da Vinci Surgical System

Nephrectomy - Kidney Cancer

The kidneys are two small organs located behind the abdomen, on each side of the spine. By producing urine, kidneys remove toxic by-products and excess fluids from the body, which helps maintain a critical balance of salt, potassium and acid. Cancer can form in the small tubes inside the kidney, which are used for filtering blood, and in the center of the kidney where urine collects. Over 51,000 new cases of kidney cancer are diagnosed in the U.S. annually.

Treatment Options:
Treatment options for kidney cancer depend on the stage of the cancer (how large and whether it has spread) and the patient’s age and general health. Surgery, radiation and chemotherapy are all potential treatment options. Kidney cancer is relatively resistant to radiation and chemotherapy. As a result, the gold standard treatment for localized kidney cancer is removal of the kidney or kidney tumors.

 The three forms of surgical treatment are:

  • Partial nephrectomy: A surgical procedure to remove the cancer within the kidney and some of the tissue around it. A partial nephrectomy may be done to prevent loss of kidney function when the other kidney is damaged or has already been removed.
  • Simple nephrectomy: A surgical procedure to remove the kidney only.
  • Radical nephrectomy: A surgical procedure to remove the kidney, the adrenal gland, surrounding tissue and usually nearby lymph nodes.

Kidney surgery is traditionally performed using an open approach, which requires a large abdominal incision. Another approach, conventional laparoscopy, is less invasive, but limits the doctor’s dexterity, visualization and control, compared to open surgery.

da Vinci® for Kidney Cancer
If your doctor recommends surgery for kidney cancer, you may be a candidate for a new, minimally invasive approach - da Vinci Partial Nephrectomy or Nephrectomy.

da Vinci Surgery uses state-of-the-art technology to help your doctor perform a more precise operation than conventional instrumentation allows. It offers numerous potential benefits over  conventional open surgery, including:

  • Significantly less pain
  • Less blood loss
  • Fewer transfusions
  • Less risk of infection
  • Less scarring
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Shorter recovery time
  • Increased potential for kidney preservation in certain prescribed cancer operations
  • Better clinical outcomes, in many cases

The precision and dexterity afforded by the da Vinci Surgical System’s advanced instrumentation  incorporates the best techniques of open surgery and applies them to a robotic-assisted, minimally invasive approach for treating kidney cancer.

As with any surgery, these benefits cannot be guaranteed, as surgery is patient and procedure specific.

da Vinci Urologic Surgeon

William Badger, M.D., and Jon A. Rumohr, M.D., specialize in robotic-assisted and laparoscopic urologic surgical procedures, including the treatment of pediatric patients. They are the only urologists in Northern and Central Arizona offering patients the opportunity to benefit from robot-assisted surgical options for the treatment of kidney cancer.