Objective: To report our early experience of laparoscopic nephrectomy.
Design: Prospective data collection.
Setting: Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong.
Patients: Transperitoneal laparoscopic nephrectomies were performed on 40 patients between July 1997 and December 2002.
Main outcome measures: Demographic and perioperative data including operating time, blood loss, postoperative pain score, analgesic requirement, complications, time to resume oral intake, ambulatory state, and length of hospital stay.
Results: Laparoscopic nephrectomy was performed for 21 solid renal masses, five transitional cell carcinomas, and 14 non-functioning kidneys. Seven (17.5%) patients had previous abdominal surgery. The mean body mass index of the patients was 23.9 kg/m(2) and the mean operating time was 229 minutes. The mean estimated blood loss was 370 mL, and two patients required conversion to open surgery because of intra-operative bleeding. Other complications include diaphragmatic injury, port-site bleeding, chyle leakage, bleeding peptic ulcer, and myocardial ischaemia. The postoperative mean analgesic requirement was 26 mg of morphine sulphate equivalent. The mean time for patients to resume oral diet and full ambulation was 1.3 and 2.8 days, respectively, and the mean length of hospital stay was 6.7 days. The mean diameter of the solid renal tumour was 4.1 cm and the surgical margins of all resected specimen for malignant tumours were negative.
Conclusion: Laparoscopic nephrectomy is a safe and efficacious approach for resection of benign non-functioning kidneys and malignant renal tumours.