Objective: Laparoscopic nephroureterectomy (LNU) offers a superior morbidity profile compared with open nephroureterectomy (ONU) in treating upper urinary tract urothelial cell carcinoma. Evidence of oncological equivalence between LNU and ONU is limited. We compare operative and oncological outcomes for LNU and ONU using matched-pair analysis. Methods: Of 159 patients who underwent a nephroureterectomy at a single institution between April 1992 and April 2010, 13 pairs of ONU and LNU patients were matched for gender, age, tumour location, tumour grade and stage. Operative details, post-operative characteristics and recurrences were collated and survival rates analysed using the Kaplan-Meier method. Results: There was no significant difference in mean operation time between LNU (191 min) and ONU (194 min, p = 0.92). There was no significant difference in the 5-year survival rate between LNU and ONU (overall survival 59.1% vs. 73.5%, p = 0.18; progression-free survival 24.0% vs. 56.0%, p = 0.14; cancer-specific survival 60.9% vs. 73.5%, p = 0.56; bladder cancer recurrence-free survival 8.7% vs. 0.0%, p = 0.09). Conclusion: Amidst limited RCT and comparative studies, this study presents further evidence of oncological equivalence between LNU and ONU. There was a trend towards poorer outcomes following LNU though, which merits further study. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.