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Urology. 2001 Jan;57(1):133-7.

Prospective comparison between hand-assisted laparoscopic and open surgical nephroureterectomy for urothelial cell carcinoma.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Section of Urology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.



To prospectively compare open surgical and the new hand-assisted approach to laparoscopic nephroureterectomy for urothelial cell carcinoma. Previous retrospective studies have suggested that standard laparoscopic nephroureterectomy provides a briefer convalescence than open surgical nephroureterectomy.


Between March 1997 and September 1999, 16 hand-assisted laparoscopic and 11 open surgical nephroureterectomies were performed, without randomization. Validated questionnaires were prospectively administered preoperatively and 2 and 6 weeks postoperatively.


The operative time was longer with the laparoscopic approach (320 versus 199 minutes, P <0.001), but the hospital stay was shorter (3.9 versus 5.2 days, P = 0.03). Patient recovery favored the laparoscopic group with regard to time to drive (17.1 versus 37.7 days), time to normal, nonstrenuous activity (18.2 versus 38.1 days), and the mental component score of the SF-12 survey at 6 weeks (57.1 versus 43.0) (P <0.05 for all). Minor complications occurred in 19% of the laparoscopic and 45% of the open surgical procedures; major complications occurred in 19% of laparoscopic and 27% of open surgical procedures (P >0.1 for both). Cancer control was similar between both groups. The mean operating room cost was 56% more for the laparoscopic group (P <0.001), but the overall hospital cost was only 8% greater (P >0.3).


Hand-assisted laparoscopic nephroureterectomy is a safe and effective alternative to an open surgical approach. Indexes of patient recovery suggest that patient convalescence is less than after an open surgical nephroureterectomy. Increased operative costs may be offset by a shorter hospital stay and fewer complications, resulting in similar overall hospital costs.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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