Utilization and Outcomes of Nephroureterectomy for Upper Tract Urothelial Carcinoma by Surgical Approach

Joseph F. Rodriguez, Vignesh T. Packiam, William R. Boysen, Scott C. Johnson, Zachary L. Smith, Norm D. Smith, Arieh L. Shalhav, Gary D. Steinberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Objectives: To compare outcomes and survival of open-, robotic-, and laparoscopic nephroureterectomy (ONU, RNU, LNU) using population-based data. Methods: Using the National Cancer Database, we identified patients who underwent nephroureterectomy for localized upper tract urothelial carcinoma between 2010 and 2013. Demographic and clinicopathologic characteristics were compared among the three operative approaches. Multivariate regression analyses were used to determine the impact of approach on performance of lymphadenectomy (LND), positive surgical margins (PSM), and overall survival (OS). Results: In total, there were 9401 cases identified for analysis, including 3199 ONU (34%), 2098 RNU (22%), and 4104 LNU (44%). From 2010 to 2013, utilization of RNU increased from 14% to 30%. On multivariate analysis, LND was more likely in RNU (odds ratio [OR] 1.52; p < 0.01) and less likely in LNU (OR 0.77; p < 0.01) compared with ONU. RNU was associated with decreased PSM compared with ONU (OR = 0.73; p = 0.04). After adjusting for other factors, OS was not significantly associated with surgical approach. Conclusions: RNU utilization doubled over the study period. While RNU was associated with greater likelihood of LND performance as well as lower PSM rates when compared with ONU and LNU, surgical approach did not independently affect OS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)661-665
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Endourology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2017


  • Upper tract urothelial
  • nephroureterectomy
  • surgical approach


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