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J Urol. 2005 Sep;174(3):846-9.

Transperitoneal versus retroperitoneal laparoscopic partial nephrectomy: patient selection and perioperative outcomes.

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Section of Laparoscopic and Robotic Surgery, Glickman Urological Institute, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio 44195, USA.



We compared the results of transperitoneal (T) and retroperitoneal (R) approaches to laparoscopic partial nephrectomy (LPN) in regard to perioperative outcomes and technical considerations, thereby, identifying patient selection guidelines for each approach.


The choice of approach was dictated primarily by tumor location, that is TLPN for anterior or lateral lesions and RLPN for posterior or posterolateral lesions. The approaches differed primarily by the hilar control technique. During TLPN en bloc hilar control was achieved with a Satinsky clamp, while during RLPN individual vessel control was obtained with bulldog clamps.


In a 3-year period 100 TLPNs and 63 RLPNs were performed for renal tumor. Of posterior tumors 77% were managed by RLPN, whereas 97% of anterior tumors were managed by TLPN. TLPN was associated with significantly larger tumors (3.2 vs 2.5 cm, p <0.001), more caliceal suture repairs (79% vs 57%, p = 0.004), longer ischemia time (31 vs 28 minutes, p = 0.04), longer operative time (3.5 vs 2.9 hours, p <0.001) and longer hospital stay (2.9 vs 2.2 days, p <0.01) than RLPN. Blood loss, perioperative complications, postoperative serum creatinine, analgesic requirements and histological outcomes were comparable between the groups.


We perform TLPN for all anterior or lateral tumors as well as for large or deeply infiltrating posterior tumors that require substantive resection (heminephrectomy). The limited retroperitoneal space makes RLPN technically more challenging but provides superior access to posterior and particularly posteromedial lesions. When feasible, we prefer to perform laparoscopic partial nephrectomy by the transperitoneal approach because of its larger working area and superior instrument angles for intracorporeal renal reconstruction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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