Article - Comment

Comparison of laparoscopic and open partial nephrectomy for tumor in a solitary kidney

  • Hakan Gemalmaz

Bull Urooncol 2008;7(4):43-47


We compared the postoperative and renal functional outcomes of patients undergoing open or laparoscopic partial nephrectomy for tumor in a solitary functioning kidney.

Materials and Methods:

Between 1999 and 2006, 169 open and 30 laparoscopic partial nephrectomies were performed for 7 cm or smaller tumors in a solitary functioning kidney. Data were collected in an institutional review board approved registry and median followup was 2.0 years. Preoperative and postoperative glomerular filtration rates were estimated with the abbreviated Modification of Diet in Renal Disease equation.


By 3 months after open or laparoscopic partial nephrectomy, the glomerular filtration rate decreased by 21%or 28%, respectively (p _ 0.24). Postoperative dialysis was required acutely after 1 open partial nephrectomy (0.6%) and 3 laparoscopic partial nephrectomies (10%, p _ 0.01), and dialysis dependent end stage renal failure within 1 year occurred after 1 open partial nephrectomy (0.6%) and 2 laparoscopic partial nephrectomies (6.6%, p _ 0.06). In multivariate analysis warm ischemia time was 9 minutes longer (p _0.0001) and the chance of postoperative complications was 2.54-fold higher (p _0.05) with laparoscopic partial nephrectomy. Longer warm ischemia time (more than 20 minutes) and preoperative glomerular filtration rate were associated with poorer postoperative glomerular filtration rate in multivariate analysis. Notwithstanding the association with warm ischemia time, the surgical approach itself was not an independent predictor of postoperative glomerular filtration rate (p _ 0.77).


While laparoscopic partial nephrectomy is technically feasible for tumor in a solitary kidney, warm ischemia time was longer and complication rates higher compared with open partial nephrectomy. In addition, although average loss of renal function at 3 months is equivalent (after accounting for warm ischemia time), a greater proportion of patients required dialysis temporarily or permanently after laparoscopic partial nephrectomy in this initial series. Therefore, open partial nephrectomy may be the preferred nephron sparing approach at this time for these patients at high risk for chronic kidney disease.