Urology Austin

Laparoscopic and robotic kidney surgery

Surgical treatment options for Stage I Renal Cancer (kidney tumors less than 7 centimeters without evidence of spread of cancer) include:

  • Simple nephrectomy – removal of the kidney
  • Radical nephrectomy – removal of kidney and surrounding tissues, glands and lymph nodes
  • Partial nephrectomy – removal of the tumor within the kidney, and surrounding tissues, leaving the rest of the kidney intact

Open kidney surgery often requires a large the incision which cuts through muscle and often requires removing part of a rib to access the kidney. These incisions can be quite painful and often require a hospital stay.

Laparoscopic and robotic kidney surgery has improved recovery time and discomfort following surgery.

In addition, with the advancement of robotic surgery, the surgeon is able to perform more complex surgery. Some of the major benefits experienced by surgeons using the daVinci Surgical System, over a traditional laparoscopy, include:

  • Greater surgical precision
  • Increased range of motion
  • Improved dexterity
  • Enhanced visualization
  • Improved access

Benefits experienced by patients may include:

  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Less pain
  • Less risk of infection
  • Less blood loss
  • Fewer transfusions
  • Less scarring
  • Faster recovery
  • Quicker return to normal daily activities

However, none of these benefits can be guaranteed for all patients

Most people are eligible for laparoscopic and robotic surgery.

However, you may not qualify for the procedure if you have had multiple previous abdominal surgeries. As with all surgical procedures, there is a risk of complications. A physician will complete a pre-operative evaluation to ensure that the procedure is appropriate for you. However, in a small percentage of cases, even approved laparoscopic and robotic procedures may be converted to open procedures.

Reasons for conversion to an open procedure may include:

  • A significant complication during surgery
  • Blood loss

If the operation is not proceeding as smoothly as the surgeon would like it to your surgeon will discuss potential risks in further detail with you prior to your procedure.