Partial nephrectomy has proved to be a safe and effective treatment modality, even for patients with normal contralateral kidneys. The indications for elective partial nephrectomy continue to evolve as contemporary series demonstrate low morbidity approaching that of radical nephrectomy. Furthermore, patients who undergo partial nephrectomy have a significantly decreased risk of future renal insufficiency. As such, a rationale exists for expanding indications in an era of excellent technical outcomes and increased patient longevity. Characterization of newer diagnostic (three-dimensional imaging) and treatment (laparoscopic partial nephrectomy, cryosurgery) modalities will allow continued evolution of nephron-sparing techniques.
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