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Introduction: The surgical management of small renal masses (,4 cm) has greatly evolved over the last few decades, with the paradigm shifting from radical to partial nephrectomy. Laparoscopic partial nephrectomy (LPN) is increasingly utilized, and has achieved similar outcomes to open partial nephrectomy with decreased patient morbidity in experienced hands. The aim of this review was to examine the current status and future direction of LPN.
Materials and methods: We performed a nonsystematic review of the literature using a free-text protocol in the PubMed database, using the terms “laparoscopic partial nephrectomy”, “robot-assisted partial nephrectomy”, “robotic partial nephrectomy”, and “laparoscopic partial nephrectomy oncologic and functional outcomes”. Only English language articles were selected.
Evidence synthesis: Our search results yielded 1,136. Three authors reviewed the results, and articles with information on patient and tumor selection, surgical techniques, and oncologic and functional outcomes were included. With regard to outcomes, only series with the largest cohorts and longest follow-up were selected.
Conclusion: LPN has evolved rapidly over the past 2 decades, and advances in technique as well as innovations in surgical technologies have facilitated its increased adoption in urologic practice. However, limitations remain, such as inadequacy of techniques to achieve cold ischemia laparoscopically, high technical demands of intracorporeal suturing, and limited ability to assess surgical anatomy beyond the field of view. These comprise goals of research aimed at improving future surgical precision and outcomes, while further decreasing the invasiveness of LPN.