Trends in the Management of Small Renal Masses: A Survey of Members of the Endourological Society

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Anand Mohapatra
Aaron M. Potretzke
John Weaver
Barrett G. Anderson
Joel Vetter
Robert S. Figenshau


active surveillance, laparoscopic ablation, minimally invasive nephrectomy, robotic nephrectomy, small renal masses


Treatment modalities for small renal masses (SRMs) include open or minimally invasive radical or partial nephrectomy, and laparoscopic or percutaneous ablations. Members of the Endourological Society were surveyed to evaluate how practitioner and clinical practice characteristics may be associated with the management of SRMs over time. The survey assessed characteristics of urologists (recency of residency and fellowship training, clinical practice type and location, and treatment modalities available) and their management of SRMs over the past year and over the course of the year 5 years prior. Of the 1495 surveys e-mailed, there were 129 respondents (8.6%). Comparing the past year to 5 years prior, there was increasing utilization of robotic partial nephrectomy (p < 0.001) and robotic radial nephrectomy (p = 0.031). In contrast, there was decreasing utilization of open partial nephrectomy (p < 0.001), open radical nephrectomy (p = 0.039), laparoscopic partial nephrectomy (p = 0.002), and laparoscopic radical nephrectomy (p = 0.041). Employment of laparoscopic ablation decreased (p = 0.001), but that of percutaneous ablation did not change significantly. For masses treated with image-guided therapy, there was increasing utilization of microwave ablation (p = 0.008) and decreasing usage of radiofrequency ablation (p = 0.002). Future studies should focus on the most effective treatment modalities based on provider, patient, and tumor characteristics.

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