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Urology. 2001 Nov;58(5):688-92.

Laparoscopic nephron-sparing surgery for renal tumors.

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Department of Urology, General Hospital Klagenfurt, Klagenfurt, Austria.



To report our experience with laparoscopic nephron-sparing surgery. Because of the widespread use of ultrasonography and computed tomography, laparoscopy is becoming more and more important in the surgical management of solid renal masses. Although laparoscopic radical nephrectomy has gained wide acceptance, laparoscopic nephron-sparing surgery for renal tumors is still rarely done.


From June 1994 to December 2000, we treated 51 patients presenting with small exophytic solid renal masses by laparoscopic wedge resection in two Austrian centers. Depending on the center, the retroperitoneal approach was used in 32 cases and the transperitoneal approach was used in 19. The mean age was 59.8 years, and the average tumor size was 2 cm in diameter. Wedge resection was performed with the UltraCision device, and hemostasis was achieved by bipolar coagulation and fibrin glue-coated cellulose.


All procedures were finished laparoscopically, and no conversion was necessary. The mean operating time was 132 minutes (range 70 to 300), mean blood loss 282 mL (range 20 to 800), mean postoperative hospital stay 5.8 days (range 3 to 12). The histologic findings were renal cell carcinoma in 38 patients (76%), benign disease in 12 patients (24%), and secondary tumor in 1 patient. Neither distant nor local recurrences were observed by the last follow-up date. Three cases of urinary leakage and one of postoperative bleeding occurred.


Laparoscopic nephron-sparing surgery for renal tumors is a technically difficult procedure, but excellent tumor control can be achieved. Nevertheless, currently, this procedure should be concentrated in centers with a high experience in laparoscopic surgery.

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