Ureteral injuries associated with gynecologic surgery: prevention and management

Clin Obstet Gynecol. 1976 Sep;19(3):623-44. doi: 10.1097/00003081-197609000-00012.


Gynecologic surgery is responsible for most of the ureteral injuries that occur. The "easy" operation--the "simple" abdominal hysterectomy--and not the technically difficult pelvic one, is responsible for most ureteral injuries. Total abdominal hysterectomy accounts for almost 50% of the genitourinary fistulas and perhaps 80-99% of all surgical ureteral injuries. This problem will persist until a most important surgical axiom is applied routinely during the accomplishment of all pelvic operations: With all dissections, the contiguous structures subject to injury must be exposed. This step not only will avoid injuries to the ureter but also will facilitate an equally important aspect, that is, urinary tract injuries must be recognized at the time of operation. With recognition and adequate repair, problems such as fistula formation and serious morbidity (and litigation) can be avoided almost entirely. Because the gnecologic surgeon frequently will find that urologic consultation is not available at the time of urinary tract injury, he or she must be aware of and familiar with the various ureteral reconstructive procedures that may be required. The gynecologic surgeon must devote time and study to the management of urinary tract injuries before their occurrence. All pelvic surgeons eventually will encounter ureteral problems. The methods of bladder mobilization and ureteroneocystostomy should be within the ability of all who operate within the pelvis. When extensive damage has occurred and a urologist is not available, the gynecologist who is unfamiliar with the more demanding techniques (that is, ureteroureterostomy, bladder flaps, ileal conduits) should avoid additonal damage to the urinary tract and accomplish a simple catheter ureterostomy, deffering the definitive repair for a urologist.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Genital Diseases, Female / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Hysterectomy / adverse effects
  • Methods
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control*
  • Preoperative Care
  • Ureter / injuries*
  • Ureteral Diseases / etiology
  • Ureteral Diseases / prevention & control
  • Ureteral Diseases / surgery
  • Urinary Catheterization
  • Urinary Fistula / etiology
  • Urography