Application of “cinch/tie” technique to robotic-assisted nephropexy for posterior abdominal wall fixation

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Nephropexy remains standard for symptomatic nephroptosis, and several minimally-invasive techniques have been described. Triangulation sutures placed between the abdominal wall and the renal capsule are often difficult to tie tightly due to the confined working space. We propose a technique modification to fixate the kidney utilizing the da Vinci Surgical System robot and Lapra-Ty absorbable suture clips. Four female patients with symptomatic nephroptosis diagnosed via kidney hypermobility demonstrated on intravenous urography (IVU) underwent robotic-assisted laparoscopic nephropexy (RALNP) from February 2008 to April 2010. After complete mobilization and stripping of perirenal fat, several 0 Vicryl sutures were placed in a “figure of eight” fashion and tied loosely. Subsequently we utilized a Lapra-Ty to tighten the stitch serially and fixate the kidney. The mean age was 46 years (43–52); one patient underwent simultaneous pyeloplasty and one underwent partial nephrectomy in the ipsilateral kidney. There were no intraoperative complications and two postoperative complications, both Clavien grade I. All patients were asymptomatic postoperatively at a mean follow-up of 9.2 months (1–28), and had no evidence of kidney hypermobility on upright IVU or diuretic renal scintigraphy (RS) scan at 6 weeks postoperatively. RALNP is a viable option in the treatment of symptomatic nephroptosis. Secure placement of several “pexing” sutures helps to ensure appropriate security of these itinerant kidneys. Our technique modification corrects kidney hypermobility while improving symptoms related to nephroptosis.

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Correspondence to Scott M. Castle.

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Castle, S.M., Karnjanawanichkul, W. & Leveillee, R.J. Application of “cinch/tie” technique to robotic-assisted nephropexy for posterior abdominal wall fixation. J Robotic Surg 6, 155–157 (2012).

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  • Nephropexy
  • Robotic-assisted surgery
  • Nephroptosis
  • Kidney