Purpose: To assess the safety and efficacy of conversion from pure laparoscopy to hand-assisted laparoscopy to control mild-to-moderate bleeding during renal surgery. Patients and Methods: Between August 2006 and August 2008, we performed 94 laparoscopic nephrectomies (44 partial and 50 radical). A total of three radical nephrectomies were converted from pure to hand-assisted laparoscopy for control of bleeding. The first patient was a 44-year-old man with a 14-cm cystic renal mass. The second patient was a 52-year-old man with a 3.8-cm renal mass, and the third patient was an 86-year-old woman with a 7-cm renal mass. Results: In all three procedures, the indication for conversion was bleeding from the renal hilum or the kidney parenchyma during dissection. The bleeding was difficult to control using pure laparoscopy, and therefore a hand port was inserted. Time for conversion and placement of the hand port averaged less than 7 minutes. Total estimated blood loss for the three patients was 800 mL, 2000 mL, and 650 mL, respectively. One patient needed a transfusion with three units of packed red blood cells. The postoperative course was uneventful in all patients, except for one patient who had prolonged ileus and stayed in the hospital for 6 days. The remaining two patients were discharged on postoperative days 2 and 3. Conclusions: Conversion from pure to hand-assisted laparoscopy for bleeding control is feasible and effective. It adds minimal morbidity while maximizing cosmesis, and it should be considered as an alternative to open conversion in cases of mild-to-moderate bleeding.
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