What are the complications of ureteral injury due to gynecologic surgery?

Updated: Nov 12, 2020
  • Author: Sandip P Vasavada, MD; Chief Editor: Bradley Fields Schwartz, DO, FACS  more...
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Answer

Ureteral injury is one of the most serious complications of gynecologic surgery. Less common than injuries to the bladder or rectum, ureteral injuries are far more serious and troublesome and are often associated with significant morbidity, the formation of ureterovaginal fistulas, and the potential loss of kidney function, especially when not recognized until postoperatively. For these reasons, injuries to the urinary tract, particularly the ureter, are the most common cause for legal action against gynecologic surgeons.

Despite the close anatomical association between the female reproductive organs and the ureter, injury to the ureter is relatively uncommon. Nevertheless, when a ureteral injury does occur, quick recognition of the problem and a working knowledge of its location and treatment are essential in providing patients with optimal medical care. The purpose of this article is to elucidate how and why ureteral injuries occur and to review their surgical and nonsurgical treatments.


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