Background: Robot-assisted and laparoscopic partial nephrectomies (PNs) for medial tumors are technically challenging even with the hilum clamped and, until now, were impossible to perform with the hilum unclamped. Objective: Evaluate whether targeted vascular microdissection (VMD) of renal artery branches allows zero-ischemia PN to be performed even for challenging medial tumors. Design, setting, and participants: A prospective cohort evaluation of 44 patients with renal masses who underwent robot-assisted or laparoscopic zero-ischemia PN either with anatomic VMD (group 1; n = 22) or without anatomic VMD (group 2; n = 22) performed by a single surgeon from April 2010 to January 2011. Intervention: Zero-ischemia PN with VMD incorporates four maneuvers: (1) preoperative computed tomographic reconstruction of renal arterial branch anatomy, (2) anatomic dissection of targeted, tumor-specific tertiary or higher-order renal arterial branches, (3) neurosurgical aneurysm microsurgical bulldog clamp(s) for superselective tumor devascularization, and (4) transient, controlled reduction of blood pressure, if necessary. Measurements: Baseline, perioperative, and postoperative data were collected prospectively. Results and limitations: Group 1 tumors were larger (4.3 vs 2.6 cm; p = 0.011), were more often hilar (41% vs 9%; p = 0.09), were medial (59% and 23%; p = 0.017), were closer to the hilum (1.46 vs 3.26 cm; p = 0.0002), and had a lower C index score (2.1 vs 3.9; p = 0.004) and higher RENAL nephrometry scores (7.7 vs 6.2; p = 0.013). Despite greater complexity, no group 1 tumor required hilar clamping, and perioperative outcomes were similar to those of group 2: operating room time (4.7 and 4.1 h), median blood loss (200 and 100 ml), surgical margins for cancer (all negative), major complications (0% and 9%), and minor complications (18% and 14%). The median serum creatinine level was similar 2 mo postoperatively (1.2 and 1.3 mg/dl). The study was limited by the relatively small sample size. Conclusions: Anatomic targeted dissection and superselective control of tumor-specific renal arterial branches facilitate zero-ischemia PN. Even challenging medial and hilar tumors can be excised without hilar clamping. Global surgical renal ischemia has been eliminated for most patients undergoing PN at our institution.
- Partial nephrectomy
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