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Nephron-sparing surgery, Tumor enucleation, Renal cell carcinoma
The increased number of small renal masses (SRMs) detected annually has led to a rise in the use of nephron-sparing surgery (NSS). These techniques aim to preserve the largest amount of healthy renal tissue possible while maintaining the same oncologic outcomes as radical nephrectomy (RN). Additionally, partial nephrectomy (PN) has been linked to a lower risk of chronic kidney disease, cardiovascular morbidity, and mortality when compared to RN. There has been continual progress toward resecting less renal parenchyma. While the predominant surgical method of performing NSS is through traditional PN, simple enucleation (SE) of the tumor has increased in popularity over recent years. SE is a technique that aims to preserve the maximal amount of renal parenchyma possible by utilizing the renal tumor pseudocapsule to bluntly separate the lesion from its underlying parenchyma, offering the smallest possible margin of excised healthy renal tissue. Several studies have demonstrated the oncological safety of SE compared with PN in the treatment of SRMs, with lower overall incidence of positive surgical margins. Additionally, SE has been shown to have similar 5- and 10-year progression-free and cancer-specific survival as PN. We present a review of the literature and an argument for SE to be a routine consideration in the treatment of all renal tumors amenable to NSS.