Purpose: Advances in laparoscopy have made laparoscopic partial nephrectomy a technically feasible procedure but it remains challenging to even experienced laparoscopists. We hypothesized that robotic assisted laparoscopic partial nephrectomy may make this procedure more efficacious than the standard laparoscopic approach. Materials and Methods: Ten patients with a mean age of 58 years and mean tumor size of 2.0 cm underwent robotic assisted laparoscopic partial nephrectomy and another 10 with a mean age of 61 years and mean tumor size of 2.18 cm underwent laparoscopic partial nephrectomy, as performed by a team of 2 surgeons (MS and ST) between May 2002 and January 2004. Demographic data, intraoperative parameters and postoperative data were compared between the 2 groups. Results: There were no significant differences in patient demographics between the 2 groups. Intraoperative data and postoperative outcomes were statistically similar. In the 10 patients who underwent robotic assisted laparoscopic partial nephrectomy there were 2 intraoperative complications. There was 1 conversion in the laparoscopic partial nephrectomy group. Conclusions: Robotic assisted laparoscopic partial nephrectomy is a safe and feasible procedure in patients with small exophytic masses. The robotic approach to laparoscopic partial nephrectomy does not offer any clinical advantage over conventional laparoscopic nephrectomy.
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