Objectives: To address the incidence of local recurrence and port site metastasis in patients who underwent laparoscopic radical nephroureterectomy (RNU) for upper tract transitional cell carcinoma (TCC). Methods: Between August 1993 and February 2006 116 laparoscopic RNU were performed in 115 patients at our institution. A traditional open excision, a laparoscopic stapler resection or a different approach was used for the management of the distal ureter in 76, 27, and 11 cases, respectively. Clinical follow-up as well as perioperative and pathologic data were retrospectively collected. Results: Perioperative and pathologic data were available in all 116 cases. Clinical outcomes were available in 107 patients with a mean follow-up of 30.5 months (range 1 to 148). Six patients (5.6%) had a local recurrence develop, including 1 patient with port site metastasis (0.9%) at an average of 5.7 months. In 2 of these patients, violation of the ipsilateral urinary tract was noted perioperatively. Conclusions: We report, in this large single-center series of laparoscopic RNU, a low incidence of local recurrence. Our results confirm that a laparoscopic approach to upper tract TCC does not result in a clinically significant increased risk of tumor spillage provided that principles of oncologic surgery are followed.
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