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We evaluate the contemporary incidence and consequences of postoperative rhabdomyolysis after extirpative renal surgery.We conducted a population based, retrospective cohort study of patients who underwent extirpative renal surgery with a diagnosis of a renal mass or renal cell carcinoma in the United States between 2004 and 2013. Regression analysis was performed to evaluate 90-day mortality (Clavien grade V), nonfatal major complications (Clavien grade III-IV), hospital readmission rates, direct costs and length of stay.The final weighted cohort included 310,880 open, 174,283 laparoscopic and 69,880 robotic extirpative renal surgery cases during the 10-year study period, with 745 (0.001%) experiencing postoperative rhabdomyolysis. The presence of postoperative rhabdomyolysis led to a significantly higher incidence of 90-day nonfatal major complications (34.7% vs 7.3%, p <0.05) and higher 90-day mortality (4.4% vs 1.02%, p <0.05). Length of stay was twice as long for patients with postoperative rhabdomyolysis (incidence risk ratio 1.83, 95% CI 1.56–2.15, p <0.001). The robotic approach was associated with a higher likelihood of postoperative rhabdomyolysis (vs laparoscopic approach, OR 2.43, p <0.05). Adjusted 90-day median direct hospital costs were USD 7,515 higher for patients with postoperative rhabdomyolysis (p <0.001). Our model revealed that the combination of obesity and prolonged surgery (more than 5 hours) was associated with a higher likelihood of postoperative rhabdomyolysis developing.Our study confirms that postoperative rhabdomyolysis is an uncommon complication among patients undergoing extirpative renal surgery, but has a potentially detrimental impact on surgical morbidity, mortality and costs. Male gender, comorbidities, obesity, prolonged surgery (more than 5 hours) and a robotic approach appear to place patients at higher risk for postoperative rhabdomyolysis.