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Urology. 2001 Apr;57(4):644-9.

Retroperitoneoscopic nephrectomy and nephroureterectomy for benign nonfunctioning kidneys: a single-center experience.

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Department of Urology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.



To report our experience of 185 cases of retroperitoneoscopic nephrectomy and nephroureterectomy for benign nonfunctioning kidneys with various modified techniques for differing etiologies. The feasibility, complications, and long-term outcomes are discussed.


The present study comprised 185 patients who underwent retroperitoneoscopic nephrectomy or nephroureterectomy during a 57-month period beginning July 1995. All procedures were done using the retroperitoneoscopic approach. Thirty-two patients had a history of previous surgery, 20 patients had a percutaneous nephrostomy, and 12 patients had mild renal impairment.


Retroperitoneoscopic nephrectomy and nephroureterectomy were completed successfully in 167 patients. Eighteen patients required conversion to open surgery, 4 on an emergent basis and 14 electively. The mean operating time was 100 minutes (range 45 to 240), mean blood loss was 133 mL (range 30 to 1200), and mean hospital stay was 3 days (range 2 to 8). A total of 37 complications (16.2% were minor and 3.78% were major) occurred. Re-intervention was needed in 1 patient. No mortality resulted. Previous surgery, percutaneous nephrostomy, and chronic renal impairment did not affect the outcome. Apart from one incisional hernia, no long-term complications occurred.


Retroperitoneoscopic nephrectomy and nephroureterectomy can be performed safely and successfully with obvious advantages for benign nonfunctioning kidneys regardless of the etiology or pathogenesis, with modifications in the approach in very difficult cases. Patients with conditions often considered to be contraindications (ie, genitourinary tuberculosis, pyonephrosis, history of previous surgery, percutaneous nephrostomy, stone disease, chronic renal failure, and horseshoe kidney) can also be successfully treated by skillful dissection and modifications in the surgical technique.

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