Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

OBJECTIVE: To define the current achievable outcomes from open partial nephrectomy (OPN) in the UK at a time when other treatments for small kidney tumours are increasingly being advocated. Current knowledge of the effectiveness of OPN is limited by the fact that published data are almost exclusively derived from a very few centres of established world renown. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed 100 consecutive planned OPNs in 90 patients at two UK centres; 93 operations were for suspected cancer. The median (range) tumour size was 3.8 (1.2-9) cm. In all, 42 OPNs were imperative for patients with a single kidney (14), synchronous bilateral tumours (20), or renal impairment alone (eight). In 42 patients with a tumour of < or = 4 cm and a normal contralateral kidney the decision to do OPN was considered elective. There were 10 additional operations in seven patients with Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease. In all, 21 OPNs were in the context of a single kidney. RESULTS: In all, 95 OPNs were successfully completed; one operation was abandoned and there were four nephrectomies, including two for bleeding, one for a positive margin on frozen-section analysis, and one for multifocal tumours. The median warm/cold ischaemia time was 20/33 min. The intraoperative/early complication rate was 36%, including a major complication rate of 11% and re-operation rate for primary bleeding of 3%. Of 36 complications, 30 (83%) were in 23 patients with either an imperative indication or VHL. Complications were more common in the imperative/VHL group (59%) than in the elective/other group (12%). Renal function was preserved in 80 of 100 (80%) OPNs overall. Creatinine levels returned to baseline in 11 of 21 (50%) patients with renal impairment before OPN and in 12 of 20 (60%) with a single kidney, whilst five of 21 (24%) with a single kidney needed dialysis after OPN. The median (range) stay after surgery was 6 (3-50) nights. A malignant diagnosis was confirmed in 76 of 93 (82%) specimens on final histopathology. There were 11 of 100 (11%) positive margins, one managed by immediate conversion to nephrectomy and the remaining 10 managed expectantly. After a median (range) follow-up of 24 (1-69) months there were no deaths from kidney cancer, but three patients had local recurrences and two others had developed metastatic recurrence. CONCLUSION: OPN is complex surgery, especially in the imperative setting, but very good results are achievable outside established centres of world renown. It provides good cancer control in the short term with low renal morbidity. These results may act as a reference point in the UK by which to compare results of new treatments for kidney cancer.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1211 - 1215


Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Biopsy, Female, Humans, Intraoperative Complications, Kidney Neoplasms, Male, Middle Aged, Nephrectomy, Postoperative Complications, Reoperation, Retrospective Studies, Treatment Outcome