In recent years the detection rate for small renal tumors has increased due to the widespread use of advanced diagnostic imaging techniques, which in turn has increased the need for nephron sparing surgery. We investigate whether laparoscopic surgery is a suitable approach to partial resection of small renal tumors.Materials and Methods
Between June 1994 and October 1996, 7 patients underwent laparoscopic wedge resection of the kidney for renal tumors up to 2 cm. in diameter. Hemostasis was achieved mainly by bipolar coagulation. In addition, the resection surface was cauterized with an argon beam coagulator and then sealed with fibrin glue. In 1 procedure a novel ultrasonic dissector was tested.Results
All procedures could be completed as planned. The only intraoperative complication was a pneumothorax that resolved spontaneously within 2 days. There were no postoperative complications. Histological examination yielded stage pT1 grade I renal cell carcinoma in 3, stage pT1 grade II in 2 and multilocular cysts in 2 cases. All patients had negative surgical margins. Postoperatively, renal function as assessed by serum creatinine was unchanged. Neither local recurrences nor metastases were observed during a followup of 7 to 35 months.Conclusions
Our results indicate that laparoscopic partial nephrectomy is feasible for small renal cell carcinoma, and is associated with low morbidity and a low complication rate.