Purpose: Laparoscopic surgery for large renal lesion or kidneys with chronic inflammation has proved to be technically challenging. Hand-assisted laparoscopic surgery might be useful in these complex cases, as it provides surgeons the benefits of tactile feedback, digital retraction, and facilitated dissection of the renal hilar vessels. Patients and Methods: Twenty-two patients undergoing hand-assisted laparoscopic (HAL) nephrectomy for benign conditions were compared with patients who underwent HAL radical nephrectomy during the same period. The demographic data, laterality, operative time, estimated blood loss, conversion rate, length of stay, histopathology findings, morbidity, and mortality were reviewed. Results: The main indications for surgery were chronic inflammation and xanthogranulomatous pyelonephritis. Twenty patients had unilateral nephrectomy (10 each on the right and left), and two patients had bilateral nephrectomy. The mean operative times for unilateral and bilateral nephrectomy were 163 minutes (range 55-261 minutes) and 265 minutes (range, 238-291 minutes), respectively. Nine patients (45%) with inflammation had complications (15% major and 30% minor). The mean length of hospitalization for patients undergoing HAL nephrectomy was 7.2 days (range 2-35 days). The patients with inflammatory pathology had longer mean operative times, higher estimated blood loss, longer hospital stay, and higher morbidity than patients undergoing radical nephrectomy. Conclusion: Compared with standard laparoscopy, the hand-assisted approach has been reported to reduce operative times and increase safety. The advantages of minimally invasive surgery, such as reduced analgesia, shorter hospital stay, and faster return to normal activity, appear to be similar to those in patients undergoing a pure laparoscopic nephrectomy. Compared with radical nephrectomy for renal tumor, HAL simple nephrectomy can often be more challenging and associated with greater morbidity. For both the community urologist as well as an experienced laparoscopist, this approach is useful in handling these challenging cases.
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