Publications by authors named "Ravi Barod"

36 Publications

Perioperative impact of body mass index on upper urinary tract and renal robot-assisted surgery: a single high-volume centre experience.

J Robot Surg 2021 Jul 27. Epub 2021 Jul 27.

Specialist Centre for Kidney Cancer, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, Hampstead, London, UK.

To assess the impact of body mass index (BMI) on peri-operative outcomes of kidney and upper tract robot-assisted surgery. Medical audit of patients who underwent robot-assisted kidney and upper tract cancer surgery at a single institution between 2017 and 2019, categorized on BMI into obese patients with a BMI ≥ 30 kg/m and a control group with BMI < 25 kg/m. Patient and tumour characteristics, surgery time, intraoperative blood loss, intraoperative adverse events (AE) according to the European Association of Urology Intraoperative Adverse Incidents Classification (EAUiaiC), conversion- to-open/radical rate as well as 30-day postoperative AE according to Clavien-Dindo (CD) and length of inpatient stay were analyzed. 366 patients were identified, 141 with a BMI < 25 (normal-weight) and 225 BMI ≥ 30 (obesity). There were no significant differences between the groups in terms of age, gender, comorbidities, tumour size, TNM stage and type of surgery. Obese patients had a higher estimated blood loss (198.05 ml), surgery time (171.75 min), intraoperative AE (all grades) (14.67%, 95% CI (0.10-0.19) as well as adherent perinephric fat (APF) (14.22%, 95% CI (0.09-0.19)) in contrast to the control group (86.85 ml, 148.29 min, 7.04% and 2.12%, respectively). Hospital stay, major intraoperative AE (≥ 3) and major postoperative AE (CD > 2) distributed equally between groups. Robotic kidney and upper tract surgery in obese patients showed an increase in surgery time and blood loss potentially related to APF. However, obesity was not associated with conversion to open surgery or radical nephrectomy in nephron-sparing procedures, length of stay, major intraoperative AE or postoperative complications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11701-021-01285-6DOI Listing
July 2021

Factors that influence patients' views on treatment decision-making in localised kidney cancer.

Transl Androl Urol 2021 Jun;10(6):2824-2827

King's College London, Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine, Translational and Oncology Research (TOUR), London, UK.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/tau-20-1317DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8261443PMC
June 2021

Reply by Authors.

J Urol 2021 Jul 21:101097JU000000000000190103. Epub 2021 Jul 21.

Translational Oncology and Urology Research (TOUR), King's College London, London, UK.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JU.0000000000001901.03DOI Listing
July 2021

The Current Evidence for Factors that Influence Treatment Decision Making in Localized Kidney Cancer: A Mixed Methods Systematic Review.

J Urol 2021 Jun 11:101097JU0000000000001901. Epub 2021 Jun 11.

Translational Oncology and Urology Research (TOUR), King's College London, London, UK.

Purpose: With a growing number of treatment options for localized kidney cancer, patients and health care professionals have both the opportunity and the burden of selecting the most suitable management option. This mixed method systematic review aims to understand the barriers and facilitators of the treatment decision making process in localized kidney cancer.

Materials And Methods: We searched PubMed®, Embase® and Cochrane Central databases between January 1, 2004 and April 23, 2020 using the Joanna Briggs Manual for Evidence Synthesis and the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-analysis statement. We identified 553 unique citations; of these, 511 were excluded resulting in 42 articles included for synthesis. The Purpose, Respondents, Explanation, Findings and Significance and the Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology checklist was applied.

Results: The key themes describing barriers and facilitators to treatment decision making were identified and categorized into 3 domains: 1) kidney cancer specific characteristics, 2) decision maker related criteria and 3) contextual factors. The main facilitators identified within these domains were size at diagnosis, age, comorbidities, body mass index, gender, nephrometry scoring systems, biopsy, socioeconomic status, family history of cancer, year of diagnosis, geographic region and practice pattern. The key barriers were race, gender, patient anxiety, low confidence in diagnostic and treatment options, cost of procedure, and practice patterns.

Conclusions: Future interventions designed to improve the decision making process for localized kidney cancer should consider these barriers and facilitators to ensure a better patient experience.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JU.0000000000001901DOI Listing
June 2021

Salvage Robot-assisted Renal Surgery for Local Recurrence After Surgical Resection or Renal Mass Ablation: Classification, Techniques, and Clinical Outcomes.

Eur Urol 2021 Jun 1. Epub 2021 Jun 1.

Department of Urology, Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan, Italy. Electronic address:

Background: Salvage treatment for local recurrence after prior partial nephrectomy (PN) or local tumor ablation (LTA) for kidney cancer is, as of yet, poorly investigated.

Objective: To classify the treatments and standardize the nomenclature of salvage robot-assisted renal surgery, to describe the surgical technique for each scenario, and to investigate complications, renal function, and oncologic outcomes.

Design, Setting, And Participants: Sixty-seven patients underwent salvage robot-assisted renal surgery from October 2010 to December 2020 at nine tertiary referral centers.

Surgical Procedure: Salvage robot-assisted renal surgery classified according to treatment type as salvage robot-assisted partial or radical nephrectomy (sRAPN or sRARN) and according to previous primary treatment (PN or LTA).

Measurements: Postoperative complications, renal function, and oncologic outcomes were assessed.

Results And Limitations: A total of 32 and 35 patients underwent salvage robotic surgery following PN and LTA, respectively. After prior PN, two patients underwent sRAPN, while ten underwent sRARN for a metachronous recurrence in the same kidney. No intra- or perioperative complication occurred. For local recurrence in the resection bed, six patients underwent sRAPN, while 14 underwent sRARN. For sRAPN, the intraoperative complication rate was 33%; there was no postoperative complication. For sRARN, there was no intraoperative complication and the postoperative complication rate was 7%. At 3 yr, the local recurrence-free rates were 64% and 82% for sRAPN and sRARN, respectively, while the 3-yr metastasis-free rates were 80% and 79%, respectively. At 33 mo, the median estimated glomerular filtration rates (eGFRs) were 57 and 45 ml/min/1.73 m for sRAPN and sRARN, respectively. After prior LTA, 35 patients underwent sRAPN and no patient underwent sRARN. There was no intraoperative complication; the overall postoperative complications rate was 20%. No local recurrence occurred. The 3-yr metastasis-free rate was 90%. At 43 mo, the median eGFR was 38 ml/min/1.73 m. The main limitations are the relatively small population and the noncomparative design of the study.

Conclusions: Salvage robot-assisted surgery has a safe complication profile in the hands of experienced surgeons at high-volume institutions, but the risk of local recurrence in this setting is non-negligible.

Patient Summary: Patients with local recurrence after partial nephrectomy or local tumor ablation should be aware that further treatment with robot-assisted surgery is not associated with a worrisome complication profile, but also that they are at risk of further recurrence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eururo.2021.04.003DOI Listing
June 2021

Growth and renal function dynamics of renal oncocytomas on active surveillance.

BJU Int 2021 May 28. Epub 2021 May 28.

Division of Surgery and Interventional Science, University College London.

Objectives: To study the natural history of renal oncocytomas and address indications for intervention by determining how growth associates with renal function over time, the reasons for surgery and ablation, and disease-specific survival.

Patients And Methods: Retrospective cohort of consecutive patients with renal oncocytoma on active surveillance reviewed at the Specialist Centre for Kidney Cancer at Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust (2012 to 2019). Comparison between groups was tested using the Mann-Whitney U and the Chi-square tests. A mixed-effects model with a random intercept for patient was used to study the longitudinal association between tumour size and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR).

Results: Longitudinal data from 98 patients with 101 lesions was analysed. Most patients were male (68.3%), median age was 69 years (IQR 13). The median follow-up was 29 months (IQR 26). Most lesions were small renal masses, 24% measured over 4 cm. Over half (64.4%) grew at a median rate of 2 mm per year (IQR 4). No association was observed between tumour size and eGFR over time (p=0.871). Nine lesions (8.9%) were subsequently treated. Two deaths were reported, neither were related to the diagnosis of renal oncocytoma.

Conclusion: Natural history data from the largest active surveillance cohort of renal oncocytomas to date show that renal function does not seem to be negatively impacted by growing oncocytomas, and confirms clinical outcomes are excellent after a median follow up of over 2 years. Active surveillance should be considered the gold standard management of renal oncocytomas up to 7cm.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bju.15499DOI Listing
May 2021

The European Association of Urology COVID Intermediate-priority Group is Poorly Predictive of Pathological High Risk Among Patients with Renal Tumours.

Eur Urol 2021 Aug 20;80(2):265-267. Epub 2021 May 20.

UCL Medical School, University College London, London, UK; Specialist Centre For Kidney Cancer, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eururo.2021.05.010DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8136273PMC
August 2021

Impact of the first surge of the COVID-19 pandemic on a tertiary referral centre for kidney cancer.

BJU Int 2021 May 8. Epub 2021 May 8.

Specialist Centre for Kidney Cancer, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK.

Objective: To analyse the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on a centralized specialist kidney cancer care pathway.

Materials And Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of patient and pathway characteristics including prioritization strategies at the Specialist Centre for Kidney Cancer located at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust (RFH) before and during the surge of COVID-19.

Results: On 18 March 2020 all elective surgery was halted at RFH to redeploy resources and staff for the COVID-19 surge. Prioritizing of patients according to European Association of Urology guidance was introduced. Clinics and the specialist multidisciplinary team (SMDT) meetings were maintained with physical distancing, kidney surgery was moved to a COVID-protected site, and infection prevention measurements were enforced. During the 7 weeks of lockdown (23 March to 10 May 2020), 234 cases were discussed at the SMDT meetings, 53% compared to the 446 cases discussed in the 7 weeks pre-lockdown. The reduction in referrals was more pronounced for small and asymptomatic renal masses. Of 62 low-priority cancer patients, 27 (43.5%) were deferred. Only one (4%) COVID-19 infection occurred postoperatively, and the patient made a full recovery. No increase in clinical or pathological upstaging could be detected in patients who underwent deferred surgery compared to pre-COVID practice.

Conclusion: The first surge of the COVID-19 pandemic severely impacted diagnosis, referral and treatment of kidney cancer at a tertiary referral centre. With a policy of prioritization and COVID-protected pathways, capacity for time-sensitive oncological interventions was maintained and no immediate clinical harm was observed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bju.15441DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8239749PMC
May 2021

Pattern, timing and predictors of recurrence after surgical resection of chromophobe renal cell carcinoma.

World J Urol 2021 Apr 13. Epub 2021 Apr 13.

Division of Surgery and Interventional Science, University College London, London, UK.

Purpose: Currently there are no specific guidelines for the post-operative follow-up of chromophobe renal cell carcinoma (chRCC). We aimed to evaluate the pattern, location and timing of recurrence after surgery for non-metastatic chRCC and establish predictors of recurrence and cancer-specific death.

Methods: Retrospective analysis of consecutive surgically treated non-metastatic chRCC cases from the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust (UK, 2015-2019) and the international collaborative database RECUR (15 institutes, 2006-2011). Kaplan-Meier curves were plotted. The association between variables of interest and outcomes were analysed using univariate and multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression models with shared frailty for data source.

Results: 295 patients were identified. Median follow-up was 58 months. The five and ten-year recurrence-free survival rates were 94.3% and 89.2%. Seventeen patients (5.7%) developed recurrent disease, 13 (76.5%) with distant metastases. 54% of metastatic disease diagnoses involved a single organ, most commonly the bone. Early recurrence (< 24 months) was observed in 8 cases, all staged ≥ pT2b. 30 deaths occurred, of which 11 were attributed to chRCC. Sarcomatoid differentiation was rare (n = 4) but associated with recurrence and cancer-specific death on univariate analysis. On multivariate analysis, UICC/AJCC T-stage ≥ pT2b, presence of coagulative necrosis, and positive surgical margins were predictors of recurrence and cancer-specific death.

Conclusion: Recurrence and death after surgically resected chRCC are rare. For completely excised lesions ≤ pT2a without coagulative necrosis or sarcomatoid features, prognosis is excellent. These patients should be reassured and follow-up intensity curtailed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00345-021-03683-9DOI Listing
April 2021

Major Urological Cancer Surgery for Patients is Safe and Surgical Training Should Be Encouraged During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Multicentre Analysis of 30-day Outcomes.

Eur Urol Open Sci 2021 Mar 9;25:39-43. Epub 2021 Jan 9.

Specialist Centre for Kidney Cancer, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK.

COVID-19 has resulted in the deferral of major surgery for genitourinary (GU) cancers with the exception of cancers with a high risk of progression. We report outcomes for major GU cancer operations, namely radical prostatectomy (RP), radical cystectomy (RC), radical nephrectomy (RN), partial nephrectomy (PN), and nephroureterectomy performed at 13 major GU cancer centres across the UK between March 1 and May 5, 2020. A total of 598 such operations were performed. Four patients (0.7%) developed COVID-19 postoperatively. There was no COVID-19-related mortality at 30 d. A minimally invasive approach was used in 499 cases (83.4%). A total of 228 cases (38.1%) were described as training procedures. Training case status was not associated with a higher American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) score ( =  0.194) or hospital length of stay (LOS;  >  0.05 for all operation types). The risk of contracting COVID-19 was not associated with longer hospital LOS ( =  0.146), training case status ( =  0.588), higher ASA score ( =  0.295), or type of hospital site ( =  0.303). Our results suggest that major surgery for urological cancers remains safe and training should be encouraged during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic provided appropriate countermeasures are taken. These real-life data are important for policy-makers and clinicians when counselling patients during the current pandemic.

Patient Summary: We collected outcome data for major operations for prostate, bladder, and kidney cancers during the COVID-19 pandemic. These surgeries remain safe and training should be encouraged during the ongoing pandemic provided appropriate countermeasures are taken. Our real-life results are important for policy-makers and clinicians when counselling patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.euros.2021.01.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7796655PMC
March 2021

How does COVID-19 impact treatment decision-making for clinicians in localised kidney cancer.

BJUI Compass 2020 Nov 23. Epub 2020 Nov 23.

Specialist Centre for Kidney Cancer Royal Free Hospital London UK.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bco2.57DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7753465PMC
November 2020

Robot-assisted kidney transplantation: update from the European Robotic Urology Section (ERUS) series.

BJU Int 2021 02 29;127(2):222-228. Epub 2020 Sep 29.

Department of Urology, Hospital Clinic de Barcelona Instituto Clínic de Nefrología y Urología, Barcelona, Spain.

Objective: To report the results of the robot-assisted kidney transplantation (RAKT) experience performed in 10 European centres by members of the European Robotic Urology Section (ERUS)-RAKT group.

Patients And Methods: This is a multicentre prospective observational study of RAKT. Descriptive analysis of recipients and donor characteristics, surgical data, intraoperative outcomes, complications rate and functional results were collected and analysed.

Results: Between July 2015 and September 2019, 291 living-donor RAKTs were performed. Recipients were mostly male (189 [65%]), the mean Standard deviation (sd) age was 45.2 (13.35) years, the mean (sd) body mass index was 27.13 (19.28) kg/m , and RAKT was pre-emptive in 155 (53.8%) cases. Right and multiple arteries kidneys were used in 15.4%. The mean (sd) total surgical and re-warming time was 244 (70.5) min and 53.16 (15.27) min, respectively. In all, 17 patients presented with postoperative bleeding (5.7%). Five kidneys had delayed graft function; five (2%) were lost due to thrombosis and one due to acute rejection. Two patients had arterial stenosis, three had incisional hernias, six had ureteric stenosis, and nine had lymphoceles. Neither surgical nor re-warming times were correlated with postoperative serum creatinine levels (P > 0.05). Comparison of surgical data between the first 120 cases and the following 171 cases showed a significantly shorter total surgical time in the second group (265 vs 230 min, P = 0.005).

Conclusions: This is the largest European multicentre study of RAKT with good surgical and functional results competitive with open kidney transplant series, with a relatively short learning curve when performed in centres with a wide experience in open kidney transplantation and robotic surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bju.15199DOI Listing
February 2021

Safety and feasibility of early single-dose mitomycin C bladder instillation after robot-assisted radical nephroureterectomy.

BJU Int 2020 12 9;126(6):739-744. Epub 2020 Aug 9.

Specialist Centre for Kidney Cancer, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK.

Objectives: To assess the safety and feasibility of early single-dose mitomycin C (MMC) bladder instillation after robot-assisted radical nephroureterectomy (RARNU) at a tertiary kidney cancer centre. RARNU with bladder cuff excision and subsequent MMC bladder instillation to reduce recurrence risk is the 'gold standard' for high-risk upper urinary tract urothelial carcinoma (UUTUC). We adapted a RARNU technique with precise distal ureteric dissection, bladder cuff excision and watertight bladder closure.

Patients And Methods: We retrospectively reviewed all patients undergoing RARNU for UUTUC at our centre performed as a standardised transperitoneal procedure comprising of: bladder cuff excision, two-layer watertight closure and intraoperative bladder leak test; without re-docking/re-positioning of the robotic surgical system. Patient demographics, the timing of MMC instillation, adverse events (surgical and potentially MMC-related) and length of stay (LOS) were assessed according to the Clavien-Dindo classification.

Results: A total of 69 patients underwent a RARNU with instillation of MMC. The median (interquartile range [IQR]) age was 70 (62-78) years. The median (IQR) day of MMC instillation was 2 (1-3) days and the median (IQR) LOS was 2 (2-4) days, with urethral catheter removal on day of discharge in all cases. Only Grade I Clavien-Dindo complications occurred in seven patients (10%); five had ileus, one a wound infection and one a self-limiting delirium, all managed conservatively. No adverse events potentially related to MMC instillation were noted within 30 days postoperatively.

Conclusion: The use of intravesical MMC instillation given in the immediate postoperative period appears feasible and safe in patients undergoing RARNU with intraoperative confirmation of a water-tight closure ensuring early catheter-free discharge, with no significant adverse events. The potential reduction in intravesical recurrence in patients receiving early MMC needs to be assessed with longitudinal follow-up studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bju.15162DOI Listing
December 2020

Guideline adherence for the surgical treatment of T1 renal tumours correlates with hospital volume: an analysis from the British Association of Urological Surgeons Nephrectomy Audit.

BJU Int 2020 01 18;125(1):73-81. Epub 2019 Aug 18.

Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Objective: To assess European Association of Urology guideline adherence on the surgical management of patients with T1 renal tumours and the effects of centralisation of care.

Patients And Methods: Retrospective data from all kidney tumours that underwent radical nephrectomy (RN) or partial nephrectomy (PN) in the period 2012-2016 from the British Association of Urological Surgeons Nephrectomy Audit were retrieved and analysed. We assessed total surgical hospital volume (HV; RN and PN performed) per centre, PN rates, complication rates, and completeness of data. Descriptive analyses were performed, and confidence intervals were used to illustrate the association between hospital volume and proportion of PN. Chi- squared and Cochran-Armitage trend tests were used to evaluate differences and trends.

Results: In total, 13 045 surgically treated T1 tumours were included in the analyses. Over time, there was an increase in PN use (39.7% in 2012 to 44.9% in 2016). Registration of the Preoperative Aspects and Dimensions Used for an Anatomical (PADUA) complexity score was included in March 2016 and documented in 39% of cases. Missing information on postoperative complications appeared constant over the years (8.5-9%).  A clear association was found between annual HV and the proportion of T1 tumours treated with PN rather than RN (from 18.1% in centres performing <25 cases/year [lowest volume] to 61.8% in centres performing ≥100 cases/year [high volume]), which persisted after adjustment for PADUA complexity. Overall and major (Clavien-Dindo grade ≥III) complication rate decreased with increasing HV (from 12.2% and 2.9% in low-volume centres to 10.7% and 2.2% in high-volume centres, respectively), for all patients including those treated with PN.

Conclusion: Closer guideline adherence was exhibited by higher surgical volume centres. Treatment of T1 tumours using PN increased with increasing HV, and was accompanied by an inverse association of HV with complication rate. These results support the centralisation of kidney cancer specialist cancer surgical services to improve patient outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bju.14862DOI Listing
January 2020

Protocol for a feasibility study of a cohort embedded randomised controlled trial comparing phron paring reatment (NEST) for small renal masses.

BMJ Open 2019 06 11;9(6):e030965. Epub 2019 Jun 11.

Department of Surgical Biotechnology, Division of Surgery and Interventional Science, University College London, London, UK.

Introduction: Small renal masses (SRMs; ≤4 cm) account for two-thirds of new diagnoses of kidney cancer, the majority of which are incidental findings. The natural history of the SRM seems largely indolent. There is an increasing concern regarding surgical overtreatment and the associated health burden in terms of morbidity and economy. Observational data support the safety and efficacy of percutaneous cryoablation but there is an unmet need for high-quality evidence on non-surgical management options and a head-to-head comparison with standard of care is lacking. Historical interventional trial recruitment difficulties demand novel study conduct approaches. We aim to assess if a novel trial design, the cohort embedded randomised controlled trial (RCT), will enable carrying out such a comparison.

Methods And Analysis: Single-centre prospective cohort study of adults diagnosed with SRM (n=200) with an open label embedded interventional RCT comparing nephron sparing interventions. Cohort participants will be managed at patient and clinicians' discretion and agree with longitudinal clinical data and biological sample collection, with invitation for trial interventions and participation in comparator control groups. Cohort participants with biopsy-proven renal cell carcinoma eligible for both percutaneous cryoablation and partial nephrectomy will be randomly selected (1:1) and invited to consider percutaneous cryoablation (n=25). The comparator group will be robotic partial nephrectomy (n=25). The primary outcome of this feasibility study is participant recruitment. Qualitative research techniques will assess barriers and recruitment improvement opportunities. Secondary outcomes are participant trial retention, health-related quality of life, treatment complications, blood transfusion rate, intensive care unit admission and renal replacement requirement rates, length of hospital stay, time to return to pre-treatment activities, number of work days lost, and health technologies costs.

Ethics And Dissemination: Ethical approval has been granted (UK HRA REC 19/EM/0004). Study outputs will be presented and published.

Trial Registration: ISRCTN18156881; Pre-results.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2019-030965DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6577353PMC
June 2019

Re: Philip S. Macklin, Mark E. Sullivan, Charles R. Tapping, et al. Tumour Seeding in the Tract of Percutaneous Renal Tumour Biopsy: A Report on Seven Cases from a UK Tertiary Referral Centre. Eur Urol 2019;75:861-7.

Eur Urol 2019 06 2;75(6):e179-e180. Epub 2019 Mar 2.

University College London, Division of Surgery and Interventional Science, Royal Free Hospital, London, UK; Department of Urology, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eururo.2019.02.030DOI Listing
June 2019

Comprehensive training in robotic surgery.

Curr Opin Urol 2019 01;29(1):1-9

The Orsi Academy, Melle, and OLV, Department of Urology, Aalst, Belgium.

Purpose Of Review: Robotic training in urology can be poorly structured, lack a basic skills foundation, and may not include teaching in important nontechnical human factor skills vital to the safe delivery of robotic care. Assessment of acquired skills is not routine. There is a need for structured and standardized curricular to deliver validated training and final assessment. The present reviews the current literature on training methods for robotic surgery, and examines the evidence for their effect on performance, where available.

Recent Findings: There is good evidence for the beneficial effect of dry lab simulators on robotic skills acquisition, but less for cadaveric and animal models. Two urological authorities have developed comprehensive curricula for robotic training that take a novice robotic surgeon through the full stages of robotic skills acquisition. These are in the early stages of development and validation but have stimulated the development of curricula in other specialties.

Summary: The future landscape for robotic urology training is likely to include structured, mandated, and centralized training, possibly administered by urological organizations. There will be roles for telementoring, advanced education for robotic trainers, and regular revalidation of expert robotic surgeons.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MOU.0000000000000566DOI Listing
January 2019

Chromophobe Renal Cell Carcinoma With Retrograde Venous Invasion and Gain of Chromosome 21: Potential Harbingers of Aggressive Clinical Behavior.

Int J Surg Pathol 2018 Sep 21;26(6):536-541. Epub 2018 Mar 21.

1 Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, MI, USA.

Occasionally, renal cell carcinoma (RCC) with renal vein extension spreads against the flow of blood within vein branches into the kidney, forming multifocal nodules throughout the renal parenchyma. These foci are not regarded as multiple tumors but rather reverse spread of tumor along the venous system. This intravascular spread has previously been reported in clear cell RCC and RCC unclassified. However, to our knowledge, this has never been reported in chromophobe RCC. Chromophobe RCC is a unique histologic subtype of renal cancer, generally thought to have less aggressive behavior. However, it nonetheless has the potential to undergo sarcomatoid dedifferentiation, which is associated with poor prognosis. We report a unique case of a 65-year-old man with chromophobe RCC (pT3a) showing classic morphology (nonsarcomatoid), yet presenting with retrograde venous invasion and hilar lymph node metastasis at the time of right radical nephrectomy. Fluorescence in situ hybridization revealed gain of chromosome 21 with loss of multiple other chromosomes. Partial hepatectomy was performed to resect metastatic RCC 7 months after nephrectomy, revealing chromophobe RCC with classic morphology. Bone biopsy confirmed skeletal metastases 38 months after initial diagnosis. Although invasion of the renal vein and retrograde venous invasion are characteristically seen in clear cell RCC, this unusual phenomenon may also occur in chromophobe RCC, despite its unique tumor biology. This and gain of chromosome 21, which was postulated to be associated with aggressive behavior in a previous report, were associated with adverse behavior in our patient, who had short-term progression to multi-organ metastatic disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1066896918763948DOI Listing
September 2018

Contemporary surgical management of renal oncocytoma: a nation's outcome.

BJU Int 2018 06 2;121(6):893-899. Epub 2018 Mar 2.

Specialist Centre for Kidney Cancer, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK.

Objective: To report on the contemporary UK experience of surgical management of renal oncocytomas.

Patients And Methods: Descriptive analysis of practice and postoperative outcomes of patients with a final histological diagnosis of oncocytoma included in The British Association of Urological Surgeons (BAUS) nephrectomy registry from 01/01/2013 to 31/12/2016. Short-term outcomes were assessed over a follow-up of 60 days.

Results: Over 4 years, 32 130 renal surgical cases were recorded in the UK, of which 1202 were oncocytomas (3.7%). Most patients were male (756; 62.9%), the median (interquartile range [IQR]) age was 66.8 (13) years. The median (IQR; range) lesion size was 4.1 (3; 1-25) cm, 43.5% were ≤4 cm and 30.3% were 4-7 cm lesions. In all, 35 patients (2.9%) had preoperative renal tumour biopsy. Most patients had minimally invasive surgery, either radical nephrectomy (683 patients; 56.8%), partial nephrectomy (483; 40.2%) or other procedures (36; 3%). One in five patients (243 patients; 20.2%) had in-hospital complications: 48 were Clavien-Dindo classification grade ≥III (4% of the total cohort), including three deaths. Two additional deaths occurred within 60 days of surgery. The analysis is limited by the study's observational nature, not capturing lesions on surveillance or ablated after biopsy, possible underreporting, short follow-up, and lack of central histology review.

Conclusion: We report on the largest surgical series of renal oncocytomas. In the UK, the complication rate associated with surgical removal of a renal oncocytoma was not negligible. Centralisation of specialist services and increased utilisation of biopsy may inform management, reduce overtreatment, and change patient outcomes for this benign tumour.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bju.14159DOI Listing
June 2018

Initial robotic assistance in the surgical management of renal cell carcinoma with level 4 cavoatrial thrombus.

J Robot Surg 2018 Dec 4;12(4):737-740. Epub 2017 Dec 4.

Vattikuti Urology Institute, Henry Ford Health System, Henry Ford Hospital, K-9 Urology Attn: 2799 W. Grand Blvd., Detroit, MI, 48202, USA.

We report a case of left-sided renal cell carcinoma (RCC) with level 4 cavoatrial tumor thrombus where robotic assistance was used to achieve hemostasis around the kidney in order to minimize coagulopathic hemorrhage from the nephrectomy bed during subsequent open completion nephrectomy and cavoatrial thrombectomy under extracorporeal circulation and hypothermic circulatory arrest. Robotic assistance allowed for meticulous dissection and ligation of parasitic and arterial vessels to the kidney, release of renal attachments, and exposure of the inferior vena cava. The kidney was mobilized while leaving the renal vein attached and tumor thrombus undisturbed using a "minimal touch" technique. Open completion nephrectomy and cavoatrial thrombectomy was then performed. An experienced cardiac anesthesia team performed intraoperative cardiac monitoring, including trans-esophageal echocardiography. A cardiothoracic surgeon was immediately available throughout the case. Cardiopulmonary bypass was initiated within 60 min of open incision with a total duration a circulatory arrest time of 25 min. There was no bleeding from the nephrectomy bed during bypass despite heparinization and hypothermia. A left RCC with level 4 thrombus may be approached with initial robotic assistance to achieve hemostasis of the nephrectomy bed for subsequent open completion nephrectomy and cavoatrial thrombectomy under extracorporeal circulation and hypothermic circulatory arrest.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11701-017-0766-1DOI Listing
December 2018

Renal cell tumors with clear cell histology and intact VHL and chromosome 3p: a histological review of tumors from the Cancer Genome Atlas database.

Mod Pathol 2017 11 21;30(11):1603-1612. Epub 2017 Jul 21.

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, MI, USA.

Clear cell renal cell carcinoma is by far the most common form of kidney cancer; however, a number of histologically similar tumors are now recognized and considered distinct entities. The Cancer Genome Atlas published data set was queried (http://cbioportal.org) for clear cell renal cell carcinoma tumors lacking VHL gene mutation and chromosome 3p loss, for which whole-slide images were reviewed. Of the 418 tumors in the published Cancer Genome Atlas clear cell renal cell carcinoma database, 387 had VHL mutation, copy number loss for chromosome 3p, or both (93%). Of the remaining, 27/31 had whole-slide images for review. One had 3p loss based on karyotype but not sequencing, and three demonstrated VHL promoter hypermethylation. Nine could be reclassified as distinct or emerging entities: translocation renal cell carcinoma (n=3), TCEB1 mutant renal cell carcinoma (n=3), papillary renal cell carcinoma (n=2), and clear cell papillary renal cell carcinoma (n=1). Of the remaining, 6 had other clear cell renal cell carcinoma-associated gene alterations (PBRM1, SMARCA4, BAP1, SETD2), leaving 11 specimens, including 2 high-grade or sarcomatoid renal cell carcinomas and 2 with prominent fibromuscular stroma (not TCEB1 mutant). One of the remaining tumors exhibited gain of chromosome 7 but lacked histological features of papillary renal cell carcinoma. Two tumors previously reported to harbor TFE3 gene fusions also exhibited VHL mutation, chromosome 3p loss, and morphology indistinguishable from clear cell renal cell carcinoma, the significance of which is uncertain. In summary, almost all clear cell renal cell carcinomas harbor VHL mutation, 3p copy number loss, or both. Of tumors with clear cell histology that lack these alterations, a subset can now be reclassified as other entities. Further study will determine whether additional entities exist, based on distinct genetic pathways that may have implications for treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/modpathol.2017.72DOI Listing
November 2017

Surgical and Minimally Invasive Therapies for the Management of the Small Renal Mass.

Curr Urol Rep 2017 Aug;18(8):61

Specialist Centre for Kidney Cancer, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK.

Purpose Of Review: This article aims to summarise recent developments in surgical and minimally invasive therapies in the management of small renal masses (SRMs).

Recent Findings: The incidence of the small renal mass is increasing. Standard management of the SRM is partial nephrectomy. More recently, use of ablative techniques to manage the SRM has been increasing and an exciting array of technical advances is currently being made in the field. Nephron-sparing surgery looks set to become more financially viable with the advent of newer robotic platforms and, potentially, even less invasive with the evaluation of single-port access. Real-time imaging promises to improve tumour definition, nephron preservation and vascular management intraoperatively. Advances in surgical and minimally invasive therapies for the management of the SRM have the potential to improve cancer clearance and long-term renal function preservation. Patients will experience safer, more reliable and less invasive treatments for their small renal tumours. We describe the current advances underlying these changes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11934-017-0705-8DOI Listing
August 2017

Diagnostic criteria for oncocytic renal neoplasms: a survey of urologic pathologists.

Hum Pathol 2017 05 14;63:149-156. Epub 2017 Mar 14.

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Detroit, MI, 48202, United States; Henry Ford Cancer Institute, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, MI, 48202, United States.

Renal oncocytoma and chromophobe renal cell carcinoma have been long recognized as distinct tumors; however, it remains unknown if uniform diagnostic criteria are used to distinguish these tumor types in practice. A survey was distributed to urologic pathologists regarding oncocytic tumors. Responses were received from 17 of 26 invitees. Histologically, more than 1 mitotic figure was regarded as most worrisome (n=10) or incompatible (n=6) with oncocytoma diagnosis. Interpretation of focal nuclear wrinkling, focal perinuclear clearing, and multinucleation depended on extent and did not necessarily exclude oncocytoma if minor. Staining techniques most commonly used included the following: cytokeratin 7 (94%), KIT (71%), vimentin (65%), colloidal iron (59%), CD10 (53%), and AMACR (41%). Rare cytokeratin 7-positive cells (≤5%) were regarded as most supportive of oncocytoma, although an extent excluding oncocytoma was not universal. Multiple chromosomal losses were most strongly supportive for chromophobe renal cell carcinoma diagnosis (65%). Less certainty was reported for chromosomal gain or a single loss. For tumors with mixed or inconclusive features, many participants use an intermediate diagnostic category (82%) that does not label the tumor as unequivocally benign or malignant, typically "oncocytic neoplasm" or "tumor" with comment. The term "hybrid tumor" was used variably in several scenarios. A slight majority (65%) report outright diagnosis of oncocytoma in needle biopsies. The morphologic, immunohistochemical, and genetic characteristics that define oncocytic renal tumors remain incompletely understood. Further studies correlating genetics, behavior, and histology are needed to define which tumors truly warrant classification as carcinomas for patient counseling and follow-up strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.humpath.2017.03.004DOI Listing
May 2017

Use of Main Renal Artery Clamping Predominates Over Minimal Clamping Techniques During Robotic Partial Nephrectomy for Complex Tumors.

J Endourol 2017 02 11;31(2):149-152. Epub 2017 Jan 11.

2 Vattikuti Urology Institute , Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan.

Introduction: Hilar clamping is often performed to facilitate robotic partial nephrectomy (RPN). Minimal clamping techniques may reduce renal ischemia, including early unclamping, selective clamping, and off-clamp RPN. We assess the utilization of clamping techniques in a large international consortium of surgeons performing RPN for complex tumors.

Methods: We retrospectively evaluated 721 patients with complex tumors, who underwent RPN at 11 centers worldwide between 2008 and 2014. Complex tumors were defined as renal masses with a nephrometry score >6. Total clamping was defined as complete clamping of the main renal artery. Minimal clamping techniques included early unclamping, selective clamping, and off-clamp RPN. Clamping techniques were additionally assessed in patients with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) <60 and in patients with a solitary kidney. Two-tailed t-tests (p < 0.05) were used to statistically analyze differences in mean warm ischemia time (WIT).

Results: Most patients underwent complete clamping (75.1%). Minimal clamping (24.9%) included early unclamping (10.8%), selective clamping (8.7%), and off-clamp (5.4%). Mean WIT of total clamping, selective clamping, and early unclamping was 22.2, 21.2, and 17.3 minutes, respectively. Of patients with an eGFR <60 (n = 90), 26.6% underwent minimal clamping, including 15.5% early unclamping, 4.4% selective clamping, and 6.7% off-clamp. Of patients with solitary kidneys (n = 12), 10 (83%) were performed with total clamping with mean WIT of 14.9 minutes.

Conclusions: In this large international series of RPN for complex tumors, most patients underwent total clamping of the main renal artery. Minimal clamping techniques, including early unclamping, selective clamping, and off-clamp techniques, were used in a minority of cases. There was no significant increase in use of minimal clamping, even in patients with chronic kidney disease or solitary kidneys. However, mean WIT was low (<23 minutes) in all patient groups.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/end.2016.0678DOI Listing
February 2017

Multicentre outcomes of robot-assisted partial nephrectomy after major open abdominal surgery.

BJU Int 2016 Aug 15;118(2):298-301. Epub 2016 Feb 15.

Vattikutti Urology Institute, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, MI.

Objective: To evaluate the outcomes of robot-assisted partial nephrectomy RAPN after major prior abdominal surgery (PAS) using a large multicentre database.

Patients And Methods: We identified 1 686 RAPN from five academic centres between 2006 and 2014. In all, 216 patients had previously undergone major PAS, defined as having an open upper midline/ipsilateral incision. Perioperative outcomes were compared with those 1 470 patients who had had no major PAS. The chi-squared test and Mann-Whitney U-test were used for categorical and continuous variables, respectively.

Results: There was no statistically significant difference in Charlson comorbidity index, tumour size, R.E.N.A.L. nephrometry score or preoperative estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) between the groups. Age and body mass index were higher in patients with PAS. The PAS group had a higher estimated blood loss (EBL) but this did not lead to a higher transfusion rate. A retroperitoneal approach was used more often in patients with major PAS (11.2 vs 5.4%), although this group did not have a higher percentage of posterior tumours (38.8 vs 43.3%, P = 0.286). Operative time, warm ischaemia time, length of stay, positive surgical margin, percentage change in eGFR, and perioperative complications were not significantly different between the groups.

Conclusions: RAPN in patients with major PAS is safe and feasible, with increased EBL but no increased rate of transfusion. Patients with major PAS had almost twice the likelihood of having a retroperitoneal approach.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bju.13408DOI Listing
August 2016

Use of the Satinsky clamp for hilar clamping during robotic partial nephrectomy: indications, technique, and multi-center outcomes.

J Robot Surg 2017 Mar 21;11(1):47-51. Epub 2016 Jun 21.

Vattikutti Urology Institute, Henry Ford Health System, 2799 West Grand Boulevard, Detroit, MI, 48202, USA.

A Satinsky clamp may be a backup option for hilar clamping during robotic partial nephrectomy (RPN) if there are challenges with application of bulldog clamps, but there are potential safety concerns. We evaluate outcomes of RPN using Satinsky vs. bulldog clamps, and provide tips for safe use of the Satinsky as a backup option. Using a multi-center database, we identified 1073 patients who underwent RPN between 2006 and 2013, and had information available about method of hilar clamping (bulldog clamp vs. Satinsky clamp). Patient baseline characteristics, tumor features, and perioperative outcomes were compared between the Satinsky and bulldog clamp groups. A Satinsky clamp was used for hilar clamping in 94 (8.8 %) RPN cases, and bulldog clamps were used in 979 (91.2 %) cases. The use of a Satinsky clamp was associated with greater operative time (198 vs. 175 min, p < 0.001), estimated blood loss (EBL, 200 vs. 100 ml, p < 0.001), warm ischemia time (WIT, 20 vs. 19 min, p = 0.036), transfusion rate (12.8 vs. 4.8 %, p = 0.001), and hospital stay (3 vs. 2 days, p < 0.001). Tumor characteristics and number of renal vessels were similar between groups. There were six intraoperative complications in the Satinsky clamp group, but none were directly related to the Satinsky clamp. On multivariable analysis, the use of the Satinsky clamp was not associated with increase in intraoperative or Clavien ≥3 postoperative complications, positive surgical margin rate or percentage change in estimated glomerular filtration rate. A Satinsky clamp can be a backup option for hilar clamping during challenging RPN cases, but requires careful technique, and was rarely necessary.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11701-016-0611-yDOI Listing
March 2017

Robotic nephrectomy for central renal tumors with intraoperative evaluation of tumor histology.

J Robot Surg 2016 Sep 4;10(3):261-5. Epub 2016 May 4.

Vattikuti Urology Institute, Henry Ford Health Systems, 2799 W. Grand Blvd, Detroit, MI, USA.

Patients undergoing nephrectomy for central renal tumors suspicious for renal cell carcinoma (RCC) may carry a small risk of having transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) on final pathology, even in the absence of filling defects or abnormal cytology. We describe outcomes in such patients undergoing robotic nephrectomy for suspected RCC, with intraoperative specimen assessment to guide completion ureterectomy if TCC is present. Between September 2010 and August 2015, ten patients had central renal masses suspicious for RCC, which were not amenable to nephron-sparing surgery. Patients underwent a four-arm robotic nephrectomy technique using a GelPOINT(®) access port. Following hilar ligation, the ureter was divided between adjacent hem-o-lok clips, placed in an endocatch bag, and extracted through the GelPOINT incision for the frozen section analysis. If intraoperative assessment confirmed TCC, a robotic completion ureterectomy and a bladder cuff excision were performed. Of the ten patients with central tumors who underwent robotic nephrectomy for suspected RCC, four (40 %) had TCC on the frozen section analysis and underwent completion ureterectomy. Five patients had RCC, and one patient had an oncocytoma. Mean age was 63.1 years (49-76) and mean tumor size was 4.0 cm (1.9-7.6). Mean operating time was 246 min (135-328). All patients had negative margins. Mean length of stay was 2.5 days. No recurrences were documented at median 8.5 months follow-up. For patients undergoing robotic nephrectomy for central renal tumors, intraoperative specimen evaluation can help determine the need for minimally invasive completion ureterectomy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11701-016-0596-6DOI Listing
September 2016

Robotic partial nephrectomy for renal tumours in obese patients: Perioperative outcomes in a multi-institutional analysis.

Can Urol Assoc J 2015 Nov-Dec;9(11-12):E859-62. Epub 2015 Dec 14.

Vattikutti Urology Institute, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, MI;

Introduction: We sought to evaluate the association of obesity with surgical outcomes of robotic partial nephrectomy (RPN) using a large, multicentre database.

Methods: We identified 1836 patients who underwent RPN from five academic centres from 2006-2014. A total of 806 patients were obese (body mass index [BMI] ≥30 kg/m(2)). Patient characteristics and outcomes were compared between obese and non-obese patients. Multivariable analysis was used to assess the association of obesity on RPN outcomes.

Results: A total of 806 (44%) patients were obese with median BMI of 33.8kg/m(2). Compared to non-obese patients, obese patients had greater median tumour size (2.9 vs. 2.5cm, p<0.001), mean RENAL nephrometry score (7.3 vs. 7.1, p=0.04), median operating time (176 vs. 165 min, p=0.002), and median estimated blood loss (EBL, 150 vs. 100 ml, p=0.002), but no difference in complications. Obesity was not an independent predictor of operative time or EBL on regression analysis. Among obese patients, males had a greater EBL (150 vs. 100 ml, p<0.001), operative time (180 vs. 166 min, p<0.001) and warm ischemia time (WIT, 20 vs. 18, p=0.001), and male sex was an independent predictor of these outcomes on regression analysis.

Conclusions: In this large, multicentre study on RPN, obesity was not associated with increased complications and was not an independent predictor of operating time or blood loss. However, in obese patients, male gender was an independent predictor of greater EBL, operative time, and WIT. Our results indicate that obesity alone should not preclude consideration for RPN.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5489/cuaj.3197DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4707905PMC
January 2016

Robot-assisted hepatic mobilization and control of suprahepatic infradiaphragmatic inferior vena cava for level 3 vena caval thrombectomy: An IDEAL stage 0 study.

J Surg Oncol 2015 Dec 11;112(7):741-5. Epub 2015 Aug 11.

Vattikuti Urology Institute, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, Michigan.

Robot-assisted level 1/2 inferior vena caval (IVC) thrombectomy techniques have been recently described for clinical use. Following the IDEAL recommendations on safe surgical innovation, we here describe a robotic approach for level 3 IVC thrombectomy in fresh frozen cadavers (IDEAL stage 0). In all cadavers (n = 3), hepatic mobilization with control of short hepatic veins, contralateral renal vein, infrarenal IVC and suprahepatic-infradiaphragmatic IVC could be achieved successfully, without converting to open surgery. Clinical feasibility of our technique remains to be tested.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jso.23980DOI Listing
December 2015
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