Robotic partial nephrectomy for renal cell carcinomas with venous tumor thrombus

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Objective: To describe the first report of robotic partial nephrectomies (RPNs) for renal cell carcinoma (RCC) with venous tumor thrombus (VTT). Methods: Partial nephrectomy for RCC extending into the renal vein has been described in limited fashion, but such a complex procedure has not previously been reported in minimally-invasive fashion. We demonstrate the feasibility of robotic nephron-sparing surgery despite vein thrombi and the results of the initial four highly-selected patients to have undergone this novel procedure. Two patients underwent RPN for RCC with VTT involving intraparenchymal vein branches, and 2 others had VTT involving the main renal vein. Mean patient age was 65 years (range 50-74 years). Mean tumor size was 7.75 cm (range 4.3-12.8 cm) with mean RENAL (radius, exophytic/endophytic, nearness to collecting system, anterior/posterior, and location) nephrometry score of 9.75 (range 8-12). Results: Mean warm ischemia time was 24.2 minutes (range 19-27 minutes) and mean estimated blood loss was 168.8 mL (range 100-300 mL). No patients required transfusion, and there were no intraoperative complications. No patients required conversion to open or standard laparoscopic surgery. All 4 patients were discharged home on the first postoperative day. A single postoperative complication occurred in 1 patient who was readmitted with an ileus that resolved spontaneously. All patients had negative surgical margins. Two patients developed metastatic disease on surveillance imaging. Conclusion: RPN in patients with VTT is safe and feasible in selected patients. Given the risk of metastatic disease in patients with pathologic stage T3a RCC, the role of nephron sparing requires further evaluation such that radical nephrectomy remains the standard of care. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.




Abaza, R., & Angell, J. (2013). Robotic partial nephrectomy for renal cell carcinomas with venous tumor thrombus. Urology, 81(6), 1362–1368.

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