International Multi-institutional Characterization of the Perioperative Morbidity of Metastasectomy for Renal Cell Carcinoma

Timothy D. Lyon, Eduard Roussel, Vidit Sharma, Gianpiero Carames, Christine M. Lohse, Brian A. Costello, Stephen A. Boorjian, R. Houston Thompson, Steven Joniau, Maarten Albersen, Bradley C. Leibovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Surgical resection of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) has been associated with better cancer-specific survival; however, high-quality data on its perioperative morbidity are lacking. Existing population-based data are severely limited by reliance on billing claims to identify outcomes, which may overestimate events owing to a lack of code specificity. OBJECTIVE: To study 30-d complications after metastasectomy for mRCC. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: The study involved a retrospective cohort of patients who underwent metastasectomy for mRCC between 2005 and 2020 at two high-volume centers. OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS AND STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: We used generalized estimating equations for a binary response to evaluate associations of features with 30-d complications classified according to Clavien-Dindo grade. RESULTS AND LIMITATIONS: A total of 740 metastasectomies in 522 patients were identified, including 543 performed in the Mayo Clinic and 197 in UZ Leuven. Among the 740 metastasectomies, 193 (26%, 95% confidence interval [CI] 23-29%) had a 30-d complication and 62 (8%, 95% CI 7-11%) had a major (Clavien-Dindo III-V) complication, including eight (1%) perioperative deaths. Age, body mass index, American Society of Anesthesiologists score, metastasectomy concurrent with nephrectomy, multiple sites of metastasis, pancreatic resection, and metastasis size were significantly associated with postoperative complications (all p < 0.05). Age, multiple sites of metastasis, and pancreatic resection were significantly associated with major (Clavien-Dindo III-V) complications (all p < 0.05). Limitations include the retrospective design and surgical selection bias. CONCLUSIONS: In this multi-institutional series, fewer than 10% of metastasectomies for mRCC resulted in a major complication within 30 d of surgery, which is considerably lower than previously observed in population-based data. Favorable perioperative outcomes can be achieved with metastasectomy at high-volume centers in well-selected patients. PATIENT SUMMARY: In this study we found that fewer than 10% of patients who underwent surgical removal of one or more sites of metastatic kidney cancer experienced a major complication within 30 days of surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-83
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Urology Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2023


  • Kidney cancer
  • Metastasectomy
  • Metastases
  • Renal cell carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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