Purpose of review: Several technical modifications of laparoscopic partial nephrectomy have resulted in a reduction of complications and warm ischemia time. The most recent results are reviewed with a focus on oncologic outcome and postoperative renal function.
Recent findings: The indications for laparoscopic partial nephrectomy are the same as for open surgery. All tumors up to 4 cm should be included and selected tumors up to 7 cm may be considered as well. In experienced hands, the complication rate is considerably low. Oncologic outcome is comparable with open partial nephrectomy and 5-year survival data have been published recently. Long warm ischemia time may be of some concern. The published functional results are excellent. Cost should not be the main argument in favor of a method. Laparoscopic partial nephrectomy, however, combines advantages for the patient with lower cost as shown by two studies.
Summary: Laparoscopic partial nephrectomy duplicates the principles of open surgery and has been standardized to a great extent. It is technically difficult and is being performed by a small number of centers only; however, the interest of the urologists and patient demand is growing quickly. At the present time, laparoscopic partial nephrectomy cannot be considered a standard of care, but excellent results have been reported when performed by experienced laparoscopists.