Current status of minimally invasive surgery for renal cell carcinoma

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Over the last three decades, the incidence of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) has continuously risen, generally attributed to the increased use of cross-sectional imaging across all medical disciplines. Fortunately, despite this rising incidence, the estimated 5-year relative survival rate has improved. This survival improvement likely parallels the stage migration of the last two decades toward an increased incidence of small renal masses (SRMs). However, this survival improvement may be secondary to improved surgical techniques and medical therapies for these malignancies. The increased incidence of SRMs has led to an expected evolution in the treatment of RCC. Minimally invasive surgical applications for the treatment of RCC have gained widespread popularity, and now these approaches to renal malignancies have surpassed open techniques in frequency of utilization. Laparoscopic and robotic-assisted techniques have now been applied to both radical and partial nephrectomy procedures of varying complexity. Additionally, percutaneous ablative procedures have been applied to the treatment of some SRMs, increasing the urologist’s armamentarium further. Below, we provide a review of these minimally invasive surgical (MIS) procedures for the treatment of RCC.

Original languageEnglish
Article number43
JournalCurrent urology reports
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2016


  • Laparoscopy
  • Minimally invasive surgery
  • Renal cell carcinoma


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