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J Urol. 2005 Jan;173(1):38-41.

Prospective randomized comparison of transperitoneal versus retroperitoneal laparoscopic radical nephrectomy.

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  • 1Section of Laparoscopic and Robotic Surgery, Glickman Urological Institute, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44195, USA.



We report on a prospective randomized comparison of transperitoneal versus retroperitoneal laparoscopic radical nephrectomy for renal tumor.


Between June 1999 and June 2001, 102 consecutive eligible patients with a computerized tomography identified renal tumor were prospectively randomized to undergo either a transperitoneal (group 1, 50 patients) or retroperitoneal (group 2, 52 patients) laparoscopic radical nephrectomy with intact specimen extraction. Exclusion criteria for the study included body mass index greater than 35 or a history of prior major abdominal surgery in the quadrant of interest. Both groups were matched regarding age (63 versus 65 years, p = 0.69), BMI (29 versus 28, p = 0.89), American Society of Anesthesiologists class (2.7 versus 2.8, p = 0.37), laterality (right side 46% versus 48%, p = 0.85) and mean tumor size (5.3 versus 5.0 cm, p = 0.73).


All 102 procedures were technically successful without the need for open conversion. Compared to the transperitoneal approach, the retroperitoneal approach was associated with a shorter time to renal artery control (91 versus 34 minutes, p <0.0001), shorter time to renal vein control (98 versus 45 minutes, p <0.0001) and shorter total operative time (207 versus 150 minutes, p = 0.001). However, the transperitoneal and retroperitoneal approaches were similar in terms of estimated blood loss (180 versus 242 cc, p = 0.13), hospital stay (43 versus 45 hours, p = 0.55), intraoperative complications (10% versus 7.7%, p = 0.30), postoperative complications (20% versus 13.5%, p = 0.14) and postoperative analgesia requirements (27 versus 26 mg MSO4 equivalent p = 0.13). Pathology revealed renal cell carcinoma in 84% and 75% of cases, respectively, with no positive surgical margin in any case.


Laparoscopic radical nephrectomy can be performed efficiently and effectively with the transperitoneal or the retroperitoneal approach. While renal hilar control and total operative time may be quicker with retroperitoneoscopy, the approaches are similar in terms of other patient outcomes evaluated.

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