Robot-assisted surgery technique improves kidney cancer surgery

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Kidney cancer often involves treatment for the surgical removal of small tumors, and surgery can be difficult depending on the location of the renal masses. A novel surgical technique, labeled robot-assisted retroperitoneoscopic partial nephrectomy (RARPN), can allow for easier removal of tumors located on the posterior side of the kidney. Posterior-side tumors can be difficult to remove via traditional surgery because patients who have had previous abdominal surgery often have scar tissue that makes anatomy landmark identification difficult for the surgeon.

Researchers based at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center examined the data from 227 patients and found measurable variance between different surgeons in warm ischemia time (WIT; the amount of time the main blood supply to the kidney was blocked off) during surgery. This time difference measured up to five minutes, depending on the surgeon. All surgeons involved in this study high-volume surgeons based at tertiary referral centers and ll had been fellowship trained. Use of the RARPN also appeared superior to traditional surgery (typically thermal ablation); the robot-assisted surgery assisted the surgeon with high-definition 3-D cameras and precisely controllable arms.

Robot-assisted surgery technique improves kidney cancer surgery
Robot-assisted surgery technique improves kidney cancer surgery
Roughly 50,000 Americans are diagnosed with kidney cancer per year. Most of these cancers are small tumors (small renal masses) that are often found during screening for other problems. Because of this, there are more surgeries scheduled to remove them. These surgeries can be difficult because of the location of the tumors if they are on the posterior side of the kidney, and because patients who have had previous abdominal surgery can have scar tissue that disrupts identification of normal anatomy.
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