Objective To evaluate the impact of pneumoperitoneum time on intravesical recurrence (IVR) in upper tract urothelial carcinoma (UTUC) patients who underwent laparoscopic radical nephroureterectomy (LRNU). Patients and methods We identified 129 UTUC patients who underwent LRNU at our three institutions from 2004 to 2014. We evaluated the association of IVR rate and patient clinico-pathological characteristics including operation time. By retrospectively reviewing all videotapes, we defined pneumoperitoneum time as being from the infusion of pressurized CO2 gas with a pressure of 10–12 mmHg to extirpation of the kidney. Results During the median follow-up of 31.1 months, 61 (47.3%) had subsequent IVR after LRNU. Multivariate analysis revealed that prolonged pneumoperitoneum time (HR = 1.81, p = 0.025) and presence of lymphovascular invasion (LVI) (HR = 1.53, p = 0.006) were independent risk factors for subsequent IVR. The 3-year and 5-year IVR free survival rates were 43.7% and 21.8% in patients with a prolonged pneumoperitoneum time of ≥150 min, which were significantly lower than those in their counterparts (59.0% and 48.3%, respectively, p = 0.024). The subsequent IVR rates were 27.3% for a pneumoperitoneum time of <90 min, 35.8% for that of 90–150 min, 55.0% for that of 150–210 min, 61.1% for that of 210–270 min, and 85.7% for that of >270 min. Conclusions Prolongation of pneumoperitoneum time and presence of LVI might be associated with higher risk of subsequent IVR in UTUC patients who underwent LRNU.
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