Kidney Cancer Surgery Melbourne

What Is Kidney Cancer?
(Kidney Masses & Tumours)

Renal masses refer to abnormal growths or tumours that develop within the kidneys. These masses can be either benign or malignant, with renal cell carcinoma being the most common type of kidney cancer. Understanding the causes and selecting appropriate surgical approaches, such as radical and partial robotic nephrectomy, play a vital role in managing renal masses effectively.

Causes of kidney masses

Causes of Renal Masses: The causes of renal masses can vary, and while some are non-cancerous (benign), others can be cancerous (malignant). Common causes include:

  1. Renal Cell Carcinoma (RCC): This is the most prevalent form of kidney cancer, accounting for the majority of renal masses. RCC arises from the cells lining the small tubes within the kidney.

  2. Benign Kidney Tumors: Various benign tumors can develop in the kidneys, such as renal adenomas and oncocytomas. Although these tumors are non-cancerous, they may require treatment if they grow large or cause symptoms.

  3. Transitional Cell Carcinoma (TCC): A type of cancer that starts in the lining of the renal pelvis, where the urine collects before moving into the ureter.

  4. Other Conditions: Renal masses can also be caused by cysts, abscesses, and angiomyolipomas, among other less common conditions.

Types of kidney surgery

Surgical intervention is often required to treat renal masses, and the choice of procedure depends on various factors, including the size, location, and nature of the mass, as well as the patient’s overall health. Two primary surgical approaches are radical and partial nephrectomy, both of are generally performed using robotic-assisted techniques.

  1. Radical Robotic Nephrectomy: This procedure involves the complete removal of the affected kidney and surrounding tissues. It is typically reserved for cases where the renal mass is large, cancerous, or has spread beyond the kidney. 

  2. Partial Robotic Nephrectomy: In cases where the renal mass is small and confined to a specific area of the kidney, partial nephrectomy is considered. This approach involves removing only the tumor while preserving the healthy part of the kidney. Partial nephrectomy is especially beneficial for patients with smaller renal masses, as it helps maintain better kidney function and reduces the risk of long-term kidney-related complications.

Robotic-assisted nephrectomy has revolutionised kidney surgery by offering several advantages over traditional open surgery and laparoscopic approaches. Robotic systems provide enhanced visualization, greater precision, and improved maneuverability for the surgeon. This translates to smaller incisions, reduced blood loss, shorter hospital stays, and faster recovery times for patients undergoing robotic nephrectomy.

“Robotic systems ... translates to smaller incisions, reduced blood loss, shorter hospital stays, and faster recovery times for patients undergoing robotic nephrectomy.”

— Dr. Marlon Perera

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