Urology Specialties, Conditions, Treatments & Technology

Partial Nephrectomy (Robotic, Laparoscopic, or Open)

Laparoscopic Partial Nephrectomy

A laparoscopic partial nephrectomy is performed under general anaesthetic, using 2 different approaches.

In the transperitoneal approach, the abdomen is insufflated with carbon dioxide and three or four small abdominal incisions are made.

In the retroperitoneal approach, a small incision is made in the back and a dissecting balloon is inserted to create a retroperitoneal space. After insufflation with carbon dioxide, two or three additional small incisions are made in the back. The renal vessels are identified and either isolated using vessel loops or clamped and the kidney is mobilised to allow exposure of the lesion. A laparoscopic ultrasound probe may be used to determine the line of incision and depth of tumour involvement. Bleeding vessels are sealed or ligated with sutures and the renal capsule is then closed. The specimen is enclosed in a bag and retrieved through an expanded port.

Robotic da Vinci for Kidney Cancer

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 a 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

da Vinci Surgery for kidney cancer incorporates the best techniques of open surgery and applies them to a robotic-assisted, minimally invasive approach.

The precision and dexterity afforded by the da Vinci Surgical System’s advanced instrumentation facilitates a minimally invasive approach for treating kidney cancer.


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