Population-based comparison of laparoscopic and open pyeloplasty in paediatric pelvi-ureretic junction obstruction




  • To describe the extent of use and in-hospital outcomes of open and laparoscopic pyeloplasty for paediatric pelvi-ureteric junction (PUJ) obstruction in the USA.

Patients and Methods

  • Using the 2004–2008 Nationwide Inpatient Sample, we identified 4590 paediatric patients (≤18 years old) who underwent open or laparoscopic pyeloplasty for PUJ obstruction at 195 hospitals.
  • Multivariable regression models were used to test the associations between hospital and patient covariates (age, gender, race, primary health insurance), type of admission (emergent vs elective), and hospital characteristics (teaching vs non-teaching status; rural vs urban location) with complications, length of stay (LOS), and total hospitalization costs.


  • During the 5-year study interval, 4426 (96.4%) and 164 (3.6%) paediatric patients diagnosed with PUJ obstruction underwent open and laparoscopic pyeloplasty, respectively.
  • The proportion of patients undergoing laparoscopic pyeloplasty gradually increased from 2.4% in 2004 to 4.4% in 2008, but this increase was not significant (P = 0.22 for trend).
  • On multivariable analysis, laparoscopic pyeloplasty was observed to have rates of postoperative complications (2.51 vs 5.00; P = 0.67), LOS (2.42 vs 2.75; P = 0.33) and total hospitalization cost ($9755 vs $8537; P = 0.24) similar to those of open pyeloplasty.


  • While laparoscopic pyeloplasty was generally an infrequent operation performed for paediatric PUJ obstruction during the period studied, this minimally invasive surgery provided similar outcomes in terms of in-hospital complications, LOS and total hospitalization costs.
  • The results of this study inform policymakers about the comparative effectiveness of laparoscopic and open pyeloplasty.