Main Article Content
Partial nephrectomy, Renal function, Renal cortical tumors
Historically, radical nephrectomy represented the gold standard for the treatment of small (≤ 4cm) as well as larger renal masses. Recently, for small renal masses, the risk of ensuing chronic kidney disease and end stage renal disease has largely favored nephron-sparing surgical techniques, mainly partial nephrectomy. In this review, we surveyed the literature on renal functional outcomes after partial nephrectomy for renal tumors. The largest randomized control trial comparing radical and partial nephrectomy failed to show a survival benefit for partial nephrectomy. With regards to overall survival, surgically induced chronic kidney disease (GFR < 60 ml/min/ 1.73m2) caused by nephrectomy might not be as deleterious as medically induced chronic kidney disease. In evaluating patients who underwent donor nephrectomy, transplant literature further validates that surgically induced reductions in GFR may not affect patient survival, unlike medically induced GFR declines. Yet, because patients who present with a renal mass tend to be elderly with multiple comorbidities, many develop a mixed picture of medically, and surgically-induced renal disease after extirpative renal surgery. In this population, we believe that nephron sparing surgery optimizes oncological control while protecting renal function.