Surgery in Motion

Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Intracorporeal Urinary Diversion

By: Raj S. Pruthilowast , Jeff Nix, Dan McRackan, Adam Hickerson, Matthew E. Nielsen, Matthew Raynor and Eric M. Wallen

European Urology, Volume 57 Issue 6, June 2010, Pages 1013-1021

Published online: 01 June 2010

Keywords: Urothelial carcinoma, Bladder cancer, Cystectomy, Diversion, Robotic

Abstract Full Text Full Text PDF (2,9 MB)



Recent small case series have now been reported for robotic-assisted laparoscopic radical cystectomy (RALRC). In most of these series, the urinary diversion has been performed in an extracorporeal fashion. There have been few case reports of an intracorporeal diversion and little description of the technique of such a procedure.


In this paper, we report our initial experience with robotic-assisted laparoscopic intracorporeal urinary diversion, describing stepwise the surgical procedure itself and evaluating perioperative and pathologic outcomes of this novel procedure.

Design, setting, and participants

We studied a single-institution case series of patients undergoing robotic-assisted cystectomy and intracorporeal urinary diversion for clinically localized urothelial carcinoma of the bladder (n = 10) or for a noncompliant dysfunctional bladder refractory to more conservative management (n = 2). Historical comparisons are also made to a consecutive case series of 20 patients undergoing robotic radical cystectomy and extracorporeal urinary diversion.

Surgical procedure

RALRC and intracorporeal urinary diversion, including ileal conduit (n = 9) and orthotopic ileal neobladder (n = 3).


The stepwise operative procedure is described in detail. Outcome measures evaluated in this series included operative variables, hospital recovery, and complication rate. Comparisons were made to a contemporaneous series of 20 patients who underwent a robotic cystectomy with extracorporeal diversion during this time period (from an experience of >100 robotic cystectomy patients since 2005).

Results and limitations

Twelve patients (mean age: 60.9 yr) underwent an intracorporeal diversion. Mean operating-room time of all patients was 5.3 h, and mean surgical blood loss was 221 ml. Mean time to flatus, bowel movement, and hospital discharge was 2.2 d, 3.2 d, and 4.5 d, respectively. Eleven of the 12 patients were discharged on or before postoperative day 5. There were six postoperative complications in five patients (42%), with one complication being Clavien grade 3 or higher. The major limitations of the study are the small sample size and the nonrandomized nature of the compared treatment groups (intracorporeal vs extracorporeal), which limits the ability to directly compare the techniques at a high level of scientific confidence.


Our initial experience with robotic-assisted laparoscopic intracorporeal diversion appears to be favorable with acceptable operative and short-term clinical outcomes.

Take Home Message

This paper is the first published surgical atlas of the technical steps of robotic-assisted laparoscopic intracorporeal urinary diversion. In this paper, we describe our initial perioperative outcomes with this novel operative approach.

Keywords: Urothelial carcinoma, Bladder cancer, Cystectomy, Diversion, Robotic.


Division of Urologic Surgery, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA

Corresponding author. Division of Urologic Surgery, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2113 Physicians Office Bldg, CB7235, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA. Tel. +1 919 966 2574; Fax: +1 919 966 0098.

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