Published: April 23, 2024

Gordy’s Partial Nephrectomy

Would you consider yourself “lucky” to find out you have cancer? Gordy did. Here’s his story:

Gordy’s cardiologist wanted him to have a CT scan for an issue that had nothing to do with his kidneys. “By chance, the scan picked up a suspicious area on my right kidney,” he explains. Turns out he had clear renal cell carcinoma, the most common type of kidney cancer in adults. “It was in the very early stages, so I was lucky.”

At first, after discussing it with Michigan Institute of Urology’s Dr. Fadi Eliya, “we decided that since the tumor was so small, we wouldn’t do anything about it just yet; we’d recheck it in six months with an MRI.” Although the recheck showed practically no change in the tumor size, Dr. Eliya indicated it was likely cancerous. That’s when Gordy decided he’s like the tumor removed, and he was referred to Michigan Institute of Urology surgeon Joshua Palka, D.O..

“Right away I felt real comfortable with Dr. Palka. He was real open and very confident. He wasn’t rushed and was willing to take all the time in the world to talk about my situation,” says Gordy. Together they decided to have the cancerous tumor removed — called a partial nephrectomy — using robotic surgery. “I didn’t need a big incision, which was nice. Dr. Palka got the tumor out and was able to save most of my right kidney which seems to be functioning normally ever since.” Although the tumor was confirmed to be cancerous, Gordy was happy to learn there was no indication the cancer had spread to nearby organs.

Six months later, a follow-up scan showed no signs of cancer, “so now I get a CT scan once a year to be sure it doesn’t come back,” says Gordy. “All in all, I had the best possible outcome.”

Today, as he reflects on his cancer journey, Gordy is quick to say “how important it was to have the support of my family and friends. I leaned heavily on my faith to help me get through this journey.” He also is quick to express gratitude for Dr. Palka’s expertise and concern. “Everyone I have met and dealt with at Michigan Institute of Urology treated me with courtesy, respect, and professionalism.”

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