Objectives: To compare outcomes at a 5-year median follow-up among different partial nephrectomy (PN) approaches: robot-assisted (RAPN), laparoscopic (LPN) and open partial nephrectomy (OPN). Patients and Methods: We retrospectively analysed 1 308 patients who underwent PN (RAPN, n = 380; LPN, n = 206; OPN, n = 722) between 2006 and 2012 at one of four academic centres. We performed 1:1:1 propensity-score-matching adjustment based on confounding variables among groups, and 366 patients (122 in each group) were included in the final analysis. Survival rates were analysed using the Kaplan–Meier method. Results: The median follow-up periods were 60, 59.8 and 64.1 months for RAPN, LPN and OPN, respectively. In the matched groups, RAPN resulted in significantly lower mean estimated blood loss compared with LPN (P = 0.025) and OPN (P = 0.040), while LPN was associated with a longer mean operating time compared with RAPN (P = 0.001) and OPN (P = 0.001). The hospital stay was shorter in the RAPN group (P = 0.008). Regarding the oncological outcomes, there were no significant differences among the three groups in local recurrence rate (P = 0.882), distant metastasis rate (P = 0.816) or deaths from cancer (P = 0.779). At latest follow-up, the incidence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) upstaging was significantly lower in RAPN compared with LPN (20.55% vs 32%; P = 0.035) and OPN (20.5% vs 33.6%; P = 0.038). The 5-year CKD free-survival rate was significantly higher (78.4%) in the RAPN group compared with 58.8% and 65.8% in the LPN and OPN groups, respectively (log-rank P = 0.031). Conclusions: In the present study, RAPN, LPN and OPN had similar local recurrence, distant metastasis and cancer-related death rates at a 5-year median follow-up. In terms of functional outcomes, RAPN was associated with a lower incidence of CKD upstaging compared with OPN and LPN.
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