The standard operative procedure for ureteral transitional cell carcinoma is nephrouterectomy with partial cystectomy at the affected ureteral orifice. However, nephron-sparing surgery and endoscopic surgery and management have become common practice for low-grade and low-stage cases. We investigated the follow-up results of patients who underwent endoscopic surgery using the holmium: YAG laser, and evaluated its treatment effect. The patients were 4 men and 3 women aged from 68 to 87 years (mean: 74.7 years). Two were imperative cases and 5 were elective cases. The tumor size ranged from 8 to 25 mm (mean: 15.4 mm). Hydronephrosis was not found in any case, and urinary cytology was negative in all cases. Biopsy revealed 5 cases of grade 1, and 2 of grade 2. A Versa Pulse Select 80 laser generator, a 365-μm slim line laser fiber, and a rigid ureteroscope with 8F-point diameter were used. A 6F double J catheter was placed postoperatively for 3 weeks. Pulse energy was set at 0.5-1.0 J (mean: 0.8 J) with a frequency of 10 Hz. The total amount of energy was 0.9-11.22 KJ (mean: 2.89 KJ) and the operation time including ureteral stent placement was 20-97 min (mean: 66 min). Neither urinary tract perforation nor ureteral stricture associated with laser irradiation was observed. The postoperative follow-up period ranged from 23-88 months (mean: 67.8 months). Patients underwent urinary cytological examination once a month, and cystoscopy, retrograde pyelography and urethroscopy once every 3 months for 2 years, then once every 6 months thereafter. One patient developed tumor recurrence 23 months after surgery and received another laser treatment, but no recurrence has been observed in the other 6 patients (85.7%). Transurethral endoscopic surgery and management using the holmium: YAG laser is safe and effective nephron-sparing surgery for ureteral transitional cell carcinoma, and good long-term treatment results can be expected even in elective cases if the indications are carefully selected.
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