To critically review the current scientific evidence about open partial nephrectomy (OPN) and laparoscopic partial nephrectomy (LPN) to define the current role of these techniques in the treatment of renal tumours.
PubMed and Medline were searched for reports about OPN and LPN that were published from 1990 to 2007 and the most relevant papers were reviewed.
OPN is an established curative approach for the treatment of small renal tumours. LPN is challenging and the technique is still under development. The intermediate-term oncologic and functional outcomes of LPN are similar to those of OPN in experienced centres. However, the ischaemia time is longer in laparoscopy and a long learning curve is needed to decrease the risk of complications. In the first phase of a surgeon's experience with LPN, a careful case selection based on the tumour growth pattern is required.
OPN is today the first treatment option for small renal tumours. LPN is technically challenging, but has been shown to achieve similar intermediate-term cancer cure and renal function results in centres with advanced laparoscopic expertise. Larger series with longer follow-up and prospective randomised studies are needed to confirm the safety and efficacy of LPN.
Keywords: Laparoscopy, Partial nephrectomy, Renal cell carcinoma, Renal tumour.
Department of Urology, San Luigi Hospital, Orbassano, University of Turin, Turin, Italy
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© 2008 European Association of Urology, Published by Elsevier B.V.