Robotic IVC Thrombectomy Appears Successful in Patients With Kidney Cancer

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According to an article published in The Journal of Urology, a team of surgeons have successfully performed an inferior vena cava (IVC) thrombectomy robotically in nine patients with kidney cancer who developed a level III thrombus. The robotic surgery only requires seven small incisions and four robotic tools.

This procedure is typically complicated and requires a large open incision to remove the difficult-to-reach thrombus that can make its way back to the heart and result in serious harm if not removed. The surgery not only involves the removal of the thrombus but the cancerous kidney as well.

"Level III IVC tumor thrombectomy for renal cancer is one of the most challenging open urologic oncologic surgeries," explained Inderbir S. Gill, MD, of the USC Institute of Urology, part of Keck Medicine of USC in Los Angeles, CA.

The authors found that after approximately 7 months of follow-up, all were alive and eight patients showed no evidence of disease.

"While IVC tumor thrombus occurs in only 4-10% of all patients with otherwise organ-confined kidney cancer, surgery is the only cure. The ability to do this complicated procedure in a minimally invasive way represents a major advancement."

Robotic IVC thrombectomy appears successful in patients with kidney cancer
Surgeons successfully performed an inferior vena cava (IVC) thrombectomy robotically in nine patients with kidney cancer.
Surgery is required when cancer of the kidney causes a Level III thrombus, or clot, to develop in the major vein leading back to the heart. Traditionally this complicated procedure, inferior vena cava (IVC) thrombectomy, is performed using a large open incision, primarily because the vein is often difficult to reach.
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