Laparoscopic surgery

Laparoscopic techniques permit surgery on the abdominal and retroperitoneal organs without the large incision that accompanies traditional “open” surgery. At NYU Urology Associates, we use laparoscopy to manage kidney cancers, remove diseased adrenal glands, perform renal biopsies, excise renal cysts and perform innovative urinary reconstruction techniques. Research by our department has defined many advantages of laparoscopy over traditional open surgery, including decreased blood loss, less pain, shorter hospital stays and faster overall recovery time.

More information on laparoscopic surgery

In laparoscopic surgery, the surgeon makes a quarter-inch incision near the navel or in the lower abdomen and then pumps carbon dioxide gas into the abdomen. This causes the abdominal cavity to expand, creating more working room for the surgeon and making it easier to see the organs. A fiber optic camera called a laparoscope is then inserted into the body through one of the incisions; it lights the area and projects a magnified image onto a screen. Surgical instruments may then be inserted through three to four additional small incisions. Once the camera and instruments are in place, the operation is identical to traditional open surgery, except that it is done much less invasively.

For example, a patient undergoing a procedure to remove a kidney (nephrectomy) or remove part of a kidney with a tumor (partial nephrectomy) using an open surgical technique will require an 8- to 18-inch incision in the abdomen. The same operation performed laparoscopically requires only three to four incisions, each less than a quarter of an inch, and one 3-inch extraction incision hidden just above the patient's pubic bone. These smaller incisions cause significantly less trauma to the body and allow the patient to heal faster and return to work and/or normal activities more quickly.

Watch videos of laparoscopic procedures

Related publications by NYU urologists

  • Hyams ES, Kanofsky JA, Stifelman MD. Laparoscopic Doppler technology: applications in laparoscopic pyeloplasty and radical and partial nephrectomy. Urology. 2008 May;71(5):952-6.
  • Berger AD, Kanofsky JA, O'Malley RL, Hyams ES, Chang C, Taneja SS, Stifelman MD. Transperitoneal laparoscopic radical nephrectomy for large (more than 7 cm) renal masses. Urology. 2008 Mar;71(3):421-4.
  • Breda A, Stepanian SV, Lam JS, Liao JC, Gill IS, Colombo JR, Guazzoni G, Stifelman MD, Perry KT, Celia A, Breda G, Fornara P, Jackman SV, Rosales A, Palou J, Grasso M, Pansadoro V, Disanto V, Porpiglia F, Milani C, Abbou CC, Gaston R, Janetschek G, Soomro NA, De la Rosette JJ, Laguna PM, Schulam PG. Use of haemostatic agents and glues during laparoscopic partial nephrectomy: a multi-institutional survey from the United States and Europe of 1347 cases. Eur Urol. 2007 Sep;52(3):798-803.
  • O'Malley RL, Berger AD, Kanofsky JA, Phillips CK, Stifelman M, Taneja SS. A matched-cohort comparison of laparoscopic cryoablation and laparoscopic partial nephrectomy for treating renal masses. BJU Int. 2007 Feb;99(2):395-8.
  • Patel R, Stifelman MD. Hand-assisted laparoscopic devices: the second generation. J Endourol. 2004 Sep;18(7):649-53.
  • Ogan K, Cadeddu JA, Stifelman MD. Laparoscopic radical nephrectomy: oncologic efficacy. Urol Clin North Am. 2003 Aug;30(3):543-50.
  • Stifelman MD, Handler T, Nieder AM, Del Pizzo J, Taneja S, Sosa RE, Shichman SJ. Hand-assisted laparoscopy for large renal specimens: a multi-institutional study. Urology. 2003 Jan;61(1):78-82.
  • Stifelman MD, Sosa RE, Shichman SJ. Hand-assisted laparoscopy in urology. Rev Urol. 2001 Spring;3(2):63-71.
  • Stifelman MD, Hull D, Sosa RE, Su LM, Hyman M, Stubenbord W, Shichman S. Hand assisted laparoscopic donor nephrectomy: a comparison with the open approach. J Urol. 2001 Aug;166(2):444-8.
  • Stifelman MD, Hyman MJ, Shichman S, Sosa RE. Hand-assisted laparoscopic nephroureterectomy versus open nephroureterectomy for the treatment of transitional-cell carcinoma of the upper urinary tract. J Endourol. 2001 May;15(4):391-5; discussion 397.
  • Stifelman MD, Sosa RE, Nakada SY, Shichman SJ. Hand-assisted laparoscopic partial nephrectomy. J Endourol. 2001 Mar;15(2):161-4.