How far has robot-assisted partial nephrectomy reached?

Investig Clin Urol. 2023 Sep;64(5):435-447. doi: 10.4111/icu.20230121.


Nephron-sparing surgery is the standard treatment for small renal mass (SRM). Nephron-sparing surgery has evolved from an open to a minimally invasive technique. Robot-assisted partial nephrectomy (RAPN) is the latest technique in this field and is reported to be safe and feasible, showing oncologically and functionally superior or compatible results compared with open and laparoscopic partial nephrectomy for SRM. This is not limited to only SRM but also applies to large and complex renal masses and other challenging situations. RAPN showed good oncological and functional outcomes for ≥clinical T2 renal tumors, complex renal masses (PADUA score ≥10, RENAL score ≥10), hilar renal tumors, and multiple renal tumors. In addition, the outcomes of RAPN in these challenging cases were not inferior to those in conventional cases. RAPN could also be applied to a number of challenging cases in which the open technique was considered first. RAPN showed good results in patients with a solitary kidney, horseshoe kidney, and in repeat surgeries. Furthermore, RAPN could be safely performed on obese, elderly, and pediatric patients. Finally, this review evaluates efficiency and utility of RAPN based on the results of challenging cases of renal masses and to project the future of RAPN.

Keywords: Kidney cancer; Nephrectomy; Robotics.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Kidney
  • Kidney Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Laparoscopy*
  • Nephrectomy
  • Robotics*