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J Urol. 2001 Dec;166(6):2095-9; discussion 2099-100.

Laparoscopic radical nephrectomy: cancer control for renal cell carcinoma.

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James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute, The Johns Hopkins Medical Institution, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.



We evaluated the clinical efficacy of laparoscopic versus open radical nephrectomy in patients with clinically localized renal cell carcinoma.


Between 1991 and 1999, 67 laparoscopic radical nephrectomies were performed for clinically localized, stages cT1/2 NXMX, pathologically confirmed renal cell carcinoma. During this period 54 patients who underwent open radical nephrectomy with pathologically confirmed stages pT1/2 NXMX disease were also identified. Medical and operative records were retrospectively reviewed and telephone followup was done to assess patient status.


In the laparoscopic and open groups average tumor size was 5.1 (range 1 to 13) and 5.4 cm. (range 0.2 to 18), respectively, which was not statistically significant. No patient had laparoscopic port site, wound or renal fossa tumor recurrence in either group. All patients were followed at least 12 months. In the laparoscopic group 2 cancer specific deaths occurred at a mean followup of 35.6 months. In the open group there were 2 cancer specific deaths and 3 cases of disease progression at a mean followup of 44 months. Kaplan-Meier disease-free survival and actuarial survival analysis revealed no significant differences in the laparoscopic and open radical nephrectomy groups. Also, no differences were noted in the complication rate.


Laparoscopic radical nephrectomy is an effective alternative for localized renal cell carcinoma when the principles of surgical oncology are maintained. Initial data show shorter patient hospitalization and effective cancer control with no significant difference in survival compared with open radical nephrectomy.

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