In the past, this surgery typically was performed through a 6-8 cm incision below the underwear line, just above the pubic bone. With the development of laparoscopic and robotic surgery, this highly effective surgery can now be performed through smaller incisions.
In addition, the pediatric urologists at Children’s Health also use techniques to help hide the small incisions below the underwear line.
What can I expect before a Pediatric Robotic Assisted Laparoscopic Ureteral Reimplant?
A robotic ureteral reimplant usually involves a one-night hospital stay. One small incision is made in the belly button and two small incisions are made on each side of the abdomen. A bladder catheter may be left overnight.
For children older than 12 months, do not give any food or non-clear liquids after midnight before the surgery. For infants, do not feed formula or breast feed six hours prior to arrival for the procedure.
What can I expect during a Pediatric Robotic Assisted Laparoscopic Ureteral Reimplant?
Your child will be given anesthesia so he or she will sleep during the procedure. Only one small incision will be necessary to complete the procedure. The procedure will take a few hours and you will be able to be with your child as soon as possible after the procedure. Your child will be discharged one to two days after surgery.
A small tube called a bladder catheter will be placed to allow urine to drain well while your child heals. This will be removed one to three days after surgery.
What can I expect after a Pediatric Robotic Assisted Laparoscopic Ureteral Reimplant?
Your child will have a small bandage covering the incision, which can be removed four or five days after coming home. The stitches under the bandage will dissolve on their own.
After discharge, your physician will monitor the kidney with ultrasound and potentially a test called a voiding cystourethrogram to see if the VUR has resolved.
Your child may not be able to control urination for several weeks after the procedure. This is normal and your child will regain control. Until then, be sure your child knows to use pads or absorbent, disposable underwear.