Robotic Nephroureterectomy vs Laparoscopic Nephroureterectomy: Increased Utilization, Rates of Lymphadenectomy, Decreased Morbidity Robotically

Alexander P. Kenigsberg, Wesley Smith, Xiaosong Meng, Rashed Ghandour, Leonid Rapoport, Aditya Bagrodia, Yair Lotan, Solomon L. Woldu, Vitaly Margulis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Introduction and Objective: Robotic radical nephroureterectomy (RRNU) may offer advantages over laparoscopic radical nephroureterectomy (LRNU). The purpose of this study is to evaluate the overall survival (OS) of patients with upper tract urothelial carcinoma (UTUC) who underwent RRNU vs LRNU and identify factors that account for differences. Methods: The National Cancer Database was queried from 2010 to 2016 for patients with American Joint Committee on Cancer 6th/7th edition Stage I/II/III UTUC. Kaplan-Meier analysis compared LRNU and RRNU OS. Univariate analysis detected differences between the groups. Cox regression determined factors associated with mortality rate. Logistic regression identified predictors of a lymph node dissection (LND) and 90-day mortality rate. Results: A total of 2631 patients met the criteria, 1129 of whom underwent RRNU and 1502 LRNU, with a follow-up of 33 and 35 months, respectively (p = 0.063). RRNU had a median OS of 71.1 vs 62.6 months (p = 0.033). LRNU patients were older (72.7 vs 71.4, p < 0.001) and had no differences in comorbidities, pathologic T stage, or grade. The LRNU cohort was less likely to undergo LND (19% vs 35%, p < 0.001) and had a lower median lymph node yield (3 vs 4, p < 0.001). LRNU patients more likely underwent conversion to an open procedure, had longer hospital stays, and higher 30- and 90-day mortality rates. LRNU was independently associated with mortality rate (p = 0.030). Age, grade, positive margins, pT/pN stage were associated with mortality rate. Younger age, RRNU, surgery at an academic center, and neoadjuvant chemotherapy predicted an LND. Conclusions: RRNU demonstrated increased rates of LND and may offer a short-term morbidity benefit to LRNU. Survival differences may be due to improved characterization of disease through LND.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)312-318
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of endourology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • laparoscopic surgery
  • lymphadenectomy
  • nephroureterectomy
  • robotic surgery
  • upper tract urothelial carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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