Robotic Kidney Cancer Treatment

October 10, 2014

Cancer fighting technology is continually evolving and, at Austin Urology Institute, we’re always striving to provide the best and most advanced care. One of the foremost examples of this commitment is our Da Vinci robot, which is capable of treating kidney cancer in unprecedented ways.

We use the Da Vinci robot to perform a partial nephrectomy. This surgery involves removal of the portion of the kidney that contains the cancer or tumor, while leaving the remaining kidney intact. This is different from a radical nephrectomy, which is removal of the entire kidney which is done without robotics.

The decision on which surgery to perform depends on the patient’s history, tumor size, and location. The robotic partial nephrectomy is an inpatient procedure, and requires at least 2-3 days in the hospital afterwards. It is performed under general anesthesia.

We perform the surgery through 5 small incisions, into which the robotic instruments are inserted. The robot is controlled by the surgeon from about 10 feet away. The fine movements of the robotic arms allow the surgery to be performed at an optimal level as well as faster recovery. We are able to use laparoscopic ultrasound to identify the tumor, utilize robotics to incise the tumor, and then reconstruct the kidney.