Robotic-assisted laparoscopic ureteral re-implant (RALUR): Can post-operative urinary retention be predicted?

T. Kawal, A. K. Srinivasan, J. Chang, C. Long, David I-Wang Chu, A. R. Shukla*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Objective: Urinary retention following robotic-assisted laparoscopic extravesical ureteral reimplantation (RALUR) is proposed to be due to traction or injury of the pelvic parasympathetic nerve plexus during distal ureteral dissection. Nerve-sparing techniques have been employed to avoid injury to the pelvic plexus, either directly or indirectly. This single-center study assessed postoperative urinary retention rates after extravesical RALUR and investigated whether demographic or operative factors could predict this occurrence. Methods: All RALUR cases entered into an Institutional Review Board-approved registry were retrospectively reviewed, and the rate of postoperative retention was determined. Postoperative urinary retention was defined as the need for catheterization at any time in the postoperative period during hospital admission or within 1 week after the operation. This included acute urinary retention episodes (AUR) as well as high post-void residuals (>50% of expected bladder capacity). Univariate analysis was performed to analyze for predictors of postoperative retention. Factors assessed included age, gender, clinical presentation, bowel bladder dysfunction (BBD), pre-operative urinary tract infection (UTI), procedure length, grade of vesicoureteral reflux (VUR), and operative laterality. Results: A total of 128 patients underwent extravesical RALUR in 179 ureters during the study period 2012–2016. Male:female ratio was 1:2.6. Median age at surgery was 4 years. Bilateral RALUR was performed in 52 cases (40.6%), and unilateral in 76 (59.4%). Urinary retention requiring catheterization occurred in 11 cases (8.59%). Of these, seven were post-bilateral RALUR, while the remaining four were unilateral. In seven cases, postoperative retention occurred within 24 h following RALUR. The remaining four instances occurred within 1 week, despite successful voiding in the immediate postoperative period. Univariate analysis revealed male gender (P = 0.009) and operating room time (P = 0.029) as predictors of retention. No association was found with age, weight, BBD, pre-operative UTI, grade of VUR, or laterality. Conclusion: Urinary retention after RALUR was an infrequent complication. When it did occur, urinary retention appeared to be secondary to covariates such as male gender and length of surgical time – possibly an indication of technical difficulty – rather than laterality of repair.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323.e1-323.e5
JournalJournal of Pediatric Urology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2018


  • Robotic ureteral reimplant
  • Robotic-assisted laparoscopic extravesical ureteral reimplantation (RALUR)
  • Urinary retention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Urology


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