In a rare surgery, Delhi doctors reconstructed the entire ureter -- a 25-cm tube that transports urine from the kidney to the urinary bladder -- of a 37-year-old woman over 12 hours at Batra Hospital and Medical Research Centre.
The woman’s ureter had got damaged due to a previous surgery having gone wrong, because of which the right half of her abdomen was swollen.
The damaged tube had to be replaced, and quickly, as she was at risk of losing her right kidney. The patient’s left kidney was already partially damaged. and that added to the risk involved in the surgery.
“The ureter can be partially reconstructed but in this case, the challenge was that the whole tube was lost,” said Dr P.P. Singh, head of urology department, Batra Hospital, who led the team that conducted the surgery.
“Since it was practically impossible to recreate the entire 25 cm, our aim was to shorten the length as much as possible,” he added.
To make this possible, the patient’s right kidney was removed from its original cavity and implanted lower in the right abdomen.
This step helped bridge the 15cm gap, and the rest of the 10cm tube was recreated using a flap from the urinary bladder. This flap was joined directly to the right kidney.
The final step was to re-establish the blood supply to the kidney, which too, the doctors managed successfully.
“It’s quite a complicated surgery. Fortunately for us, everything fell into place,” said Dr Singh.
Two months after the surgery, she has not had any infection, and is doing absolutely fine,” said Dr Singh, adding, “she can now lead an absolutely normal life, in fact, she is planning a baby now.”