Laparoscopic decortication of symptomatic renal cysts: Experience from a referral center in Iran


Mohammad Hossein Nourbala md, Professor of Urology, Nephrology and Urology Research Center, Baqiyatallah Hosp., Mullasadra St, PO Box 14155-6437, 1435915371, Tehran, Iran. Email:


Objective:  To present our experience with laparoscopic management of symptomatic simple renal cysts.

Methods:  From April 2004 to November 2006, 21 patients (10 men; 11 women) underwent laparoscopic decortication for simple renal cysts at our department and were included in the analysis. All procedures were carried out by one surgeon using a transperitoneal approach. Patients underwent radiological follow-up with computerized tomography and/or ultrasonography. Procedural success was defined as no recurrence of the cyst and complete pain relief. Symptomatic success was defined as a significant pain decrease.

Results:  All 21 procedures were completed laparoscopically, without major complications or conversion to open surgery. Estimated mean blood loss during surgery was about 50 mL. Patients were hospitalized for a mean of 1.9 ± 1.1 (range: 1–5) days. Age of the patients and size and location of the cysts, had no relationship with the duration of operation as well as the length of hospital stay (P > 0.05). Patients who experienced complete pain relief had significantly larger cyst sizes compared with patients with a partial pain decrease (7.3 ± 1.1 vs 9.1 ± 2.0, respectively; P = 0.023, F = 0.606). All patients had negative cytological and pathological findings for malignancy or any other abnormalities. At 16.6 months of mean follow up, none of the patients reported symptomatic and/or radiologic failure.

Conclusions:  Laparoscopic transperitoneal decortication represents an effective and safe treatment option in the management of symptomatic renal cysts.