Fetal hydrolaparoscopy and endoscopic cystotomy in complicated cases of lower urinary tract obstruction

Rubén A. Quintero, Walter J. Morales, Mary H. Allen, Patricia W. Bornick, Patricia Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: Vesicoamniotic shunting may be difficult or impossible in selected cases of fetal lower obstructive uropathy. The purpose of this article is to describe the performance of fetal hydrolaparoscopy and endoscopic fetal cystotomy in two fetuses with complicated lower obstructive uropathy. STUDY DESIGN: Fetal hydrolaparoscopy-endoscopic fetal cystotomy was performed in a patient with a markedly thickened bladder that could not be entered percutaneously. A peritoneoamniotic (bridge) shunt was also placed. Fetal hydrolaparoscopy-endoscopic fetal cystotomy was performed in a second patient with a collapsed bladder from a previous vesicocentesis, because vesicoinfusion resulted in further ascites. Fetal cystoscopy was performed after endoscopic fetal cystotomy, and posterior urethral valves were ablated with neodymium:yttrium-aluminum-garnet laser energy. A vesicoamniotic shunt was left in place. RESULTS: Adequate bladder drainage was obtained in both cases. The first baby required bilateral nephrotomy and a permanent cystotomy at birth and is scheduled for a bladder expansion procedure at the age of 1 year. The second patient had premature rupture of membranes and fetal death from treatment of this complication 5 days after the original procedure. CONCLUSION: Fetal hydrolaparoscopy-endoscopic fetal cystotomy can be performed in complicated cases of lower obstructive uropathy. The procedure involves the creation of a defect in the bladder dome under direct endoscopic visualization within a spontaneous or intentional hydroperitoneum. Peritoneoamniotic shunting, vesicoamniotic shunting, or ablation of posterior urethral valves may then be performed. Fetal hydrolaparoscopy-endoscopic fetal cystotomy should be reserved only for complicated cases of lower obstructive uropathy in which conventional vesicoamniotic shunting is not safely possible. Further experience with fetal hydrolaparoscopy-endoscopic fetal cystotomy is necessary to establish its risks and benefits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)324-333
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000


  • Fetal therapy
  • Obstructive uropathy
  • Operative fetoscopy
  • Ultrasonography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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