Robotic pyelolithotomy in a solitary pelvic kidney complicated with fulminant Clostridium difficile: a case report

Preston S. Kerr, Nga T. Nguyen, Andrew Martinez, Aditya Srinivasan, Christopher D. Kosarek, Joseph Nicholas Sreshta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Robotic-assisted surgeries have gradually become the standard of care for many procedures, especially in the field of urology. Despite the widespread use of robotic assistance in surgeries, data on its postoperative complications are extremely limited. We detail a rare presentation of fulminant Clostridium difficile colitis requiring surgical intervention in a patient with a solitary ectopic pelvic kidney who underwent a robotic-assisted pyelolithotomy. Highlights of the most recent management recommendations for C. difficile infection are also presented. Case presentation: A 26-year-old Caucasian woman who underwent a robot-assisted pyelolithotomy of a pelvic kidney developed tachycardia, leukocytosis, and severe diarrhea 2 days following surgery. Because of her long history of antibiotic use, her severe symptoms were concerning for C. difficile colitis. This was confirmed by a C. difficile toxin test and a computed tomography scan. She was given recommended antibiotics, but her condition progressively deteriorated. The patient developed fulminant colitis and toxic megacolon, for which she underwent an exploratory laparotomy with subtotal abdominal colectomy and ileostomy creation on the twelfth day of her hospitalization. She fully recovered and was discharged 3 weeks after her subtotal colectomy. Conclusion: Although robotic surgeries have been shown to have several advantages, risk of postsurgical complications remains. We present a rare case of fulminant C. difficile colitis that complicated a robotic-assisted pyelolithotomy. Active prevention, early detection, and optimization of management are essential to preventing unfavorable outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number126
JournalJournal of Medical Case Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • C. difficile
  • Colitis
  • Pyelolithotomy
  • Robotic surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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