Since the first reported case of laparoscopic nephrectomy by Clayman et al. in 1991, laparoscopy is gaining acceptance as a viable alternative to open surgery for renal cell carcinoma. The benefits of laparoscopy include improved quality of life and lower incidence of perioperative morbidity. The perceived risks of laparoscopic nephrectomy for renal cell carcinoma include port-site metastasis, increased operative time, and the concern for inadequate surgical resection. The preliminary data concerning laparoscopy in renal cell carcinoma, however, indicate that rates of tumor recurrence are equivalent to open surgery while resulting in better cosmesis, decreased level of perioperative analgesic use, and decreased length of time to full convalescence.
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