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A Journal on Nephrology and Urology

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Minerva Urologica e Nefrologica 2005 June;57(2):109-18


language: English

Laparoscopic renal cryotherapy: biology, techniques and outcomes

Powell T., Whelan C., Schwartz B. F.

Division of Urology Southern Illinois University Springfield, IL, USA


Aim. The development of minimally invasive approaches to renal cell carcinoma (RCC) over the last 10 years has given rise to newer therapies such as renal cryotherapy. Patients with significant comorbidities who are not suitable for open surgery may be candidates for this procedure. Herein, we review the biology, techniques and outcomes of laparoscopic renal cryotherapy as performed at our institution.
Methods. We present our initial experience with laparoscopic cryotherapy for the treatment of small, peripheral renal lesions and provide a review of the literature. A retrospective review was performed on our first 25 patients treated with transperitoneal laparoscopic cryotherapy for small peripheral renal lesions by a single surgeon between 2002 and 2003.
Results. We treated 25 patients, average age of 65 years (range 32-83) with transperitoneal laparoscopic renal cryotherapy for small, enhancing, peripheral lesions suspicious for RCC. Mean pretreatment creatinine of 1.06 was unchanged after treatment. Mean tumor size was 2.4 cm (range 1.5-3.6 cm), with a mean EBL of 80 mL. Pathology revealed 72% RCC, 2 oncocytomas, one each arterionephrosclerosis, inflammatory tissue, focal-segmental glomerulosclerosis, angiomyolipoma and one normal tissue specimen. Average tumor grade was 2.3 (range 2-4). Mean hospital stay was 2.3 days (range 1-5). Three cases were converted to open. Two complications included transfusion and hydronephrosis, both managed conservatively. Mean follow-up is 16.2 months (range 6-36 months). There have been no recurrences to date despite a rigorous surveillance protocol.
Conclusion. Renal cryotherapy is a viable option for nephron sparing surgery in small, peripheral, renal lesions. The procedure is well tolerated, may be considered in patients who are not good candidates for open surgical approaches, results in minimal morbidity, and has very encouraging treatment results. Close surveillance post-treatment is essential. Longer follow-up data will be necessary to establish the durability of laparoscopic renal cryotherapy.

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