Objectives. To report a novel method of accomplishing laparoscopic lower pole partial nephrectomy in an acute porcine model using a bipolar needle electrode without the need for renal arterial occlusion. Methods. Six animals (12 renal units) underwent laparoscopic polar nephrectomy using the bipolar needle electrode. After complete laparoscopic mobilization of the lower pole of the kidney, the bipolar needle electrode was repeatedly inserted full-thickness into the renal parenchyma and applied transversely, creating regional ischemia to the entire lower pole without renal vascular occlusion. The specimen was then amputated using laparoscopic scissors. Results. For the 12 laparoscopic partial nephrectomies, the mean operative time was 39 ± 30 minutes, and the mean blood loss was 90 ± 112 mL. Of the 12 cases, 10 (83%) were performed successfully with the bipolar needle electrocautery as the only source of hemostasis and without the need for ancillary hemostatic measures. Two of the procedures (17%) required temporary arterial control for hemostasis. For the successful procedures, the mean operative time was 29 ± 4 minutes, and the mean blood loss was 48 ± 11 mL. Histologic analysis of the specimens demonstrated coagulative necrosis between 2 and 4 mm from the line of the surgical incision. Conclusions. Bipolar needle electrocautery is a promising device that can be used to facilitate laparoscopic partial nephrectomy with minimal blood loss and without the need for renal arterial occlusion and warm ischemia. Additional studies are required to optimize the delivery parameters of this device.
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