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PLoS One. 2014 Feb 21;9(2):e89155. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0089155. eCollection 2014.

Mini-flank supra-12th rib incision for open partial nephrectomy compared with laparoscopic partial nephrectomy and traditional open partial nephrectomy.

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  • Department of Urology, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.



The purpose of this study was to report our approach of partial nephrectomy (PN) using a supra-12th rib mini-flank incision. We compared mini-incision open partial nephrectomy (MI-OPN) with open partial nephrectomy (OPN) and laparoscopic partial nephrectomy (LPN) to verify whether MI-OPN can be an alternative to OPN and LPN.


This was a retrospective single-center study including 194 patients who underwent partial nephrectomy (PN) between February 2005 and December 2010. Demographic, perioperative, and complication data were compared among the MI-OPN group, OPN group and LPN group.


No statistical differences were reported in either group for age, sex, BMI, tumour side (right or left kidney), RENAL nephrometry scores, PADUA score and preoperative eGFR. The operative time was longer in LPN group when compared with MI-OPN and OPN group (all P<0.001). The warm ischemia time of LPN group was longer than MI-OPN group (P = 0.032) and OPN group (P = 0.005). The length of stay of LPN group was shorter than OPN group (P = 0.018), but was similar to MI-OPN group (P = 0.094). The incidence of renal artery clamping was lower in OPN group when compared with MI-OPN and LPN group (all P<0.001). More estimated blood loss was found in OPN group when compared with MI-OPN group (p = 0.003) and LPN group (P = 0.014). The overall incidence of postoperative complications was similar.


The approach of MI-OPN can couple the benefits of both minimally invasive and open partial nephrectomy techniques with less estimated blood loss, shorter operative time, shorter length of stay, less postoperative complications, and a smaller incision. MI-OPN may be an effective alternative to laparoscopic or traditional open approaches, which maybe more suitable for the tumors with high RENAL nephrometry score or PADUA score.

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