Failed percutaneous balloon dilation for renal access: Incidence and risk factors

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Journal Article

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Objectives. To present our experience using balloon dilation and discuss secondary techniques to establish a percutaneous tract when balloon dilation fails. Balloon dilation is a safe and effective method to achieve percutaneous renal access, but it is not uniformly successful. Also, the failure rate and risk factors have not been well documented. Methods. We retrospectively reviewed our last 99 consecutive percutaneous renal procedures using a balloon system as our initial dilation modality. In all cases, the urologist achieved needle access. We determined the balloon failure rate, relationship to prior renal surgery and other patient-related factors, and success rate using secondary techniques of tract dilation. Results. The balloon did not adequately dilate a tract in 17 (17% failure rate) of 99 cases. The risk factors for failure included a history of prior ipsilateral renal surgery (25% failure rate versus 8% without surgery) and subcostal compared with supracostal puncture (18% versus 9% failure rate). The failure rate was not increased when stratified by laterality, stone composition, stone size and location, or history of ipsilateral renal infection. Amplatz dilators were used in 16 refractory cases and were successful in 15. Metal Alken dilators were successfully used in 2 patients. Conclusions. The balloon dilation system is commonly used as the primary modality to establish percutaneous renal access. Although safe and effective (83%), the success rate drops dramatically in patients with prior ipsilateral renal surgery. Knowledge and skill with alternative dilation systems, such as Amplatz or metal Alken dilators, are necessary to successfully gain entry into all renal collecting systems. © 2005 Elsevier Inc.

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