Purpose: We report our initial experience with a hand assisted laparoscopic radical nephrectomy for patients with renal carcinoma, and compare our results to those of conventional open radical nephrectomy. Materials and Methods: The clinical data on 6 consecutive patients who underwent hand assisted laparoscopic radical nephrectomy for stage T1N0M0 renal cell carcinoma were reviewed. We performed hand assisted laparoscopic surgery using the new LAP DISC abdominal wall sealing device. We compared the results of this procedure with those of conventional open radical nephrectomy in 12 patients with stage T1N0M0 renal cell carcinoma. Results: The hand assisted laparoscopic radical nephrectomy for renal carcinoma was successfully performed without any major or minor complications in all 6 patients. Mean operation time for the laparoscopic group was significantly longer than that for the open surgery group (303 minutes versus 224 minutes, p = 0.0042). However, no significant difference was observed in mean estimated blood loss for the 2 groups (264 ml. in the laparoscopic group versus 341 ml. in the open surgery group). The frequency of parenteral analgesia postoperatively in the laparoscopic group was significantly lower than that in the open surgery group (16.7% versus 75.0%, p = 0.043). In addition, the laparoscopic group seemed to recover more rapidly than the open surgery group. The abdominal wall sealing device was easy to attach to the abdominal wall, and allowed rapid hand removal and reinsertion. Conclusions: Our preliminary results indicate that a hand assisted laparoscopic radical nephrectomy with the abdominal wall sealing device is an effective and safe surgical procedure, and is less invasive than open radical nephrectomy.
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