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Partial nephrectomies on rise for early-stage RCC



“I think that regionalization of care has ... some benefits to patients, but it comes with many challenges as well. This study really did help show that increased numbers [of procedures performed] makes you more comfortable and willing to offer partial nephrectomy,” said Dr. Cahn, of Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia.

“Volume tends to show better outcomes. But the concern is: Are you overloading systems? Are you making patients travel farther, and how does that work in terms of follow-up care?” Dr. Cahn said. He cited the example of a patient who may have to travel several hours to get surgery but then returns home and develops a postoperative complication that must be treated in a different facility. That raises issues of transfer of medical records and coordination of care.

The solution, he said, is for some of the procedures and practices common at high-volume centers to be transferred to smaller centers. “For the routine partial nephrectomy ... we need to have well-trained physicians who can offer those all over the country. I think it’s too hard in terms of feasibility to push those patients just towards certain high volume centers.”

SOURCE: AUA Annual Meeting, Abstract PD07-04.

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