Background and Purpose: The advent of laparoscopic surgery has created new technical challenges and problems. Recently, a new commercially available vessel-sealing technology, the Ligasure system, was introduced. The aim of our study was to compare the effectiveness of this new system with earlier methods in a group of patients affected by renal-cell carcinoma. Patients and Methods: A series of 30 patients underwent laparoscopic radical nephrectomy for clinically localized renal-cell carcinoma. We always used a transperitoneal approach with a three-trocar technique. Patients were randomly divided in two groups: 15 underwent conventional laparoscopic radical nephrectomy, while 15 underwent laparoscopic nephrectomy using the Ligasure system, which is a bipolar radiofrequency generator. Information analyzed included intraoperative blood loss, operative time, conversion rate, and post-operative course. Statistical analysis was performed with commercially available software. The two groups were compared in term of clinical and pathologic variables using Student's t-test. Differences were considered significant at p <0.05 Results: No statistically significant differences were observed between the two groups for baseline characteristics. No conversion occurred in either group. Statistically significant differences were observed between conventional and Ligasure nephrectomy regarding mean intraoperative blood loss (485 mL and 100 mL, respectively; p <0.05) and mean operative time (164 minutes and 68 minutes, respectively p <0.05). No statistically difference was observed in the postoperative discharge time. Conclusion: The Ligasure vessel-sealing system seems to produce a consistent, reliable, permanent seal of veins, arteries, and tissue bundles by fusing the collagen in vessel walls. By reducing sutures and the number of instrument exchanges in the operating theatre, the Ligasure decreases operating time and blood loss. This new energy-based vessel-ligation device appears to be effective in advanced laparoscopic procedures.
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