Purpose: Partial nephrectomy has been established as a standard of care for T1a renal tumors. Laparoscopic partial nephrectomy (LPN) has been described as more difficult to perform than open partial nephrectomy (OPN). We compare our series of LPN and OPN. Patients and Methods: From October 2002 to January 2006, 76 LPNs were performed for patients with clinical T1a tumors. These patients were matched with a cohort of patients who underwent OPN for solitary tumors of 4 cm or smaller in diameter. The cohorts were compared with regard to demographics, perioperative data, and outcomes. Results: The patient populations were demographically similar. Although mean tumor size was smaller in the laparoscopic cohort (2.5 v 2.9 cm, P = 0.002), the OPN cohort demonstrated shorter operative (193 v 225 min, P = 0.004) and ischemia times (20.5 v 32.8 min). LPN was associated with less blood loss (212 v 385 mL, P < 0.001) and shorter hospital stay (2.5 v 5.6 days, P < 0.001), however. One positive margin occurred in each of the LPN and OPN cohorts. Intraoperative complications were similar, although LPN was associated with fewer postoperative complications. Of note, two LPN (2.6%) patients had emergent reoperation and complete nephrectomy because of postoperative hemorrhage. Conclusions: Despite increased operative and ischemia times, LPN patients demonstrated quicker recovery and fewer postoperative complications. Two patients in the LPN group, however, had emergent complete nephrectomy because of hemorrhage. We conclude that LPN is still an evolving alternative to OPN in patients with small renal tumors.
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