Conversion to Radical Nephrectomy From Robotic Partial Nephrectomy Is Most Commonly Due to Anatomic and Oncologic Complexity

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The Journal of urology


PURPOSE: Partial nephrectomy is standard-of-care treatment for small renal masses. As utilization of partial nephrectomy increases and includes larger and complex tumors, the risk of conversion to radical nephrectomy likely increases. We evaluated incidence and reason for conversion to radical nephrectomy in patients scheduled for partial nephrectomy by surgeons participating in MUSIC (the Michigan Urologic Surgery Improvement Collaborative).

MATERIALS AND METHODS: All patients in whom robotic partial nephrectomy was planned were stratified by completed procedure (robotic partial nephrectomy vs radical nephrectomy). Preoperative and intraoperative records were reviewed for preoperative assessment of difficulty and reason for conversion. Patient, tumor, pathologic, and practice variables were compared between cohorts.

RESULTS: Of 650 patients scheduled for robotic partial nephrectomy, conversion to radical nephrectomy occurred in 27 (4.2%) patients. No conversions to open were reported. Preoperative documentation indicated a plan for possible conversion in 18 (67%) patients including partial with possible radical (n = 8), partial vs radical (n = 6), or likely radical nephrectomy (n = 4). Intraoperative documentation indicated that only 5 (19%) conversions were secondary to bleeding, with the remaining conversions due to tumor complexity and/or oncologic concerns. Patients undergoing conversion had larger (4.7 vs 2.8 cm, P < .001) and higher-complexity tumors (64% vs 6%, P < .001) with R.E.N.A.L. (for radius, exophytic/endophytic, nearness of tumor to collecting system, anterior/posterior, location relative to polar line) nephrometry score ≥ 10. The converted cases had a higher rate of ≥ pT3 (27% vs 8.4%, P = .008).

CONCLUSIONS: There was a low rate of conversion from robotic partial to radical nephrectomy in the MUSIC-KIDNEY (Kidney mass: Identifying and Defining Necessary Evaluation and therapY) collaborative, and an even lower risk of conversion due to uncontrolled bleeding. Targeted review of each conversion identified appropriate decision-making based on oncologic risk in most cases.

Medical Subject Headings

Humans; Kidney Neoplasms; Robotic Surgical Procedures; Treatment Outcome; Robotics; Nephrectomy; Retrospective Studies

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