Comparison of laparoscopic radiofrequency ablation and open partial nephrectomy in patients with a small renal mass

Korean J Urol. 2013 Sep;54(9):603-8. doi: 10.4111/kju.2013.54.9.603. Epub 2013 Sep 10.


Purpose: We have performed both open partial nephrectomy (OPN) and laparoscopic radiofrequency ablation (RFA) on selected patients since January 2007 and have been following these patients through serial laboratory assessments and computed tomography (CT). The purpose of the present study was to evaluate long-term oncologic outcomes and renal function status for laparoscopic RFA versus OPN at a minimum follow-up of 3 years.

Materials and methods: A total of 55 patients with exophytic, single small renal masses were treated with either OPN (n=14) or laparoscopic RFA (n=41) by a single surgeon. The indications for laparoscopic RFA were as follows: 1) cases with the greatest dimension of the renal mass <3 cm, and 2) cases in which the collecting system, renal calyx, and great vessels were free from the tumor margins by 1 cm.

Results: The estimated blood loss (EBL), the operation time, and the mean number of hospital days was significantly lower in the laparoscopic RFA group than in the OPN group. Oncologic data did not differ significantly between the two groups. Creatine clearance levels did not differ significantly compared with those before the operation in either group.

Conclusions: Our data suggest excellent therapeutic outcomes with laparoscopic RFA with achievement of effective operative times, hospital stays, and EBL compared with OPN. According to our indications for laparoscopic RFA, laparoscopic RFA is an effective minimally invasive therapy for the treatment of small renal masses, yielding oncologic outcomes and renal function equivalent to those of OPN.

Keywords: Catheter ablation; Kidney neoplasms; Nephrectomy.