Since the first laparoscopic procedure was performed to remove a diseased kidney 20 years ago at Washington University in St. Louis, this breakthrough minimally invasive technique has become the standard of care for surgical nephrectomy. This remarkable achievement is celebrated with a series of cutting-edge articles in Journal of Endourology, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. (www.liebertpub.com). The issue is available free online at www.liebertpub.com/end
In 1990, all of the technical challenges associated with safely grinding up and completely removing a diseased kidney through a small incision were solved, and pioneering surgeon Ralph Clayman, MD, Co-Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Endourology and Dean and Professor, University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine, performed the first laparoscopic nephrectomy. He subsequently refined and standardized the procedure.
"Laparoscopic nephrectomy was born out of great insight and courage to question basic principles turned dogma," writes Louis Kavoussi, MD, Waldbaum-Gardiner Distinguished Professor, Hofstra-North Shore/LIJ School of Medicine (New Hyde Park, NY) in his editorial, "Ad Astra Per Alia Porci." Dr. Clayman's accomplishments "ushered in a new era of endourology and [have] served as the seed for other minimally invasive procedures."
"Endourology, or minimally invasive urologic surgery, started with the removal of stones from the kidney through a small half-inch incision. The field made monumental progress with Dr.Clayman's laparoscopic nephrectomy and taught us that it was possible to do many extirpative procedures laparoscopically. We are now into the next era whereby we can not only remove structures/organs but are able to repair and reconstruct them as well---all through small incisions resulting in less pain and suffering for our patients," says Arthur Smith, MD, Long Island Jewish Medical Center (New Hyde Park, NY), Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal.
Each article in this special issue of the Journal highlights an innovative aspect of laparoscopic and robotic renal surgery and has a corresponding video in Videourology (www.liebertonline.com/journal/vid), Part B of Journal of Endourology. This concept of a full length article describing a surgical procedure combined with a video of the surgery that is available online may set the standard for surgical instruction in the future. Included in the issue is an in-depth presentation of "Laparoendoscopic Single-Site Surgery Radical Nephrectomy," by Jens-Uwe Stolzenburg, MD, PhD, and colleagues, (University of Leipzig, Germany; University of Patras, Greece; and Northampton General Hospital, U.K.). Shyam Sukumar, MD, and Craig Rogers, MD, Henry Ford Hospital (Detroit, MI), describe the opportunities for "Robot-Assisted Partial Nephrectomy" in nephron-sparing surgery. Phillip Mucksavage, MD, and coauthors, University of California, Irvine, present the method in use at their institution in the article, "Laparoscopic Transperitoneal Nephrectomy for Renal Cancer: The University of California, Irvine, Technique."