Minimally-Invasive Robot-Assisted Surgery for Nephrectomy (Kidney Removal)
Nephrectomy is a surgical procedure in which all (radical nephrectomy) or part (partial nephrectomy) of the kidney is removed. Most patients undergo a nephrectomy to treat kidney cancer, but kidney removal may also be necessary to treat a birth defect, injury or infection.
The urologists at Sky Ridge Medical Center in South Denver use robotic surgery systems to perform radical and partial nephrectomies. Compared with open or traditional surgery, robotic nephrectomy offers patients many advantages, including:
- Smaller incisions
- Less blood loss
- Less pain
- Reduced risk of infection
- Shorter hospital stay
- Quicker recovery and return to regular activity
- Less scarring
Additionally, the robotic surgeons at Sky Ridge Medical Center now are using Firefly™ fluorescence during robotic nephrectomies. This additional imaging system provides a clear picture of kidney blood flow and cancerous/non-cancerous tissue, which helps improve outcomes.
Not all patients are candidates for robotic-assisted surgery. To find out if you may be a candidate, talk to your doctor.
Surgical Profile: Partial Nephrectomy
During a partial nephrectomy, only tumors and cancerous tissues are removed from a kidney, rather than the entire organ, preserving function (something detection and surgical advancements have allowed only in recent years).
Of note: By using robotic-assisted surgery during partial nephrectomies (which Sky Ridge's Dr. Ali Sarram was the first to do for HealthONE in 2005), surgeons maintain much more healthy kidney for patients, which can improve lives.
Benefits: Open nephrectomies are painful, requiring large incisions, and traditional laparoscopic surgery is difficult and takes longer, which can be more damaging to healthy kidney tissue. With its Firefly™ florescence injectable dyes, the robotic system allows surgeons to accurately view blood flow and diseased tissue areas, resulting in less blood loss, quicker recovery and preserved kidney function.