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Eur Urol. 2007 Jan;51(1):186-91; discussion 191-2. Epub 2006 Jun 21.

da Vinci-assisted robotic partial nephrectomy: technique and results at a mean of 15 months of follow-up.

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  • 1Vattikuti Urology Institute, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, MI 48202, USA.



Laparoscopic partial nephrectomy is gaining acceptance as an alternative to open surgery for small renal tumours, although technical difficulty of intracorporeal suturing and concerns over warm ischemia time are limitations. Previous work has demonstrated that suturing with the robotic system is easier compared with laparoscopy. We believe the robot has an application and we report our initial experience in 10 patients undergoing robotic partial nephrectomy.


Ten patients with small exophytic renal masses underwent intraperitoneal robotic partial nephrectomy. Principles of traditional open surgery were followed and intraoperative ultrasound was used to define resection margins. The renal artery was clamped with laparoscopic bulldog clamps and indigo carmine was administered intravenously to detect entry into collecting system. Suture closure and FLOSEAL were used for hemostasis. Frozen sections were obtained in all patients.


Seven men and three women, mean age 59 yr, underwent robotic partial nephrectomy. Mean tumour size was 2 cm. Mean console and warm ischemia time were 158 min and 21 min, respectively. The median hospital stay was 1.5 d. Pathology revealed renal cell carcinoma in eight, oncocytoma in one, and lipoma in one. All resection margins were negative. Follow-up ranged from 6 to 28 mo.


Robotic partial nephrectomy is a viable alternative to open or laparoscopic partial nephrectomy in carefully selected patients with small renal tumours. The advantages of the robotic system must be weighed against its cost. Further studies will determine if reduction in procedure complexity warrants the expense of such technology.

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