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Robotic Pediatric Urology Surgery

Doctors at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children performed the first laparoscopic and robotic surgery in Orlando for children with kidney conditions more than 10 years ago. Today, robotic surgery with the da Vinci® Surgical System is available at Arnold Palmer Hospital for many congenital and acquired pediatric urologic conditions affecting the kidney, ureter, bladder and genitourinary system in children. Some examples of the procedures performed by our doctors are listed below.

Robotic Kidney Blockage Procedure

Hydronephrosis or ureteropelvic junction obstruction is a blockage of the kidney’s drainage of urine from the kidney into the ureter and bladder. This could be a congenital condition (present since birth), or it could be caused by polyps, tumors or extra blood vessels.

The condition interferes with kidney drainage, causing dilation and swelling of the kidney(s), with symptoms that may include intermittent pain in the back, side, groin or abdominal region. Other symptoms can include pain during urination, increased urgency or frequency of urination, incomplete urination, incontinence, blood in the urine, nausea, vomiting and fever.  Children with poorly draining kidneys can also develop urinary tract infections and/or kidney stones.

Doctors will diagnose the condition through noninvasive ultrasound imaging, functional renal scans and occasional MRI scans that study the flow of urine from the kidneys into the bladder.

Pediatric urologic surgeons with Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children Urology Center perform robotic laparoscopic surgery to remove the obstruction through a procedure called pyeloplasty.

In the case of kidney blockage that has led to formation of a kidney stone, surgeons will perform a combined repair of the kidney obstruction (pyeloplasty as described above), and remove the kidney stones at the same time with a robotic-assisted procedure called pyelolithotomy.

Postoperative follow-up includes an ultrasound exam performed 2–4 weeks after surgery to evaluate healing.

Robotic Ectopic Ureter Surgery

Ectopic ureter is a condition in which urine drainage from the kidney through the ureter fails to enter the bladder, causing obstruction, infection, kidney damage and/or incontinence.

Doctors will diagnose this condition using kidney ultrasound, a bladder X-ray called VCUG, and a renal scan to assess kidney function and drainage.

Robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery is performed to redirect urine drainage into the bladder with a procedure called a robotic pyeloureterostomy.

Robotic Urinary Reflux Surgery

Vesicoureteral reflux is a condition where urine flows backward from the bladder back into the kidney. This condition can lead to kidney infections, and in certain cases, kidney damage. In some patients with reflux, the robot is used to create a tunnel for the ureter that prevents reflux. This procedure is called robotic ureteral reimplantation.

With these robotic-assisted procedures, patients are normally discharged earlier from the hospital than with open conventional surgery. They also experience less pain and scarring from the small incisions and return to their normal activities sooner.  

Contact Us

To request an appointment or consultation with one of our pediatric doctors, contact the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children Pediatric Urology Center at 321.843.9017.