Long-term outcome analysis of Starr plication for primary obstructive megaureters

Peter C. Fretz, J. Christopher Austin, Christopher S. Cooper, Charles E. Hawtrey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Purpose: The Starr technique of tapering megaureters was first reported in 1979. Although this method of ureteral plication is well known, to our knowledge there are no clinical studies regarding outcomes. We report the first long-term outcome results with the Starr technique for primary obstructive megaureters. Materials and Methods: Three girls and 10 boys with a total of 16 primary obstructive megaureters (3 bilateral) underwent reimplantation with Starr plication between 1988 and 2000. Baseline and followup renal function (average followup 6.2 years) was determined with renal scan and/or 24-hour urinary creatinine clearance. Average age at operation was 5.6 years (range 2 months to 13 years). All ureters were plicated using the Starr technique with interrupted polydioxanone sutures performed by a single surgeon (CEH). Reimplantation methods were the Hendren technique in 7 and Politano-Leadbetter in 9. Results: No ureter demonstrated obstruction postoperatively. One ureter refluxed, which resolved with subureteral collagen injection. Seven patients had mean preoperative and postoperative creatinine clearance ± SD 72.9 ± 14.8 and 102.1 ± 10.9 cc per minute, respectively (p <0.05). Six patients underwent preoperative and postoperative renal scans. Average preoperative relative renal function on renal scan in the kidney with a megaureter was 53.0% ± 6.7% (range 37% to 84%). Long-term followup (average 4.1 years) renal scan revealed a relative function of 53.3% ± 9.2% (range 37% to 100%). Conclusions: Our data demonstrate that Starr plication is a safe procedure that provides long-term stabilization of renal function in the management of primary obstructive megaureter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)703-705
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Hydronephrosis
  • Kidney
  • Ureter
  • Vesico-ureteral reflux

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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