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A Journal on Nephrology and Urology

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Minerva Urologica e Nefrologica 2007 December;59(4):417-23

language: English

Complications of laparoscopic renal surgery

Bergman J., Leppert J. T., Breda A.

Department of Urology David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA


Initial excitement for laparoscopy’s potential to decrease patient morbidity and convalescence by avoiding a flank incision was initially tempered by concerns for increased operative time, technical complexity and the suitability of laparoscopy approaches to oncologic surgery. With experience, the benefits of laparoscopic approaches to renal surgery have become clear. As laparoscopic techniques are mastered and the indications expanded, it is important to remember that minimally invasive surgery remains associated with significant risks and potential complications. Several complications are theoretically more difficult to control laparoscopically than with open exposure. Control of bleeding, identification of injury to solid organs, and positive margins due to the lack of haptic feedback have been of special concern during the rapid advancement of laparoscopic surgical technique between 1991 and today. It is critical for the urologist to be familiar with these complications in order to maximize patients’ clinical outcomes through appropriate patient selection and intraoperative planning. Know-ledge of the complications of laparoscopic renal surgery will also aid in providing patients with true informed consent and realistic surgical expectations. The purpose of this manuscript is to review the complications associated with laparoscopic renal surgery in general, with specific attention paid to laparoscopic radical, partial, pediatric, and donor nephrectomy.

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