Purpose: Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease is characterized by progressively enlarging renal cysts associated with hypertension, renal failure, pain, hematuria and infection. We explored the role of laparoscopic cyst marsupialization for managing cyst related problems.
Materials and methods: In 4 male and 11 female adults with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease who had preserved renal function laparoscopic cyst marsupialization was done for pain unilaterally and bilaterally in 9 and 6, respectively. An average of 204 cysts per kidney (range 11 to 635) were decorticated or drained.
Results: Average operative time was 5.5 hours. Patients were discharged from the hospital after an average of 3.2 days. At a mean followup of 2.2 years (range 0.5 to 5) pain was decreased an average of 62% (range 30% to 90%) in 11 cases (73%). One patient had no improvement and 1 had subsequent worsening of pain postoperatively. Two patients with initial improvement had pain recurrence 4 and 36 months postoperatively, respectively. Hypertension resolved in 1 patient (7%), improved in 20% and did not change in 40%. In 33% of the cases hypertension worsened, requiring additional antihypertensive medication. Renal function remained stable in 13 patients (87%), improved in 1 (6.5%) and worsened in 1 (6.5%). Overall patients who underwent a bilateral procedure had better long-term pain relief and more improvement in hypertension.
Conclusions: Laparoscopic cyst marsupialization may effectively decrease cyst associated pain. In some cases hypertension may be improved. Renal function remained stable in all except 1 patient. At a mean followup of 2.2 years the benefits of aggressive laparoscopic cyst decortication appear to be relatively long lasting when bilateral decortication is indicated. The benefits of unilateral cyst decortication are less predictable and of shorter duration.