Objectives. The techniques for hemostasis after renal tumor excision have limited the widespread application of laparoscopic partial nephrectomy (LPN). To improve hemostasis and aid visualization, we report our experience with a novel radiofrequency coagulation (RFC) technique for LPN. Methods. Ten patients underwent RFC-assisted LPN. The demographic and perioperative data were tabulated. Patients were positioned as for laparoscopic nephrectomy, and laparoscopic ports were placed. The kidney within Gerota's fascia was mobilized, and the fat overlying the tumor was carefully removed for pathologic evaluation. Under laparoscopic guidance, a radiofrequency probe was percutaneously inserted into the lesion and deployed to coagulate the lesion and a margin of normal parenchyma. Laparoscopic scissors were used to excise the lesion; additional hemostatic maneuvers were used selectively. Results. The mean renal tumor size was 2.1 cm (range 1.0 to 3.2). The median operative time was 170 minutes and the median blood loss was 125 mL. The RFC technique resulted in complete tissue coagulation within the treated volume, thereby facilitating intraoperative visualization, minimizing blood loss, and permitting rapid and controlled tumor resection. The renal architecture was preserved, allowing accurate diagnosis of renal cell carcinoma and angiomyolipoma in 9 and 1 cases, respectively. No perioperative complications occurred. Conclusions. The use of RFC is an effective method to facilitate LPN of both exophytic and endophytic masses. By coagulating a margin of normal parenchyma, the technique minimizes blood loss and improves visualization during LPN. We anticipate this technique will broaden the clinical application for LPN.
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