A matched-cohort comparison of laparoscopic cryoablation and laparoscopic partial nephrectomy for treating renal masses


Samir S. Taneja, Department of Urology, New York University Urology Associates, 150 East 32nd Street, 2nd Floor, Suite 200, New York, NY 10016, USA.
e-mail: Samir.Taneja@nyumc.org



To compare the surgical outcomes of elderly patients with renal masses treated with laparoscopic partial nephrectomy (LPN) or laparoscopic cryoablation (LCA).


All 15 patients who had LCA at the authors’ institution between May 2003 and July 2005 were included, and compared with a matched cohort of 15 patients selected by patient age and tumour size, from a pre-existing database of 104 patients who had LPN from July 2002 to July 2005. The two groups were compared for gender, number of comorbidities, American Society of Anesthesiologists status (ASA), body mass index (BMI), baseline renal function and haematocrit, location and size of lesion, length of stay, operative time, estimated blood loss (EBL), transfusion rate, number and type of complications, conversion rate, and postoperative renal function and haematocrit.


The two groups were similar in age, sex, BMI, ASA, baseline renal function, haematocrit, size and side of tumour, the percentage of exophytic tumours, and the likelihood of more than one comorbidity. Surgical outcomes between the groups were also relatively similar. The length of stay, creatinine and haematocrit levels after surgery did not differ between the groups. The LPN group had a significantly longer operation (248 vs 152 min, P < 0.001) and higher EBL (222 vs 59 mL, P = 0.007) than the LCA group, but only one patient required a transfusion and there was no discernible difference in discharge haematocrit values. No recurrences were detected in either group, with a similar mean follow-up of 9.8 and 11.9 months, respectively.


Although this matched-cohort comparison showed that LPN had a higher mean EBL, a longer operation and higher relative risk of open conversion, the overall clinical outcome was similar in terms of complication rates, length of stay and changes in creatinine and haematocrit after surgery. In this small retrospective evaluation, there was similar morbidity, treatment outcome and short-term efficacy with LCA and LPN. At present, although still experimental, LCA is a good choice for elderly patients with comorbidities precluding blood loss or renal ischaemia. However, in experienced hands, LPN is a preferred option for most elderly patients and should be considered when contemplating definitive treatment of renal masses.