INTRODUCTION Robot-assisted partial nephrectomy (RAPN) is increasingly used for the surgical management of renal masses. Aim of this study was to analyze the available literature regarding the outcomes of RAPN compared to those of open partial nephrectomy (OPN). EVIDENCE ACQUISITION A literature search was performed up to October 2018 using PubMed, MEDLINE and Em-base. Article selection followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis (PRISMA) principles and Population, Intervention, Comparator, Outcomes (PICO) methodology was used. Population (P) was patients with renal masses who underwent RAPN (I). RAPN was compared with OPN (C). Outcomes of interest were perioperative, oncological and functional outcomes of both surgical procedures (O). Inclusion criteria were: randomized controlled studies andobservational cohort studies comparing RAPN versus OPN, which reported at least one outcome of interest. EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS Twenty-two manuscripts met our inclusion criteria and were included in the systematic review. RAPN was superior to OPN in terms of complication rate in 11 studies while similar results were observed in 9 studies. Positive surgical margins were similar in 13 studies while RAPN had lower surgical margins in 6 studies. Operative and warm ischemia times were longer in OPN in 13 and 10 studies, respectively. Seventeen and 19 studies showed that estimated blood loss and length of hospital stay were higher in RAPN. Estimated glomerular filtration rate decline and chronic kidney disease upstaging decline were similar in the majority of studies. CONCLUSIONS Current evidence demonstrate that RAPN is a reasonable alternative to OPN with regard to oncological and early functional outcomes with a straightforward advantage of improved perioperative morbidity, as expected by minimally invasive techniques. Nevertheless, there is still a great need for well-designed randomized studies with an extended follow-up.
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