Purpose: Recent advances in laparoscopic surgery as well as increasing experience with these techniques have led to the selection of laparoscopic surgery for many urological procedures. A lesser number of pediatric laparoscopic surgical studies have been reported. Few pediatric comparative laparoscopic versus open surgical procedure studies have been published. We compared 2 groups of similar pediatric patients who underwent partial nephrectomy via the laparoscopic or open technique.
Materials and methods: A total of 22 consecutive partial nephrectomies were performed in pediatric patients 3 months to 15 years old. Of these procedures 11 chosen according to surgeon preference were performed laparoscopically and 11 were done by the open technique. Clinical data were obtained by chart review and compared retrospectively in the 2 groups. Demographic data, operative time and blood loss, the perioperative complication rate, hospital stay and costs, postoperative analgesic use and followup findings were compared.
Results: Mean operative time in the laparoscopic and open groups was 200.4 and 113.5 minutes, respectively (p <0.0005). Blood loss was less than 50 cc in all patients. In the laparoscopic and open groups mean hospital stay was 25.5 and 32.6 hours (p = 0.068), and mean cost was $6,125 and $4,244 (p = 0.016), respectively. Patients in the laparoscopic group required fewer doses of analgesics than those who underwent open surgery (mean 10.9 versus 21, p = 0.041).
Conclusions: Our findings show that increased operative time and costs are disadvantages of pediatric laparoscopic nephrectomy compared with open techniques. Conversely decreased hospital stay, lower analgesic requirements and cosmesis support the use of laparoscopy for pediatric partial nephrectomy. These differences must be considered when deciding which technique is best for overall patient care.