Kidney Cancer and its Treatment with Robotic Surgery

In this article, you will learn general information about kidney cancer and how it can be successfully treated with robotic surgery.

What is Kidney Cancer?

Kidney cancer is a cancer that starts in the kidneys. Cancer occurs when cells in the human body begin to multiply uncontrollably. Cells in almost any part of the body can become cancer and spread to other areas.

Risk Factors for Kidney Cancer

Risk factors in cancer are the things that make up the probability of getting this disease. Each cancer has different risk factors. Some of these factors are related to living habits. For example, smoking is a risk factor.

But having one or even several risk factors does not mean you will get the disease. And some people who get the disease may have few or no known risk factors. Even if a person with kidney cancer has a risk factor, it is very difficult to know how much that risk factor contributes to the cancer.

Risk factors for kidney cancer;

  • To smoke
  • Obesity
  • exposure to chemicals
  • Hypertension
  • genetic factors
  • advanced kidney disease

Kidney Cancer Symptoms

Early kidney cancers don’t usually cause any signs or symptoms, but advanced ones can. Possible symptoms of kidney cancer include:

  • blood in the urine (hematuria)
  • lower back pain on one side
  • A mass (bump) on the side
  • Tiredness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Intense weight loss
  • Fever that is not caused by an infection and does not go away
  • Anemia
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These signs and symptoms can be caused by kidney cancer (or another type of cancer), but more often they are caused by other benign diseases. For example, blood in the urine is most often caused by a bladder or urinary tract infection or a kidney stone. However, if you have any of these symptoms, see a doctor so the cause can be found and treated.

Kidney Cancer Surgery

Kidney cancer surgery is the mainstay of treatment for most kidney cancers. Even people whose cancer has spread to other organs can benefit from surgery to remove a kidney tumor. Removing the kidney containing the cancer may help some people live longer, so a doctor may recommend surgery even if it has spread beyond the kidney. Kidney removal can also be used to relieve symptoms such as pain and bleeding.

Depending on the stage and location of the cancer and other factors, surgery may be done to remove some of the surrounding kidney tissue (also known as a partial nephrectomy ) or the entire kidney ( known as a radical nephrectomy ). The adrenal gland (the small gland that sits on top of each kidney) and the fatty tissue around the kidney are sometimes also cleared.

Kidney Cancer Surgery with Robotic Surgery

Kidney cancer surgery with robotic surgery The da Vinci Surgical System is used to remove only the cancerous part of the kidney while preserving as much of the unaffected kidney as possible. Using the system’s 3-D magnification, surgeons can pinpoint healthy kidney tumors as well as healthy tissue and remove the affected tissue through small incisions in the patient’s abdomen.

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After surgeons remove the tumor, they must reconstruct the rest of the kidney. One of the benefits of partial nephrectomy is that the patient still has the “spare” kidney in addition to the unaffected kidneys. This can be important for diabetics who are at risk of kidney failure.

Each patient and procedure is unique, but in general, the small incisions used in robotic surgery and laparoscopic surgery reduce post-operative pain, tissue trauma, and blood loss, resulting in faster return to normal activities. The hospital stay after robotic laparoscopic surgery is usually shorter than in traditional open surgery.

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