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Urology. 2000 Sep 1;56(3):387-92.

Nephron-sparing surgery of renal cell carcinoma with a normal opposite kidney: long-term outcome in 180 patients.

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Department of Urology, Johannes Gutenberg University School of Medicine, Mainz, Germany.



To investigate the long-term outcome of an organ-saving approach for renal cell carcinoma (RCC) with a normal opposite kidney (elective indication).


Since 1979, 180 patients have undergone nephron-sparing surgery at our institution for RCC in the presence of a normal contralateral kidney. The mean age was 56 years (range 23 to 83), and the mean follow-up was 4.7 years (maximum 14. 8). Most of these tumors were found incidentally, with a mean tumor diameter on ultrasound of 3.3 cm (range 1.0 to 8.6).


The postoperative course was unremarkable in 173 patients. Postoperative bleeding was encountered in 4 patients and urinary extravasation in an additional 3 patients. No surgical reintervention was necessary. One hundred seventy-five RCCs were pT1 and 5 were pT3a; 73 were grade 1, 100 grade 2, and 7 were grade 3. The mean tumor diameter (surgical specimen) was 3.2 cm (range 0.5 to 7). In 132 cases, the tumor was less than 4 cm and in 48 cases, greater than 4 cm. Three patients experienced local tumor recurrence (1.6%) during follow-up, and two others developed distant metastases. The 5-year tumor-specific survival rate was 98.0%.


Nephron-sparing surgery for RCC under an elective indication in selected patients offers excellent long-term survival and an acceptably low local tumor recurrence rate. These results support the concept of nephron-sparing surgery in the presence of a normal contralateral kidney.

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