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Urology. 2012 Aug;80(2):286-91. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2012.02.067. Epub 2012 Jun 15.

Assessing performance trends in laparoscopic nephrectomy and nephron-sparing surgery for localized renal tumors.

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Division of Urological Oncology, Department of Surgery, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA 19111, USA.



To assess the impact of laparoscopy on usage of partial nephrectomy (PN) by comparing national usage trends in patients undergoing surgery for localized renal tumors.


Using linked Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)-Medicare data, we retrospectively examined trends in procedure usage from 1995 to 2007 for patients undergoing surgery for localized (stage I/II) renal masses. Procedures were classified as open radical nephrectomy (ORN), laparoscopic radical nephrectomy (LRN), open partial nephrectomy (OPN), and laparoscopic partial nephrectomy (LPN). Patients were further stratified by tumor size (≤4 cm, >4- ≤7 cm, >7 cm). Data were primarily analyzed using logistic regressions.


Patients (n = 11,689, mean age 74.4 ± 5.7 years, 56% male) with a mean tumor size of 4.7 ± 3.3 cm met the inclusion criteria. From 1995 to 2007, ORN rates decreased and for each year successive year patients were more likely to be treated with OPN (odds ratio [OR] 1.17, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.14-1.19), LRN (OR 1.44, CI 1.41-1.47), and LPN (OR 1.75, CI 1.68-1.83). Although the increased usage of OPN (7.5% vs 13.6%, P < .001) and LPN (0% vs 14.2%, P < .001) reached statistical significance, this was offset by a marked increase in LRN over the same time period (3.0% vs 43.0%, P < .001).


Despite increasing emphasis on nephron preservation, PN usage rates remain low. Compared with a 40% increase in LRN, use of PN increased by only 20% from 1995 to 2007. As a result, 72% of identified Medicare beneficiaries with localized tumors were managed with radical nephrectomy (RN) in 2007. The trade-off of minimally invasive surgery for nephron preservation may have adverse long-term consequences.

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