Am J Kidney Dis. 2003 Jan;41(1):E5.
Intraoperative rhabdomyolysis with resultant acute renal failure is a rare complication seen, most commonly, with urologic surgical procedures. Since the early 1990s, the refinement of laparoscopic techniques has permitted their application more broadly. Among the procedures to benefit from these less invasive surgical methods has been radical nephrectomy. In general, this has resulted in less postoperative pain and shorter convalescence. Nonetheless, laparoscopic radical nephrectomy still represents major surgery and is not free from operative risks. To highlight one of these risks, we present a case of a young, obese man with renal cell carcinoma who underwent a hand–assisted laparoscopic radicalnephrectomy that was complicated by rhabdomyolsis resulting in acute renal failure (ARF). We discuss the clinical insults that contributed to the development of azotemia with particular attention paid to our current understanding of the pathogenesis of myoglobinuric ARF. In addition, we review the literature concerning surgery-associated, rhabdomyolytic ARF with the aim of providing clinicians guidance for the avoidance and early recognition of this rare, but very serious, surgical complication.