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BJU Int. 2014 Oct;114(4):549-54. doi: 10.1111/bju.12711. Epub 2014 Jul 27.

Association of type of renal surgery and access to robotic technology for kidney cancer: results from a population-based cohort.

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Department of Urology, Public Policy and Effectiveness Research Center, New Haven, CT.



To evaluate the relationship between partial nephrectomy (PN) and hospital availability of robot-assisted surgery from a population-based cohort in the USA.


After merging the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) and the American Hospital Association survey from 2006 to 2008, we identified 21 179 patients who underwent either PN or radical nephrectomy (RN) for renal cell carcinoma (RCC). The primary outcome assessed was the type of nephrectomy performed. Multivariable logistic regression identified the patient and hospital characteristics associated with receipt of PN.


We identified 4832 (22.8%) and 16 347 (77.2%) patients who were treated for RCC with PN and RN, respectively. On multivariable analysis, patients were more likely to receive PN at academic centres (odds ratio [OR] 2.77; P < 0.001), urban centres (OR 3.66; P < 0.001) and American College of Surgeons (ACOS)-designated cancer centres (OR: 1.10; P < 0.05) compared with non-academic, rural and non-ACOS-designated cancer centre hospitals, respectively. Robot-assisted surgery availability at a hospital was also associated with a higher adjusted odds of PN compared with centres without that availability (OR 1.28; P < 0.001).


Although academic and urban locations are established factors that affect the receipt of PN for RCC, the availability of robot-assisted surgery at a hospital was also independently associated with higher use of PN. Our results are informative in identifying other key hospital characteristics which may facilitate greater adoption of PN.


kidney cancer; outcomes; partial nephrectomy; radical nephrectomy; small renal masses; surgery

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