Modified renal morcellation for renal cell carcinoma: Laboratory experience and early clinical application

Jaime Landman, Ramakrishna Venkatesh, Adam Kibel, Richard Vanlangendonck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Objectives. To present our modified technique to expedite the entrapment and morcellation process. Standard renal morcellation is typically performed using a 12-mm incision, with the specimen entrapped within a durable LapSac. Because the LapSac does not have a deployment mechanism, its application is technically demanding and time consuming. The recent elimination of the electrical morcellator has also made the morcellation process time consuming and tedious. Methods. Using an in vitro porcine kidney morcellation model, we compared traditional morcellation (n = 10) with our modified morcellation technique (n = 10). The modified morcellation technique incorporated an EndoCatch entrapment sac and used standard manual morcellation through a 3-cm incision. The 3-cm incision allowed for extracorporeal morcellation, because the specimen could be seen through the abdominal wall defect. Subsequently, we performed 11 laparoscopic radical/total nephrectomies for renal masses using the modified morcellation technique through a 3-cm incision. Results. In this in vitro model, renal specimen morcellation with the standard technique required a mean of 9.4 minutes (16.5 g/min) and modified morcellation required 3.24 minutes (51.24 g/min; P <0.0001). The mean fragment size with standard and modified morcellation was 1.47 and 4.46 g, respectively (P <0.0001). EndoCatch entrapment sack integrity was confirmed in all 10 cases (100%). Clinically, 12 patients underwent modified morcellation of radical nephrectomy specimens. All specimens were renal cell carcinoma, with a mean specimen weight of 724 g. The mean entrapment time was 2 minutes, 40 seconds, and the mean morcellation time was 11 minutes. EndoCatch entrapment sack integrity was confirmed in all cases. At a mean follow-up of 8 months, no trocar site or local recurrences have developed. Conclusions. Preliminary laboratory and clinical data have demonstrated that the modified morcellation technique is safe and expeditious. The larger fragments that result from the modified technique may facilitate tumor staging. The technique must be performed with great care to prevent sack perforation. Prospective randomized comparison of the modified and standard morcellation techniques and long-term follow-up are required before routine application of this technique.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)632-634
Number of pages3
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2003


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