Surgical management of renal trauma: Is vascular control necessary?

Richard P. Gonzalez, Mark Falimirski, Michele R. Holevar, Christine Evankovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Scopus citations


Objective: To assess in a randomized prospective manner nephrectomy rate, transfusion rate, blood loss, and time of operation in penetrating renal trauma patients randomized to vascular control or no vascular control before opening Gerota's fascia. Method: During a 53-month period from January of 1994 to May of 1998, 56 patients with penetrating renal injuries were entered into a randomized prospective study at an urban Level I trauma center. The patients were randomized to a preliminary vascular control group or no vascular control group. Randomization was performed intraoperatively before opening Gerota's fascia. All renal injuries were identified and diagnosed intraoperatively. Intravenous pyelography was not performed preoperatively. If the patient was randomized to the no control group and significant bleeding ensued after opening of Gerota's fascia, the renal hilum was cross-clamped. All injuries were included regardless of patient age, associated injuries, blood loss, severity of renal injury, or other abdominal organs injured. All injuries that required renorrhaphy or partial nephrectomy underwent drainage with closed Jackson-Pratt drainage. Results: Twenty-nine patients were randomized to the preliminary vascular control group, and 27 patients were randomized to the no vascular control group. The average age in the vascular control group was 25.3 years (SD, 10.9) and 23.4 years (SD, 8.2) in the no control group. The average penetrating abdominal trauma index in the vascular control group was 22.9 (SD, 10.9) and in the no control group 23.7 (SD, 13.7). Nine nephrectomies (31%) were performed in the vascular control group, and eight nephrectomies (30%) were performed in the no vascular control group (p > 0.05). The average operative time for the vascular control group was 127 minutes and for the no control group was 113 minutes (p > 0.05). Eleven patients (38%) required intraoperative blood transfusion in the vascular control group (average, 5.5 U/patient transfused) versus eight patients (30%) in the no vascular control group (average, 5.2 U/patient transfused) (p > 0.05). The average blood loss in the vascular control group was 1.06 liters versus 0.91 liters in the no control (p > 0.05). There was one mortality in the study population. Conclusion: Vascular control of the renal hilum before opening Gerota's fascia has no impact on nephrectomy rate, transfusion requirements, or blood loss. Operative time may be increased with the vascular control technique.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1039-1044
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

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