Conference Coverage

Laparoscope doubles as cystoscope in robotic hysterectomy

Key clinical point: It is just as safe to look inside the bladder with the laparoscope after robotic hysterectomy in routine cases as to use a separate cystoscopy setup.

Major finding: Only 2.2% of women had a UTI, and there were no ureteral or bladder injuries detected using the laparoscope.

Study details: This was a prospective study of 45 women who underwent robotic hysterectomy whose bladder was inspected with the laparoscope at the end of surgery.

Disclosures: There was no outside funding for the work, and the investigators didn’t have any relevant financial disclosures.



It’s fine to take a peek inside the bladder with the laparoscope after robotic hysterectomy; there’s no need for a separate cystoscopy setup to check for injuries, according to a review from St. Joseph’s University Medical Center, in Paterson, N.J.

Minimally invasive robotic durgery with the da Vinci Surgical System. Master Video/Shutterstock

Postoperative urinary tract infections (UTIs) are the big worry with using the same scope, but they really weren’t a problem at St. Joe’s; in a study of 45 women, there was just one UTI, confirmed by culture, at the 2-week postoperative visit, yielding a rate (2.2%) that is actually better the 5%-10% reported for stand-alone cystoscopy, said lead investigator and ob.gyn. resident Nikki Amirlatifi, MD.

“This is a safe alternative to traditional cystoscopy. We had no problems with visualization, and it doesn’t increase the rate of UTIs. Of course, it’s not only cost saving but time saving, as well,” she said.

The cases all were routine, however. For tougher ones, “where we need a more in-depth look at the bladder, we would [still] do cystoscopy,” she said at the meeting sponsored by AAGL.

There’s some debate about routine cystoscopy during laparoscopic hysterectomy, but Dr. Amirlatifi noted that it’s been reported to detect up to 89% of ureter injuries and up to 95% of bladder injuries. Using the same scope for both procedures makes it easier.

After the uterus was taken out, the bladder was backfilled with 180 mL of sterile water, then the Foley catheter was pulled. The previously used 5 mm laparoscope, which had been used for abdominal entry at 0 degrees, was introduced into the bladder. Efflux from both ureteral orifices was visualized, then the catheter reinserted until the end of surgery.

The women were an average of 44 years old, with an average body mass index of 32 kg/m2. Abnormal uterine bleeding, pelvic pain, and fibroids were the main indications for surgery. No ureteral or bladder injuries were detected.

Everyone was questioned about UTI symptoms and gave a clean-catch urine sample at the first postoperative visit. Cultures were performed on the seven women who reported symptoms or had white cells in their sample, and they were treated empirically with antibiotics. Only one culture grew out despite a high prevalence of UTI risk factors, including diabetes (13%), obesity (42%), and smoking (11%).

All the women had preoperative antibiotics and phenazopyridine. Most went home on the day of surgery.

There was no outside funding for the work, and the investigators didn’t have any relevant financial disclosures.

SOURCE: J Minim. Invasive Gynecol. 2018 Nov-Dec;25[7]:S46-47.

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