D. Smith

Copyright © 2009 Davis P. Viprakasit et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Laparoscopic nephroureterectomy (LNU) is becoming an increasingly common alternative treatment for transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) of the renal pelvis and ureter due to decreased perioperative morbidity, shorter hospitalization, and comparable oncologic control with open nephroureterectomy (ONU). Mobilization of the kidney and proximal ureter may be performed through a transperitoneal, retroperitoneal, or hand-assisted approach. Each technique is associated with its own benefits and limitations, and the optimal approach is often dictated by surgeon preference. Our analysis of the literature reflects equivalent cancer control between LPN and OPN at intermediate follow-up with significantly improved perioperative morbidity following LPN. Several methods for bladder cuff excision have been advocated, however, no individual technique for management of the distal ureter proved superior. Overall, complete en-bloc resection with minimal disruption of the urinary tract should be optimized to maintain oncologic outcomes. Longer follow-up and prospective studies are needed to fully evaluate these techniques.