CHOP Urology Minimally Invasive Surgery Research Update

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Urology Update

Aznive Aghababian Aznive Aghababian As the Division of Urology at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) continues to advance our research in minimally invasive surgery, we have several new members joining our research team and have made considerable progress on two major projects.

Over the past two years, our research team has published 12 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals, and the MIS team presented dozens of abstracts at the American Urological Association (AUA) 2021 Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, the Societies for Pediatric Urology 2021 Fall Congress in Miami, the North American Robotic Urology Society (NARUS) 2022 Congress in Las Vegas, the AUA 2022 Spring Conference in New Orleans, the European Society for Pediatric Urology meeting in Ghent, Belgium, and the AUA-NY Section meeting in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Sahar Eftekharzadeh, MD, MPH Sahar Eftekharzadeh, MD, MPH Our team received the Best Abstract award at the NARUS conference for our work entitled, “Outcomes and safety of robot-assisted laparoscopic ureteral reimplantation (RALUR) in infants less than 24 months of age with primary vesicoureteral reflux.” The MIS team aimed to show that the safety and efficacy of performing RALUR on patients <24 months of age is comparable to an older cohort.

As we approach our fall abstract deadline for the Societies for Pediatric Urology meeting at the American Urological Association meeting being held in Chicago in 2023, multiple projects are nearing completion and being readied for submission. We are pleased to lead and join several multi-institutional studies including a systematic review focused on vesicoureteral reflux and the robot-assisted laparoscopic pyeloplasty when performed in complex clinical scenarios.

The MIS team is continuing to grow as we bring on new members in research. Two researchers who were instrumental in our growth as an MIS team are Aznive Aghababian, our Clinical Research Coordinator, and Sahar Eftekharzadeh, MD, MPH, our visiting researcher. Having contributed to every project the MIS team has seen over the past few years, Aznive and Sahar laid the groundwork for strong data integrity and what it means to lead in critical evaluation of medical literature during their time with us at CHOP. Aznive and Sahar were both well equipped to advance their careers, and we were so proud to see them off to medical school and residency, respectively. We are looking forward to seeing the contributions they will make in the medical field going forward and are now excited to have three new members of the MIS team who have already picked up and advanced many of their projects since.

Suhaib Abdulfattah, MD, is our newest Visiting Research Scholar. He joins us from American University of Beirut Medical Center in Lebanon, and he will be coordinating research for the MIS team. Emily Ai, a recent graduate from the University of Pennsylvania, is spending a year with urology straddling various projects such as Varicocele and Complex Pyeloplasty with the MIS, bladder exstrophy and varicocele teams. Austin Mitchell, a recent graduate from the University of South Carolina, joined the team as a Clinical Research Assistant in urology, taking over Aznive’s leadership of MIS projects. We are all excited to see this team grow and bring aboard so many new personnel.

We are grateful to generous philanthropic support for providing us with the resources to invest in a talented research team making important discoveries. Our commitment to continuously and rigorously assess surgical indications, interventions and outcomes for minimally invasive surgery for children remains steadfast.

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