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Robotic Partial Nephrectomy (Kidney)

Located behind the abdomen, on each side of the spine, the kidneys serve the critical function of producing urine and removing toxic by-products and excess fluids from the body, helping to maintain an important balance of salt, potassium and acid in the body.

A common condition affecting the kidneys is a blockage of the ureters, the tubes that transport urine from the kidneys to the bladder. Blockages can be present from birth or acquired through illness or injury, and can create serious side effects, such as infections and kidney stones. If left untreated, blockages can cause chronic pain and may damage the kidneys over time.

Another common condition affecting the kidneys is cancer, which can form in the small tubes inside the kidney, used for filtering blood, and in the center of the kidney where urine collects. 

Treatment Options
Non-cancerous kidney conditions involving a blockage can usually be treated by removing the blockage, which may be done surgically, depending on the type of blockage.

Kidney cancer, on the other hand, is typically harder to treat because it is relatively resistant to radiation and chemotherapy. As a result, the most effective treatment for localized kidney cancer is removing the kidney or kidney tumors.

Surgery for kidney cancer is traditionally performed using an open approach, which requires a large abdominal incision. A second approach is conventional laparoscopy, which is less invasive, but offers limited surgical dexterity, visualization and control, compared to open surgery.

A robotic nephrectomy uses the latest surgical technology to provide a minimally invasive approach for treating kidney disorders and kidney cancer with greater precision than conventional instrumentation allows. Robotic surgery for kidney conditions incorporates the best techniques of open surgery and applies them to a robotic-assisted approach, with numerous potential benefits over a conventional open surgery.

Benefits of Robotic Nephrectomy:
  • 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

As with any surgery, these benefits cannot be guaranteed, as surgery is both patient- and procedure-specific. For more information about robotic urologic surgery at Rochester General Hospital, please contact us at any time.