After the kidneys make urine, the urine passes down a tube called the ureter to the bladder where it is stored until elimination. The place where the ureter inserts into the bladder is called the ureterovesical junction. Sometimes this junction does not form properly before birth and, as a result, urine travels back up toward the kidney instead of down and out of the bladder as the bladder squeezes and tries to empty. This is called vesicoureteral reflux and is often diagnosed in childhood after recurrent urinary tract infections or kidney infections.
Surgical repair may be necessary if long-term antibiotics or bladder injections are ineffective. This surgery is called ureteral reimplantation and in appropriate patients can be performed as a minimally invasive robotic-assisted surgery.
Ureteral reimplantation may be required in adults for reasons other than reflux. The ureter (kidney tube) may be damaged during another surgery in the belly. If the ureter is damaged, it may be possible to reattach the ureter to the bladder with ureteral reimplantation.
Inova's state-of-the-art da Vinci® robotic surgical system allows your doctor to perform a precise, minimally invasive procedure through a few tiny incisions with enhanced vision, dexterity and control.
Benefits of robotic-assisted surgery over open surgery include:
- Significantly less pain
- Less blood loss
- Fewer transfusions
- Lower risk of infection
- Less scarring
- Shorter hospital stay
- Shorter recovery time
- Better clinical outcomes, in many cases
Talk with your surgeon about whether robotic-assisted surgery is an option for you. Or call 1-855-My-Inova (1-855-694-6682) for a referral to one of our da Vinci robotic surgical specialists.