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Indian J Urol. 2014 Jul;30(3):283-6. doi: 10.4103/0970-1591.134252.

Technical considerations in robotic nephrectomy with vena caval tumor thrombectomy.

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Department of Urology, Ohio Health Dublin Methodist Hospital, Dublin, Ohio, USA.


Robotic surgery has been applied to increasingly complex urologic procedures since its initial widespread adoption for prostatectomy. While laparoscopic nephrectomy was initially reported over 2 decades ago, renal tumors involving the inferior vena cava (IVC) appeared to be a limitation to the application of laparoscopy. Laparoscopic management had only been reported in a limited fashion for short tumor thrombi not requiring cross-clamping of the IVC. The first robotic nephrectomy for renal cancer with IVC tumor thrombus was performed in 2008 with the first series reported in 2011, including for larger tumor thrombi requiring IVC cross-clamping for thrombus extraction. Since then, several surgeons at various institutions have adopted robotic surgery for these complex procedures. With experience and meticulous surgical technique, the procedure can be reproduced in properly selected cases. Further adoption and reports of multi-institutional experiences are necessary to validate this still relatively new procedure, and such work is already underway.


Inferior vena cava; renal cell carcinoma; thrombectomy

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