Purpose: We determined how surgical outcomes differ among children undergoing prone retroperitoneoscopic (RP) and open total and partial nephrectomies for benign renal disease.
Patients and methods: A retrospective analysis was performed, using medical records of children who were undergoing benign renal surgery at a single institution from 2001 to 2010. Patients were divided into open or RP cohorts, then subdivided into those who were undergoing total or partial nephrectomies. A further breakdown by age (<3 years and ≥3 years) was performed. Bilateral nephrectomies were separately evaluated. Surgical outcomes were compared across groups.
Results: There were 308 (333 renal units) children who underwent RP (n=154) or open (n=154) total or partial nephrectomies, 25 of which were bilateral (20 RP, 5 open); 199 patients underwent total nephrectomies (RP n=118, open n=81), and 109 underwent partial nephrectomies (RP n=36, open n=73). After controlling for age and concomitant procedures, operative times were similar for the RP total and bilateral nephrectomy groups, but longer for the RP partial nephrectomy group, compared with their open counterparts. In both total and partial nephrectomies, the RP group had a shorter hospital stay. There were no open conversions in any of the RP groups and no differences in complications in the total, partial, and bilateral analyses. There were 13 patients who previously received peritoneal dialysis (8 bilateral RP, 3 unilateral RP, and 2 unilateral open), all of whom resumed dialysis in a mean of 1.11 days.
Conclusions: This is the largest series to date that compares RP and open renal surgeries in children. The RP and open approaches were comparably safe and efficacious. Hospital stays were significantly shorter in the RP total and partial groups, although operative times were significantly longer in the RP partial nephrectomy group. Prone retroperitoneoscopic surgery should be considered a viable option for renal surgery at any age.