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Eur Urol. 2008 Aug;54(2):409-16. doi: 10.1016/j.eururo.2008.04.007. Epub 2008 Apr 11.

Laparoscopic partial nephrectomy for hilar tumors: technique and results.

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  • 1Department of Urology, Krankenhaus der Elisabethinen, Linz, Austria.



Laparoscopic partial nephrectomy for hilar tumors is a cutting edge procedure for which little data is available in the current literature.


To describe our technique and results of laparoscopic partial nephrectomy for renal hilar tumors.


Between April 2000 and September 2006, 94 partial laparoscopic nephrectomies were performed at our institution. A total of 18 (19.1%) patients had hilar tumors. A hilar tumor was defined as a lesion suspicious for renal cell carcinoma in contact with a major renal vessel on preoperative cross-sectional imaging. In 3 (16.7%) of the patients, the indication for nephron-sparing surgery was imperative. Mean tumor size was 3 cm (range, 2-4.5). Eight (44.4%) surgeries were performed with renal artery perfusion for cold ischemia; the remaining surgeries were performed under warm ischemia.


After occluding the renal artery and controlling the renal vein by using separate rubber band tourniquets, we excised the tumor mass including delicate mobilization away from the blood vessels. Although we used to insert a ureteral stent at the beginning of our experience with laparoscopic partial nephrectomies, we no longer do so. All surgeries were performed by a single urologist (G.J.).


Operative time, ischemia time, blood loss, renal function using the Cockroft formula as well as renal scans, operative and post-operative complications, pathology parameters.


All surgeries were completed laparoscopically. Mean surgical time was 238 min (range, 150-420). Mean ischemia times were 42.5 min (range, 27-63) and 34.1 min (range, 24-56) for the cold and warm ischemia groups, respectively. Estimated intraoperative blood loss was 165 ml (range, 50-500). There were two (11%) entries into major vessels during tumor excision, namely a segmental renal artery in one patient and a segmental renal vein in another. Both of these occurrences were managed laparoscopically. One patient necessitated laparoscopic reexploration for urine extravasation in the immediate postoperative period. All postoperative nuclear scans (available in 12 of 18 patients) showed functional kidney moiety. Mean split renal function was 38.6% (range, 24-50) on the operated side. Histopathological examination confirmed renal cell carcinoma in 14 (77.8%) of the patients. One (7.1%) patient had a positive surgical margin on the surface that was adjacent to the renal artery. In a median follow-up of 26 mo (range, 1-59), no local recurrence or systemic progression occurred.


Laparoscopic partial nephrectomy for hilar tumors is a feasible and safe procedure in the hands of experienced laparoscopic surgeons. Oncological results seem excellent, but further follow-up is needed for accurate long-term assessment of this surgical approach.

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