To report our contemporary experience with ureterocalicostomy to determine whether the indications or results have changed in modern practice. Ureterocalicostomy is a well-established treatment for patients with complicated ureteropelvic junction (UPJ) obstruction and other forms of proximal ureteral obstruction. Although both retrograde and antegrade endourologic interventions have become accepted forms of management, the success rates do not approach those of open or even laparoscopic interventions, potentially leading to a greater number of patients with treatment failure and the need for more complicated reconstruction. Between July 1991 and February 2004, 11 patients (4 women and 7 men), aged 19 to 68 years (mean 38), underwent open surgical ureterocalicostomy. The indications for surgery were primary UPJ obstruction in 4, failed cutting balloon incision for UPJ obstruction in 3, proximal ureteral stricture after ureteroscopic stone removal in 2, and obliterated UPJ after percutaneous nephrolithotomy and failed antegrade endopyelotomy in 1 patient each. Hospitalization ranged from 4 to 7 days (mean 5.1). No patient experienced a significant perioperative complication. With follow-up ranging from 5 to 32 months (mean 10.1), relief of obstruction was evident in all patients as documented by intravenous urography or nuclear renography. Furthermore, differential function on the involved side improved from a mean of 54.6% preoperatively to 60.1% postoperatively (P <0.05). The spectrum of indications for ureterocalicostomy has changed, although excellent results can still be achieved. Although laparoscopic approaches are currently being evaluated, most patients currently undergoing this reconstructive procedure still require open operative intervention.
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