Pfannenstiel incision for intact specimen extraction in laparoscopic transperitoneal radical nephrectomy: a longitudinal prospective outcome study






OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the intra- and postoperative outcomes of patients undergoing laparoscopic radical nephrectomy with intact specimen extraction through a Pfannenstiel transverse suprapubic incision. METHODS: Prospective follow-up of 26 laparoscopic transperitoneal radical nephrectomies for suspected renal tumors in which the kidneys were extracted via a Pfannenstiel lower abdominal transverse incision. RESULTS: The mean operating time was 152.3 (80-255) minutes, and the mean blood loss was 90 (20-300) ml. The mean extraction time was 20.4 (12-35) minutes. The mean weight of the removed specimen was 631.5 (190-1505) grams, and the mean longest diameter of the extracted specimen was 17.4 (9-25) cm. The mean extraction incision size was 10.7 (7-16) cm. No open surgical conversions were necessary. Pain control was excellent, with minimal intravenous morphine equivalent narcotic use by patients: 15.7 (0-31) mg in the recovery room, 33.8 (0-127) mg on the first postoperative day and 8.7 (0-60) mg in the first week after discharge. The patients experienced a short duration to full ambulation and normal dietary intake. Postoperative follow-up visits were recorded for at least six months. The patients reported a high cosmetic satisfaction rate of 97.7% (60-100). No late postoperative complications were observed related to the extraction site. CONCLUSIONS: The operative specimen can be extracted via a low transverse Pfannenstiel incision during radical laparoscopic nephrectomy. This incision ensures the extraction of large specimens while preserving the aesthetic and functional advantages of laparoscopy without increasing the cancer risk. The absence of muscle cutting maintains the integrity of the abdominal wall and elicits minimal pain. No postoperative incisional hernias or keloid formations were observed.

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