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J Urol. 2002 Feb;167(2 Pt 1):469-7; discussion 475-6.

Laparoscopic partial nephrectomy for renal tumor: duplicating open surgical techniques.

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  • 1Section of Laparoscopic and Minimally Invasive Surgery, Urological Institute, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio 44195, USA.



We describe our technique of and single institutional experience with purely laparoscopic partial nephrectomy for renal tumor, wherein the focus is to duplicate established open techniques of oncologic nephron sparing surgery.


Since August 1999 laparoscopic partial nephrectomy for renal tumor has been performed in 50 patients. Of the patients 24 (48%) had either a compromised contralateral kidney (20) or a solitary kidney (4). Mean tumor size was 3.0 cm. (range 1.4 to 7). In 9 patients (18%) the inner margin of the tumor was in close proximity to the pelvicaliceal system. Our current laparoscopic technique involves preoperative ureteral catheterization, laparoscopic renal ultrasonography, transient atraumatic clamping of the renal artery and vein, tumor excision with an approximate 0.5 cm. margin using cold endoshears and/or J-hook electrocautery, pelvicaliceal suture repair (if necessary) and suture repair of the renal parenchymal defect over surgicel bolsters. In 1 case renal surface hypothermia was achieved laparoscopically with ice slush. All suturing and knot tying were performed with free hand intracorporeal laparoscopic techniques exclusively.


All procedures were successfully completed without open conversion. Mean surgical time was 3.0 hours (range, 0.75 to 5.8) and mean blood loss was 270.4 cc (range 40 to 1,500). Mean warm ischemia time was 23 minutes (range, 9.8 to 40). Caliceal entry in 18 cases (36%) was suture repaired in a watertight manner. Following caliceal repair, none of these 18 patients had a postoperative urine leak. Hospital stay averaged 2.2 days (range 1 to 9). Major complications occurred in 3 patients (6%) including intraoperative hemorrhage in 1, delayed hemorrhage necessitating nephrectomy in 1 and urine leak in 1. Renal cell carcinoma was confirmed on pathological examination in 34 patients (68%), and all had negative inked surgical margins for cancer. During a mean followup of 7.2 months (range 1 to 17) no patient has had local or port site recurrence or metastatic disease.


Laparoscopic partial nephrectomy is a viable alternative for select patients with a renal tumor. The largest single institutional experience to date is presented wherein the open techniques of nephron sparing surgery have been duplicated laparoscopically.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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