Purpose: We evaluate the results and complications of laparoscopic urological procedures in children. Materials and Methods: In a 3-year period 4,350 laparoscopic procedures were performed at 8 Italian centers of pediatric surgery. We analyzed only the data of urological procedures for a total of 701 laparoscopic operations on patients 1 month to 14 years old. The indications for surgery were cryptorchidism in 414 cases, varicoceles in 159, ambiguous genitalia in 37, total nephrectomy in 34, partial nephrectomy in 4, adrenalectomy in 3 and other diagnostic procedures in 50. We adopted a retroperitoneoscopic approach in 72 cases (10.3%) and a laparoscopic approach in 629 (89.7%). Patient records were analyzed to search for any complication that may have occurred during the laparoscopic procedure and assess how they were managed. Results: We recorded 19 complications (2.7%) in our series, of which 6 required conversion to open surgery and 13 did not. There was no mortality. At a maximum followup of 4 years all children were alive and had no problems related to the laparoscopic complications. Conclusions: Our study shows that pediatric laparoscopic urological surgery has an acceptable rate of complications with no mortality. We believe that routine use of open laparoscopy in pediatric patients is a key factor to help avoid complications. Most complications can be avoided with surgeon and team experience, together with proper compliance with the indications for surgery.
- Intraoperative complications
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