Retrograde endopyelotomy using the holmium laser: Technical aspects and functional results

Mauro Seveso, Guido Giusti, Gianluigi Taverna, Alessandro Piccinelli, Alessio Benetti, Orazio Maugeri, Silvia Zandegiacomo De Zorzi, Pierpaolo Graziotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Endopyelotomy is considered standard treatment for primary and secondary ureteropelvic junction obstruction. The aim of this study is to report our initial experience with the retrograde endopyelotomy technique. Materials and Methods: Between January 2000 and April 2003 we submitted to retrograde ureteroscopic holmium laser endopyelotomy 16 patients (9 males and 7 females) aged between 22 and 64 years. Obstruction was primary in 10 cases and secondary due to unsuccessful open pyeloplasty in the remaining six. No patient was affected by coexisting urinary lithiasis. Excretory urography and diuretic renal scintigraphy were performed preoperatively in all patients. Endopyelotomy was earned out using the holmium laser which delivered an energy level of 1.2 Joule at 10-15 Hertz. A double J ureteral stent remained indwelling postoperatively for 6 weeks and a vesical catheter for 24 hours. Average operative time was 75 minutes (range 50-90 minutes). Patients were assessed on follow-up by echotomography of the urinary tract and diuretic renal scintigraphy after 3 months and then at 6-month intervals. Results: Patients were assessed on a mean follow-up of 18 months (range 6-41). Outcome was considered successful when symptoms were resolved and renal function improved. Success was obtained in 13 patients. Two patients were submitted to pyeloplasty with positive results and the procedure on one patient was converted to pyeloplasty due to intraoperative haemorrhage. Average postoperative stay was three days (range 1-4). No patient required blood transfusion with postoperative reduction in haematocrit of 0-9%, (mean 3%). Normal daily activity resumed after 3-4 days from discharge. Conclusions: Retrograde endopyelotomy in our initial experience is a safe and efficient technique that gives an excellent percentage of success with reduced complications and good patient compliance. The retrograde compared with the anterograde approach has the advantage of being less invasive, does not require nephrostomal derivation and further reduces hospital stay.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-12
Number of pages3
JournalArchivio Italiano di Urologia e Andrologia
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2005


  • Endopyelotomy
  • Holmium laser
  • Ureteropelvic junction obstruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology
  • Urology


Dive into the research topics of 'Retrograde endopyelotomy using the holmium laser: Technical aspects and functional results'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this