Objective: To evaluate the perioperative outcomes of robot-assisted laparoscopic partial nephrectomy and standard laparoscopic partial nephrectomy in a teaching hospital.
Design: Retrospective study.
Setting: Division of Urology, Department of Surgery, Queen Mary and Tung Wah hospitals, Hong Kong.
Patients: The first 10 consecutive patients who had robot-assisted laparoscopic partial nephrectomy for renal tumours between January 2008 and September 2009 with prospective data collection were evaluated. Their outcomes were compared with the last 10 consecutive patients in our database, who had standard laparoscopic partial nephrectomy between November 2004 and October 2007.
Main outcome measures: Demographics, tumour characteristics, perioperative outcomes, renal function, and pathological outcomes.
Results: There were no differences between the groups with regard to age (63 vs 56 years; P=0.313) and tumour size (2.7 vs 2.8 cm; P=0.895). No significant difference was found between the two groups with respect to the operating room time (376 vs 361 min; P=0.722), estimated blood loss (329 vs 328 mL; P=0.994), and length of hospital stay (7 vs 14 days; P=0.213). A statistically significant shorter mean warm ischaemic time for the robot-assisted group was noted (31 vs 40 minutes; P=0.032). Respective renal functional outcomes as shown by the difference between day 0 and day 60 serum creatinine levels were comparable (+10 vs +7 mmol/L; P=0.605). In both groups, there were no intra-operative complications or instances of surgical margin tumour involvement. Three patients endured postoperative complications in the standard laparoscopic group (a perinephric haematoma, urine leakage, and lymph leakage) compared with one in the robot-assisted group (a perinephric haematoma). These complications all resolved with conservative treatment.
Conclusions: Robot-assisted laparoscopic partial nephrectomy is a technically feasible alternative to standard laparoscopic partial nephrectomy, and provides comparable results. Robot-assisted laparoscopic partial nephrectomy appears to offer the advantage of decreased warm ischaemic time. Longer follow-up is required to assess renal function and oncological outcomes. Further experience and randomised trials are necessary to compare robot-assisted with standard laparoscopic partial nephrectomy.