Indian Journal of Urology Users online:1873  
IJU
Home Current Issue Ahead of print Editorial Board Archives Symposia Guidelines Subscriptions Login 
Print this page  Email this page Small font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font size


 
  Table of Contents 
SYMPOSIUM
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 30  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 418-422
 

Handling difficult anastomosis. Tips and tricks in obese patients and narrow pelvis


1 Department of Urology, Global Robotic Institute, Celebration Health Florida Hospital, Celebration, FL, USA
2 Consultant Urologist, Apollo Hospital, Chennai, India

Date of Web Publication1-Oct-2014

Correspondence Address:
Srinivas Samavedi
410 Celebration Place, Suite 200, Celebration, FL 34747
USA
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0970-1591.142070

Rights and Permissions

 
   Abstract 

Vesico-urethral anastomosis (VUA) is a technically challenging step in robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy (RALP) in obese individuals. We describe technical modifications to facilitate VUA encountered in obese individuals and in patients with a narrow pelvis. A Pubmed literature search was performed between 2000 and 2012 to review all articles related to RALP, obesity and VUA for evaluation of technique, complications and outcomes of VUA in obese individuals. In addition to the technical modifications described in the literature, we describe our own experience to encounter the technical challenges induced by obesity and narrow pelvis. In obese patients, technical modifications like use of air seal trocar technology, steep Trendlenburg positioning, bariatric trocars, alterations in trocar placement, barbed suture and use of modified posterior reconstruction facilitate VUA in robotic-assisted radical prostatectomy. The dexterity of the robot and the technical modifications help to perform the VUA in challenging patients with lesser difficulty. The experience of the surgeon is a critical factor in outcomes in these technically challenging patients, and obese individuals are best avoided during the initial phase of the learning curve.


Keywords: Robotic prostatectomy, prostate cancer, obesity, vesico-urethral anastomosis


How to cite this article:
Samavedi S, Abdul-Muhsin H, Pigilam S, Sivaraman A, Patel VR. Handling difficult anastomosis. Tips and tricks in obese patients and narrow pelvis . Indian J Urol 2014;30:418-22

How to cite this URL:
Samavedi S, Abdul-Muhsin H, Pigilam S, Sivaraman A, Patel VR. Handling difficult anastomosis. Tips and tricks in obese patients and narrow pelvis . Indian J Urol [serial online] 2014 [cited 2019 Sep 21];30:418-22. Available from: http://www.indianjurol.com/text.asp?2014/30/4/418/142070



   Introduction Top


Prostate cancer is the most common non-cutaneous solid malignancy among men in the United States and the second leading cause of cancer death. [1] With the advent of new diagnostic advances and early screening, more than 90% of the cases identified have organ-confined disease and are potentially curable. [2] In general, radical prostatectomy (RP) is the treatment of choice for patients with clinically localized prostate cancer and life expectancy <10 years. [3] By 2008, around 80% of RPs in the United States were performed with robotic assistance. [2] The feasibility and safety of the procedure has been well documented; however, techniques continue to be refined to improve functional and oncological outcomes. [3],[4] Robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy (RALP) offers several advantages including decreased blood loss, shorter hospital stay and less peri-operative morbidity compared with traditional open methods. [5],[6],[7]

Obesity represents a major healthcare problem that is significantly affecting people of all ages in developed countries. A body mass index >30 kg/m 2 is increasing in incidence and is a major health issue in the USA and elsewhere. In 2009 and 2010, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) reported the overall prevalence of obesity as 35.7% among adults in the USA. [8],[9] Several previous studies have reported a correlation of obesity with increased odds of prostate cancer risk [10] higher grade prostate cancer and progression that increases death from prostate cancer. [11],[12] Given the increasing incidence of obesity in men, several authors have reported the impact of body mass index (BMI) on surgical outcomes for patients with prostate cancer. [13] A Pubmed literature search was between 2000 and 2012 to review all articles related to RALP, obesity and vesico-urethral anastomosis (VUA) for evaluation of technique, complications and outcomes of VUA in obese individuals. Obesity increased the operative time and blood loss, elevated the transfusion rate and made radical prostatectomy challenging. [13],[14],[15],[16]

The final step of VUA is a very challenging and critical step of RALP, particularly in obese patients. The goals that are achieved by an ideal VUA are absence of peri-operative urine leakage and earlier return of continence. Persistent efforts have been made to reduce the urinary extravasation and achieve urinary continence both in open surgery and in minimally invasive prostatectomy. [4] The dexterity of the robot had made it possible to facilitate complex reconstruction in the deep pelvis reproducing and surpassing the open techniques. Failure to achieve a watertight anastomosis is associated with post-operative urinary leak and its consequences such as paralytic ileus, prolonged catheterization, urinary peritonitis, possibly re-intervention, bladder neck contracture and delayed continence. [3],[4] Thus, it is very important and critical to have a watertight anastomosis. Several techniques of urethra-vesical anastomosis have been tested in the past aiming to reduce the post-operative urine leak and its consequences. These include the use of interrupted sutures, two independent running sutures [17] and pre-tied running sutures, the van Velthoven method [18] and the use of unidirectional [19],[20] and bidirectional barbed [21],[22] sutures. Despite these variations, the rates of urine leak have been reported to range between 4.5% and 7.5% at high-volume centers. [23],[24] Use of barbed sutures has reduced the anastomotic time in general. [22]

Numerous technical modifications have been used to improve early return and overall continence following surgery (both open and minimally invasive), including the anterior urethropexy [25] bladder neck preservation, [26] intussusception of the bladder neck, [27] puboprostatic ligament sparing and sling construction. [28] The actual benefits of these modifications are controversial. Many of the surgical reconstruction techniques for RALP have been based on the posterior reconstruction described by Rocco and his colleagues in 2001. [29] In posterior reconstruction, the posterior rhabdo-sphincter is joined to the posterior Denonvilliers' fascia and fixed to the bladder wall 1-2 cm cranial to the new bladder neck to avoid caudal retraction of the urethra-sphincteric complex, prior to completing the standard VUA. The modified posterior reconstruction, described by Rocco et al. is especially a very good adjunct technique for reconstruction in obese individuals.

Difficulties in obese individuals

Obese patients can present a technical challenge for RRP (13-16, 41-42) because of excess abdominal fat, which makes access to the prostate and pelvic organs difficulty. In men who elect to undergo robotic prostatectomy, the body habitus can present a challenge to even the most experienced surgeon. Other challenges usually induced by obesity include a deeper and narrowed true pelvis combined with occasional exostosis of the pubic symphysis. During the apical dissection and preservation of the intra-pelvic urethra, the surgeon encounters peri-prostatic fat that reduces the visibility and requires effort to clear. The urethral anastomosis in obese patients can be more challenging due to intra-abdominal fat obscuring the visual field. Abdominal contour resulting in acute angulation of arms, huge omental and mesenteric fat pushing the bladder and reducing the working space, large prostates with limited working space in the true pelvis, overriding pubic bone obscuring the apical dissection and VUA, inability to reach for visualization due to increased distance between the ports and depth of the pelvis, difficulty in getting the bladder caudad for anastomosis because of fat and big prostates, fragile bladder neck secondary to large prostate and tension on bladder and a difficult to visualize retractile urethra are factors responsible for difficulty in obese individuals [Table 1].
Table 1: Problems and solutions for difficult anastomosis in obese patients

Click here to view


Steps to facilitate vesico-urethral anastomosis and posterior reconstruction in obese patients-

To maximize the vision in the operative field, the following maneuvers need be performed: Trendlenburg position is increased and this modification mandates caution during positioning to prevent sliding of the patient by usage of the gel pads and the bean bag. The usual angle of the table is around 25 degrees, and it may be extended to 30 degrees. If difficulty is encountered with pubic bone interposition, the scope is changed from 30 to 0 degrees for dissection of the apex and anastomosis. If it is difficult to visualize the bladder neck and posterior sphincter complex, the scope is switched from 30 to 0 degree. Two instruments are used to retract the fat and the bladder and to prevent fat from falling into the operative field.

Based on our continuing experience, we have modified out technique to facilitate RALP in the obese patients. Port placement should be adjusted to the body habitus with trocars shifted farther away from the pelvis and more laterally, enabling a deeper reach [Figure 1]. Air-seal trocars® technology [30] has been a useful new addition to the armamentarium for laparoscopic procedures, reducing the number of episodes of pressure loss <8 mmHg helping in maintaining already compromised working space in these populations. After establishing a pneumo-peritoneum in overweight patients, the instrument's path may be obstructed by the pubic symphysis and the pelvic brim due to a more vertical angle. Depressing the robotic arms to prevent the instruments from hitting the pelvic brim can help avoid this. In the patients with protuberant abdomen, ports must be placed at a greater distance from the pubic symphysis as measured on the body surface after insufflation, typically translating a distance of 15 cm to 17-18 cm from the pubic symphysis. Additionally, robotic trocars may have to be inserted deeper into the abdominal cavity and the arms deflected laterally to flatten the working angle of the robotic arm as they reach deep into the pelvis under the pubic bone. The use of extra-long Da-vinci trocars (Intuitive surgical, Sunnyvale, CA, USA) is helpful for the purpose. Optimally, the trocars should be inserted into the peritoneal cavity perpendicular to the abdominal wall. Placing the 12 mm Air seal® bariatric assistant lateral port pointing towards the umbilicus is helpful in preventing the port being buried under pre-peritoneal fat and avoiding bowel injury. The midline camera port is a bariatric 12 mm port. A larger beanbag is necessary to accommodate larger patients and it is imperative to pad all bony points to avoid pressure trauma, and the anesthesiologist should monitor the respiratory status in a steep Trendlenburg position.

Before performing VUA, modified reconstruction of the pelvic floor, reattaching the Denonvilliers fascia to the rhabdo-sphincter as described by Francesco Rocco et al. [29],[31],[32] is performed. For this step, a 12-cm double-armed 2/0 quill suture®[21] on a RB1 needle is used. The free edge of the Denonvilliers fascia is approximated to the posterior aspect of the rhabdo-sphincter and the posterior median raphe running one of the arms. A second layer is then run with the second arm of the suture, approximating the posterior bladder neck to the posterior lip of the urethra. A continuous modified van Velthoven VUA [18] is then performed. A 12-inch double-armed quill® 2/0 on RB1is used. The posterior urethral anastomosis is performed first with one arm of the suture starting at the 5 o clock position and reaching the 10 o clock position in the clock-wise position. This is followed by the completion of the anterior urethral anastomosis with the second arm of the suture in a counter-clock fashion and then tying the sutures on the urethral stump.
Figure 1: Picture showing cephalad placement of the camera and the 8-mm robotic ports compared with the non-obese individuals

Click here to view


Difficulties in individuals with narrow pelvis

Several authors have reported various degrees of difficulties both in extraperitoneal and trans-peritoneal robotic prostatectomy in patients with narrow pelvis. In a study by Mason et al. and his colleagues, [33] the PCI (the pelvic cavity index is the pelvic inlet multiplied by the inter-spinous distance and divided by the pelvic depth) in patients undergoing prostatectomy was calculated and used to estimate the probable robotic working space. Patients with larger prostates and with narrow, deep pelvises were predicted to have a more difficult RALP. The PV (prostate volume) to PCI ratio statistically predicted lengthier and bloodier procedures but did not predict positive surgical margins [34] or transfusion risk on regression analysis. Most of the studies [34],[35],[36] did not show a positive correlation between smaller pelvic volume and negative prostatectomy outcomes. Two technical issues in patients with narrow pelvis are decreased intra-pelvic working space and clashing of robotic instruments externally. Clashing between the third and fourth arm is common in patients with smaller BMI and narrow pelvis. A minimum distance of 8 cm will negate the instrument clashing externally, with additional maneuvers of depressing the 4 th arm, elevating the third arm and medially rotating the 3 rd arm helping to prevent clashing. Another maneuver to prevent clashing is using a three-arm robot with additional assistant ports at the 4 th arm. Intra-operative clashing can be avoided with experience; hence, smaller BMI and narrow pelvis can be avoided in the initial learning curve.

Studies and outcomes of VUA in obese individuals

Several studies have reported the functional and oncological outcomes in obese individuals [Table 2]. [16],[37],[38] Operative times ranged between 84 to 353 min, length of hospital stay ranged between 1.1 to 4.3 days and blood loss ranged between 100 to 457 ml. [13],[14],[15],[16] Technical modifications that have shown to improve better operating time were use of Air seal technology and use of barbed suture, either unidirectional [19],[20] or bidirectional. [21],[22] AirSeal® trocar [30] allows reducing the number of ingress incisions and facilitates simultaneous as well as consecutive use of multiple instruments. Barbed suture has shown to decrease the anastomotic time but did not affect the urinary extravasation or long term continence rates.
Table 2: Review of the literature

Click here to view



   Conclusions Top


Obesity is a significant health problem in the world. As more and more patients seek surgical management for localized cancer prostate, it is logical the surgeons will need to operate on increasing numbers of obese individuals. In obese patients, this novel technique of air seal technology, bariatric trocars, alterations in trocar placement, barbed suture and use of modified posterior reconstruction facilitate urethra-vesical anastomosis in robotic assisted radical prostatectomy. The experience of the surgeon is a critical factor in outcomes in these technically challenging patients, and obese individuals are best avoided during the initial phase of the learning curve.[41]

 
   References Top

1.Siegel R, Naishadham D, Jemal A. Cancer statistics, 2012. CA Cancer J Clin 2012;62:10-29.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.Bill-Axelson A, Holmberg L, Ruutu M, Garmo H, Stark JR, Busch C, et al. Radical prostatectomy versus watchful waiting in early prostate cancer. N Engl J Med 2011;364:1708-17.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.Froehner M, Litz R, Manseck A, Hakenberg OW, Leike S, Albrecht DM, et al. Relationship of comorbidity, age and perioperative complication in patients undergoing radical prostatectomy. Urol Int 2001;67:283  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.Tyritzis SI, Katafigiotis I, Constantinides CA. All you need to know about urethrovesical anastomotic urinary leakage following radical prostatectomy. J Urol 2012;188:369-76.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.Badani KK, Hemal AK, Peabody JO, Menon M. Robotic radical prostatectomy: The Vattikuti Urology Institute training experience. World J Urol 2006;24:148-51.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.Sim HG, Yip SK, Cheng CW. Equipment and technology in surgical robotics. World J Urol 2006;24:128-35.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.Menon M, Hemal AK. Robotic urologic surgery: Is this the way of the future? World J Urol 2006;24:119.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.Herrmann TR, Rabenalt R, Stolzenburg JU, Liatsikos EN, Imkamp F, Tezval H, et al. Oncological and functional results of open, robot-assisted and laparoscopic radical prostatectomy: Does surgical approach and surgical experience matter? World J Urol 2007;25:149-60.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.Ogden CL, Carroll ME, Kit BK, Flegal KM. Prevalence of obesity in the United States, 2009-2010. NCHS Data Brief 2012;82:1-8  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.Freedland SJ, Wen J, Wuerstle M, Shah A, Lai D, Moalej B, et al. Obesity is a significant risk factor for prostate cancer at the time of biopsy. Urology 2008;72:1102-5.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
11.Freedland SJ, Banez LL, Sun LL, Fitzsimons NJ, Moul JW. Obese men have higher-grade and larger tumors: An analysis of the duke prostate center database. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis 2009;12:259-63.  Back to cited text no. 11
    
12.Freedland SJ, Terris MK, Platz EA, Presti JC Jr. Body mass index as a predictor of prostate cancer: Development versus detection on biopsy. Urology 2005;66:108-13.  Back to cited text no. 12
    
13.Abdul-Muhsin H, Giedelman C, Samavedi S, Schatloff O, Coelho R, Rocco B, et al. Perioperative and early oncological outcomes after robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP) in morbidly obese patients: A propensity score-matched study. BJU Int 2014;113:84-91.  Back to cited text no. 13
    
14.Herman MP, Raman JD, Dong S, Samadi D, Scherr DS. Increasing body mass index negatively impacts outcomes following robotic radical prostatectomy. JSLS 2007;11:438-42.  Back to cited text no. 14
    
15.Castle EP, Atug F, Woods M, Thomas R, Davis R. Impact of body mass index on outcomes after robot assisted radical prostatectomy. World J Urol 2008;26:91-5.  Back to cited text no. 15
    
16.Chalasani V, Martinez CH, Lim D, Bareeq RA, Wignall GR, Stitt L, et al. Impact of body mass index on perioperative outcomes during the learning curve for robot-assisted radical prostatectomy. Can Urol Assoc J 2010;4:250-4.  Back to cited text no. 16
    
17.Hoznek A, Solomon L, Rabi R, Ben Slama MR, Cicco A, Antiphon P, et al. Vesicourethral anastomosis during laparoscopic radical prostatectomy: The running suture method. J Endourol 2000;14:749-53.  Back to cited text no. 17
    
18.Van Velthoven RF, Ahlering TE, Peltier A, Skarecky DW, Clayman RV. Technique for laparoscopic running urethrovesical anastomosis: The single knot method. Urology 2003;61:699-702.  Back to cited text no. 18
    
19.Tewari AK, Srivastava A, Sooriakumaran P, Slevin A, Grover S, Waldman O, et al. Use of a novel absorbable barbed plastic surgical suture enables a "self-cinching" technique of vesicourethral anastomosis during robot-assisted prostatectomy and improves anastomotic times. J Endourol 2010;24:1645-50.  Back to cited text no. 19
    
20.Chapman S, Turo R, Cross W. Vesicourethral anastomosis using V-Loc™ barbed suture during robot-assisted radical prostatectomy. Cent European J Urol 2011;64:236.  Back to cited text no. 20
[PUBMED]    
21.Valero R, Schatloff O, Chauhan S, HwiiKo Y, Sivaraman A, Coelho RF, et al. Bidirectional barbed suture for bladder neck reconstruction, posterior reconstruction and vesicourethral anastomosis during robot assisted radical prostatectomy. Actas Urol Esp 2012;36:69-74.  Back to cited text no. 21
    
22.Zorn KC, Widmer H, Lattouf JB, Liberman D, Bhojani N, Trinh QD, et al. Novel method of knotless vesicourethral anastomosis during robot-assisted radical prostatectomy: Feasibility study and early outcomes in 30 patients using the interlocked barbed unidirectional V-LOC180 suture. Can Urol Assoc J 2011;5:188-94.  Back to cited text no. 22
    
23.Hu JC, Nelson RA, Wilson TG, Kawachi MH, Ramin SA, Lau C, et al. Perioperative complications of laparoscopic and robotic assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy. J Urol 2006;175:541-6.  Back to cited text no. 23
    
24.Murphy DG, Kerger M, Crowe H, Peters JS, Costello AJ. Operative details and oncological and functional outcome of robotic-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy: 400 cases with a minimum of 12 months follow-up. Eur Urol 2009;55:1358-67.  Back to cited text no. 24
    
25.Selli C, De Antoni P, Moro U, Macchiarella A, Giannarini G, Crisci A. Role of bladder neck preservation in urinary continence following radical retropubic prostatectomy. Scand J Urol Nephrol 2004;38:32-7.  Back to cited text no. 25
    
26.Deliveliotis C, Protogerou V, Alargof E, Varkarakis J. Radical prostatectomy: Bladder neck preservation and puboprostatic ligament sparing-effects on continence and positive margins. Urology 2002;60:855-8.  Back to cited text no. 26
    
27.Walsh PC, Marschke P. Intussusception of the reconstructed bladder neck leads to earlier continence after radical prostatectomy. Urology 2002;59:934-8.  Back to cited text no. 27
    
28.Jorion JL. Rectus fascial sling suspension of the vesicourethral anastomosis after radical prostatectomy. J Urol 1997;157:926-8.  Back to cited text no. 28
[PUBMED]    
29.Rocco F, Gadda F, Acquati P, Carmignani L, Favini P, Dell'Orto P, et al. Personal research: Reconstruction of the urethral striated sphincter. Arch Ital Urol Androl 2001;73:127-37.  Back to cited text no. 29
    
30.Horstmann M, Horton K, Kurz M, Padevit C, John H. Prospective comparison between the AirSeal® System valve-less Trocar and a standard Versaport™ Plus V2 Trocar in robotic-assisted radical prostatectomy. J Endourol 2013;27:579-82.  Back to cited text no. 30
    
31.Rocco F, Carmignani L, Acquati P, Gadda F, Dell'Orto P, Rocco B, et al. Early continence recovery after open radical prostatectomy with restoration of the posterior aspect of the rhabdosphincter. Eur Urol 2007;52:376-83.  Back to cited text no. 31
    
32.Rocco B, Cozzi G, Spinelli MG, Coelho RF, Patel VR, Tewari A, et al. Posterior musculofascial reconstruction after radical prostatectomy: A systematic review of the literature. Eur Urol 2012;62:779-90.  Back to cited text no. 32
    
33.Mason BM, Hakimi AA, Faleck D, Chernyak V, Rozenblitt A, Ghavamian R. The role of preoperative endo-rectal coil magnetic resonance imaging in predicting surgical difficulty for robotic prostatectomy. Urology 2010;76:1130-5.  Back to cited text no. 33
    
34.Hong SK, Chang IH, Han BK, Yu JH, Han JH, Jeong SJ, et al. Impact of variations in bony pelvic dimensions on performing radical retropubic prostatectomy. Urology 2007;69:907-11.  Back to cited text no. 34
    
35.Hong SK, Lee ST, Kim SS, Min KE, Hwang IS, Kim M, et al. Effect of bony pelvic dimensions measured by preoperative magnetic resonance imaging on performing robot-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy. BJU Int 2009;104:664-8.  Back to cited text no. 35
    
36.von Bodman C, Matsushita K, Matikainen MP, Eastham JA, Scardino PT, Akin O, et al. Do pelvic dimensions and prostate location contribute to the risk of experiencing complications after radical prostatectomy? BJU Int 2011;108:1566-71.  Back to cited text no. 36
    
37.Sandhu JS, Gotto GT, Herran LA, Scardino PT, Eastham JA, Rabbani F. Age, obesity, medical comorbidities and surgical technique are predictive of symptomatic anastomotic strictures after contemporary radical prostatectomy. J Urol 2011;185:2148-52.  Back to cited text no. 37
    
38.Mikhail AA, Stockton BR, Orvieto MA, Chien GW, Gong EM, Zorn KC, et al. Robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy in overweight and obese patients. Urology 2006;67:774-9.  Back to cited text no. 38
    
39.Bae JJ, Choi SH, Kwon TG, Kim TH. Advantages of robot-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy in obese patients: Comparison with the open procedure. Korean J Urol 2012;53:536-40.  Back to cited text no. 39
    
40.Zilberman DE, Tsivian M, Yong D, Ferrandino MN, Albala DM. Does body mass index have an impact on the rate and location of positive surgical margins following robot assisted radical prostatectomy? Urol Oncol 2012;30:790-3.  Back to cited text no. 40
    
41.Wiltz AL, Shikanov S, Eggener SE, Katz MH, Thong AE, Steinberg GD, et al. Robotic radical prostatectomy in overweight and obese patients: Oncological and validated-functional outcomes. Urology 2009;73:316-22.  Back to cited text no. 41
    


    Figures

  [Figure 1]
 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2]



 

Top
Print this article  Email this article
 

    

 
   Search
 
  
    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
    Article in PDF (655 KB)
    Citation Manager
    Access Statistics
    Reader Comments
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  


    Abstract
   Introduction
   Conclusions
    References
    Article Figures
    Article Tables

 Article Access Statistics
    Viewed2031    
    Printed41    
    Emailed1    
    PDF Downloaded81    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal

HEALTHWARE INDIA