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Robotic Surgery for Kidney Cancer Helps Patients Heal Faster

Friday, August 25, 2017
Ketan K. Badani, MD
Ketan K. Badani, MD
Robotic surgery has been moving into the treatment realm for patients with renal cell carcinoma (RCC) who are undergoing a partial nephrectomy, and the procedure has shown to have many benefits.

A patient can experience less pain, a quicker healing time and potentially more normal kidney function, due to the minimally invasive aspect of robotic surgery, according to Ketan K. Badani, M.D.

In an interview with Oncology Nursing News, Badani, a professor of Urology at Mount Sinai Hospital, discusses the benefits of robotic surgery in RCC and use of the technique among urologists.

Can you discuss where we currently are with robotic surgery in kidney cancer?

Robotic surgery has permeated urology as a field quite heavily, prostatectomy being the most commonly performed robotic operation. However, the procedure that is gaining the most traction in terms of utilization has become robotic partial nephrectomy. The reason is because the robotic platform allows us to do partial nephrectomy more efficiently, since this is more of a challenge in laparoscopic operations. Additionally, we can do more complicated partial nephrectomies more often, which we were not able to do previously in the field.

What are the benefits of using robotic surgery?

In my opinion, there are two main benefits for using robotic surgery. The first is the ability to perform surgery that is minimally invasive. We know that whether it is laparoscopic or robotic, the patient will have less pain and a quicker healing time, which is appealing to patients.

The other advantage of robotic surgery is in the nuances in the technical part of the operation. I am referring to how the length of time that the kidney is without blood flow when you do a partial nephrectomy can affect the function of it over time. What we’ve seen study after study is that time is shorter when you do this robotic surgery, which is protecting normal kidney function. The other part is being able to perform it to save the majority, if not all, of the normal kidney and taking out the tumor itself in its entirety. The balance between not leaving any tumor behind but saving as much kidney as possible, is a better operation with the robotic platform because of the technology, due to the integration of imaging and the surgical field at the same time.

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