Laparoscopic placement of peritoneal dialysis catheters: 7 years experience

Cu T Lu, David I Watson, Tony J Elias, Randall J Faull, Anthony R Clarkson, Kym M Bannister
ANZ Journal of Surgery 2003, 73 (3): 109-11

BACKGROUND: Since 1994 we have placed all peritoneal dialysis (Tenckhoff) catheters at our hospital laparoscopically using a technique that incorporates suture fixation into the pelvis. The purpose of this study was to determine the long-term outcome of this approach.

METHOD: Perioperative and follow-up data for all patients undergoing placement of a peritoneal dialysis catheter at the Royal Adelaide Hospital were collected prospectively and managed on unit specific and hospital wide computerized databases. A total of 148 procedures were carried out in 123 patients from March 1994 to November 2001. Follow-up ranged from 3 to 68 months (median, 42 months). All procedures were undertaken or supervised by one surgeon, and catheters were routinely sutured into the pelvis at laparoscopy.

RESULTS: There was no perioperative mortality in this series, and only one catheter could not be placed laparoscopically. This was in a patient with extensive intra-abdominal adhesions. Mean operative time was 27 min (range, 10-100 min), and mean postoperative stay was 2.8 days (range, 1-12 days). Seven (5%) patients experienced peri/postoperative haemorrhage, and four of these underwent surgical re-exploration. Twenty-five (17%) catheters are still used for dialysis. Thirty-four (23%) catheters were removed when the recipient received a subsequent renal transplant, and 42 (28%) patients died during follow-up. Forty-six (31%) patients required catheter revision or removal because of technical problems; 26 (18%) recurrent peritonitis or exit site infection; and 20 (14%) catheter blockage. Twenty-eight reinsertion procedures were carried out in 25 patients. Ten (7%) patients developed port site hernias at late follow-up, and required hernioplasty. Catheter migration leading to malfunction (poor drainage) occurred in eight (5%) patients only.

CONCLUSIONS: Laparoscopic placement of peritoneal dialysis catheters is a safe and effective procedure. The majority of patients will dialyse successfully using this technique. Suturing the catheter tip into the pelvis is associated with a low rate of catheter migration.

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