PURPOSE - Nephrolithiasis is an increasingly common ailment in the United States. Ureteroscopic management has supplanted shockwave lithotripsy as the most common treatment of upper tract stone disease. Ureteral stricture is a rare but serious complication of stone disease and its management. The impact of new technologies and more widespread ureteroscopic management on stricture rates is unknown. We describe our experience in managing strictures incurred following ureteroscopy for upper tract stone disease.
MATERIALS AND METHODS - Records for patients managed at four tertiary care centers between December 2006 and October 2015 with the diagnosis of ureteral stricture following ureteroscopy for upper tract stone disease were retrospectively reviewed. Study outcomes included number and type (endoscopic, reconstructive, or nephrectomy) of procedures required to manage stricture.
RESULTS - Thirty-eight patients with 40 ureteral strictures following URS for upper tract stone disease were identified. Thirty-five percent of patients had hydronephrosis or known stone impaction at the time of initial URS, and 20% of cases had known ureteral perforation at the time of initial URS. After stricture diagnosis, the mean number of procedures requiring sedation or general anesthesia performed for stricture management was 3.3 ± 1.8 (range 1-10). Eleven strictures (27.5%) were successfully managed with endoscopic techniques alone, 37.5% underwent reconstruction, 10% had a chronic stent/nephrostomy, and 10 (25%) required nephrectomy.
CONCLUSIONS - The surgical morbidity of ureteral strictures incurred following ureteroscopy for stone disease can be severe, with a low success rate of endoscopic management and a high procedural burden that may lead to nephrectomy. Further studies that assess specific technical risk factors for ureteral stricture following URS are needed.