Weill Cornell Medical
First Robotic Urologic Surgery Done on Child in NYC Edited by Herman Rosen, M.D.
Dr. Dix Poppas, Chief of Pediatric
Urology at New York-Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell Medical
Center performed the first robotic urologic surgery on a
child in New York City. The procedure was done to correct
a congenital obstruction of the flow of urine from the kidney
where it connects to the ureter. If left untreated, kidney
damage will result. As many as 1 in 200 children are born
with dilatation of the inside of the kidney mainly due to
obstruction at the ureto-pelvic junction (UPJ). The traditional “open” operation for this condition
leaves a large scar. Another surgical technique using laparoscopy
sometimes presents difficulty in suturing the ureter. By contrast,
robotic surgery is less invasive than the “open” procedure,
has less postoperative pain and shorter hospital stays, and
has the potential for higher success rates. The seven year-old
patient operated on at Weill Cornell is recovering well after
a three-day hospital stay.
UPJ obstruction is often detected before birth by abdominal
ultrasound. It may become clinically significant in childhood
with flank pain and altered kidney function.
Less than ten robotic pyeloplasties
have been performed in the U.S.; the first was done at Boston
in 2002. Adult robotic pyeloplasties were first done in 2001.#