Purpose: We investigated the learning curve, pathological results and perioperative morbidity of laparoscopic partial nephrectomy (LPN). Materials and Methods: The records of all LPN cases at our institution between January 1999 and March 2004 were reviewed. Of 223 cases 217 (97.3%) were performed for an enhancing renal mass. Results: Mean tumor size was 2.6 cm (range 1 to 10) and 95.4% of patients had a normal contralateral kidney. Transient vascular control was performed in 75.1% of cases. Mean operative time (186 minutes) decreased with surgeon experience (p = 0.003) but was independent of tumor size (p = 0.964). Mean warm ischemia time (27.6 minutes) depended on tumor size (p = 0.005) but not on experience (0.964). Mean blood loss was 385 cc and the perioperative transfusion rate was 6.9%. Postoperative complications occurred in 23 cases (10.6%) with the most common being ileus (1.8%), bleeding (1.8%) and urinary leakage (1.4%). Although the mean serum creatinine change after LPN was a function of tumor size (p <0.001), it was clinically insignificant (0.13 mg/dl). No significant relationship was observed between warm ischemia time and creatinine change (p = 0.262). The final pathological evaluation revealed renal cell carcinoma in 144 patients (66.4%) and the overall positive margin rate was 3.5%. Only 2 renal cell carcinoma recurrences in the operated kidney (1.4%) were identified (mean followup ± SD 24 ± 12 months). Conclusions: LPN is an effective approach for treating small renal masses with low perioperative morbidity. Contrary to previous reports, more than 30% of the enhancing renal lesions excised in this series were found to be benign on final pathological evaluation.
- Renal cell
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