Mini-flank supra-11th rib incision for open partial or radical nephrectomy

Christopher J. DiBlasio, Mark E. Snyder, Paul Russo

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44 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To report our approach to partial (PN) or radical nephrectomy (RN) using a supra-11th mini-flank incision, as the widespread availability of advanced imaging has increased the detection of incidental, lower-stage renal tumours that are generally amenable to resection using smaller incisions. PATIENTS AND METHODS: The study included 167 consecutive patients undergoing PN/RN for renal tumours treated between February 2000 and March 2003 using the supra-11th rib mini-flank approach. Variables analysed were age, gender, nephrectomy type (PN vs RN), operative duration, estimated blood loss (EBL), hospital stay, tumour size and location, pathological stage and histology, perioperative transfusions, and complications. Patients undergoing PN were examined for ischaemia type (cold, warm, none) and duration of renal artery clamping. The interval after surgery to initiate solid diet and discontinue patient-controlled analgesia, and overall pain control, were analysed and compared between PN and RN. RESULTS: In all, 133 patients (80%) underwent PN and 34 (20%) RN, at a median age of 61.7 years. The median operative duration was 2.9 h, the EBL 400 mL, tumour size 3.2 cm and median hospital stay 5 days. At a median follow-up of 18.2 months, there were seven (4%) late complications: six patients had a flank bulge and one had a reducible hernia. Surgical margins were negative in 164 (98%) patients. CONCLUSIONS: The supra-11th rib mini-flank incision offers a practical alternative to traditional open or laparoscopic PN or RN. Using a small (8 cm) incision with no rib resection, this approach affords optimum exposure without compromising cancer control, with excellent cosmetic results and a lower risk of late complications at the wound site.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-156
Number of pages8
JournalBJU International
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Kidney
  • Kidney neoplasms
  • Nephrectomy
  • Operative therapy
  • Surgical procedures


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