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Comparative Study
, 13 (10), 1267-70

Safety of Supracostal Punctures for Percutaneous Renal Surgery

Comparative Study

Safety of Supracostal Punctures for Percutaneous Renal Surgery

Rajiv Yadav et al. Int J Urol.


Aim: Supracostal superior calyceal access has been shown to be the most suitable approach for staghorn calculi, calculi in the upper ureter and complex inferior calyceal calculi, as well as for antegrade endopyelotomy. However, many urologists hesitate in using this approach because of the potential for chest complications. The aim of this study was to analyze one institution's data regarding the safety and efficacy of this approach for percutaneous renal surgery.

Methods: A total of 890 renal units (762 patients) were treated with percutaneous renal surgery (849 percutaneous nephrolithotomy, 41 antegrade endopyelotomy) from July 1998 to July 2004. Supracostal access was obtained in 332 (37.3%) patients. The indications for a supracostal approach were ureteropelvic junction obstruction, staghorn and complex inferior calyceal calculi, and stones in the upper calyx or the upper ureter. All punctures were made by the urologist under C-arm fluoroscopic guidance in the prone position.

Results: The interspace between 11th and 12th rib was used in all except four patients in whom the puncture was made above the 11th rib. Eleven patients (3.31%) had a pleural breach presenting with fluid in the chest. Insertion of a chest tube was required in seven patients, while other four were managed conservatively. No patient had injury to the lung or other viscera. Hospital stay was not significantly prolonged as a result of the pleural breach in any patient. Except for staghorn calculi where multiple tracts were a necessity for maximal clearance, a single supracostal superior or middle posterior calyceal access served the purpose in 86% (177/205) of patients who underwent percutaneous surgery for renal or upper ureteric calculi.

Conclusions: The supracostal superior calyceal approach was found to be effective as well as safe, with an acceptably low risk of chest complications.

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