Laparoendoscopic single-site (LESS) robot-assisted nephroureterectomy: comparison with conventional multiport technique in the management of upper urinary tract urothelial carcinoma




  • To compare the peri-operative, pathological and oncological outcomes of laparoendoscopic single-site (LESS) robot-assisted nephroureterectomy (LESS-RALNU) with those of multiport robot-asssisted nephroureterectomy (M-RALNU).

Patients and Methods

  • A total of 38 patients with upper urinary tract urothelial carcinoma underwent LESS-RALNU (n = 17) or M-RALNU (n = 21) by a single surgeon at a tertiary institution.
  • Data were obtained from a prospectively maintained database.


  • Patients' demographics and tumour characteristics were similar between the M-RALNU and LESS-RALNU groups.
  • The mean follow-up was 48.4 months for M-RALNU and 30.9 months for LESS-RALNU (P = 0). The mean operating time, estimated blood loss and length of hospitalization for M-RALNU and LESS-RALNU were 251 min, 192 mL, 6.5 days and 247 min, 376 mL and 5.4 days, respectively (P > 0.05).
  • Overall, there were no significant differences in complication rates, although three patients in the LESS-RALNU group required blood transfusion, whereas no patient in the M-RALNU group did (P = 0.081).
  • The proportion of patients with bladder recurrence, local recurrence and distant metastases was similar between the two groups.
  • There were no significant differences in the recurrence-free survival, cancer-specific survival and overall survival rates between the two groups.


  • Although the oncological and peri-operative outcomes of patients who underwent LESS-RALNU compared well with those who underwent M-RALNU and with series of other surgical approaches, LESS-RALNU might result in greater intra-operative blood loss.
  • We suggest careful selection of patient for this technique.