If you've had kidney cancer, bladder cancer or other health problems with your urinary system, surgery to remove certain organs is sometimes the only way to protect your health. But surgery isn't just a way to remove organs—sometimes, it's a way to rebuild them.
Small organs require delicate surgery
You have two ureters in your body. These thin tubes carry urine from your kidneys to your bladder. Since they're so small and fragile, scar tissue from a previous surgery, radiation therapy or infections can cause big problems.
If you have problems with your ureters, robotic surgery can be an effective treatment. The tiny, precise movements of the robotic arms used in robotic reconstructive procedures give surgeons better control for removing blockages and rebuilding damaged ureters.
How robotics can help with bladder reconstruction
If you've had your bladder removed as part of your treatment for bladder cancer, robotic surgery can also help with bladder reconstruction. Your surgeon can take part of your intestine and shape it into a bladder, which is then connected to your ureters and urethra by highly precise robotic arms. Your surgeon controls the robotic arms from a special surgical dashboard.
If your urethra was also removed during cancer surgery, your surgeon can create a small reservoir pouch in your abdomen using a robotic procedure. Your surgeon will leave a small hole, called a stoma, in your abdomen. You can then insert a thin tube called a catheter into the stoma when you need to drain your pouch.
More control means better outcomes
With laparoscopic/robotic surgery of the bladder and ureters, surgeons can get a better view of the organs they're working on during surgery. Robotic surgical tools have extremely sensitive movement controls, which help surgeons be even more precise.
With these advantages, laparoscopic/robotic surgeries on the bladder and ureters often have fewer complications and less scarring than with traditional surgery. Your recovery also may be quicker and easier.