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Impact of Surgical Mentorship on Retroperitoneoscopic Adrenalectomy with Comparison to Transperitoneal Laparoscopic Adrenalectomy

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Retroperitoneoscopic adrenalectomy (RA) provides a direct approach to the adrenal gland. RA represents a complex approach with unique orientation that is less intuitive. The authors objectively evaluated the impact of mentorship on the performance of RA and also compared it with laparoscopic adrenalectomy (LA). After implementing the use of RA, a retrospective review of the operative experience of two high-volume endocrine surgeons was performed. Both surgeons participated in a hands-on RA mentorship. Clinical presentation and perioperative outcomes were compared. Subgroup analysis was used to compare RA pre- and postmentorship and with LA. Sixty-one LAs and 31 RAs were included in the analysis. The mean operative time was 115 for LA versus 90 minutes for RA (P = 0.002). Blood loss was greater for LA versus RA (56 vs 22 mL; P = 0.001). Length of stay (LOS) for LA was 2.2 versus 1.5 days for RA (P = 0.029). Ten patients were treated by RA in the prementorship era versus 21 in the postmentorship era. The mean operative time for the prementorship group was 118 minutes, which decreased to 77 minutes postmentorship (P < 0.0001). LOS also decreased from 2.0 to 1.2 days (P = 0.04) in the postmentorship era. RA demonstrates a shorter operative time, less blood loss, and decrease length of hospital stay as compared with standard LA. After proper mentorship and patient selection, RA may represent a superior option for removal of small, benign adrenal tumors.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Division of Surgical Oncology and Endocrine Surgery, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, USA

Publication date: 01 February 2013

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