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World J Surg Oncol. 2008 Jan 15;6:3. doi: 10.1186/1477-7819-6-3.

Outcomes of surgical treatment for upper urinary tract transitional cell carcinoma: comparison of retroperitoneoscopic and open nephroureterectomy.

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  • 1Division of Urology, Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand.



To determine the surgical and oncologic outcomes in patients who underwent retroperitoneoscopic nephroureterectomy (RNU) in comparison to standard open nephroureterectomy (ONU) for upper urinary tract transitional cell carcinoma (TCC).


From April 2001 to January 2007, 60 total nephroureterectomy were performed for upper tract TCC at Siriraj Hospital. Of the 60 patients, thirty-one were treated with RNU and open bladder cuff excision, and twenty-nine with ONU. Our data were reviewed and analyzed retrospectively. The recorded data included sex, age, history of bladder cancer, type of surgery, tumor characteristics, postoperative course, disease recurrence and progression.


The mean operative time was longer in the RNU group than in the ONU group (258.8 versus 190.6 min; p = 0. < 001). On the other hand, the mean blood loss and the dose of parenteral analgesia (morphine sulphate) were lower in the RNU group (289.3 versus 313.7 ml and 2.05 versus 6.72 mg; p = 0.868 and p = 0.018, respectively). There were two complications in each group. No significant difference in p stage and grade in both-groups (p = 0.951, p = 0.077). One patient with RNU had lymph node involvement, three in ONU. Mean follow up was 26.4 months (range 3-72) for RNU and 27.9 months (range 3-63) for ONU. No port metastasis occurred during follow up in RNU group. Tumor recurrence developed in 11 patients (bladder recurrence in 9 patients, local recurrence in 2 patients) in the RNU group and 14 patients (bladder recurrence in 13 patients, local recurrence in 1 patient) in the ONU group. No significant difference was detected in the tumor recurrence rate between the two procedures (p = 0.2716). Distant metastases developed in 3 patients (9.7%) after RNU and 2 patients (6.9%) after ONU. The 2 year disease specific survival rate after RNU and ONU was 86.3% and 92.5%, respectively (p = 0.8227).


Retroperitoneoscopic nephroureterectomy is less invasive than open surgery and is an oncological feasible operation. Thus, the results of our study supported the continued development of laparoscopic technique in the management of upper tract TCC.

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