Dr Suneel Kaushik Komanduri, Surgical Oncologist, Onco Cancer Centre, explains how Kidney Sparing Surgery can help patients of renal cancer.
Kidney cancer – also called renal cancer – is a disease in which kidney cells grow out of control and form a tumor. Most cancers of the kidney arise from the lining of tubes called nephrons. This type of cancer is called renal cell carcinoma. Often, these cancers are detected before they spread to distant organs.
Kidneys are a pair of bean shaped organs located in the back of the abdomen on either side of the spine. They play a very important role in purifying our blood by removing toxins, clearing metabolic waste, excess minerals etc and expelling them from the body by forming urine.
Cancers of the kidney often grow to large sizes before they are diagnosed. This is due to the early stage symptoms being very few.
Radical Nephrectomy is a surgery commonly performed for these large kidney tumors wherein the entire kidney with its envelope and often some additional structures like part of the tube that connects kidney to bladder (ureter), adrenal gland, lymph nodes or blood vessels are removed.
However, it is not necessary to remove the entire kidney for all patients affected with kidney cancer. For smaller tumors (especially less than 4cm in size) and tumors that have not spread beyond the kidney, it is possible to spare the healthy kidney tissue and remove the tumor with some normal tissue covering without compromising the cancer outcomes.
This newer surgical procedure is called Partial Nephrectomy or Kidney sparing surgery.
This can be done either as an open procedure or by minimally invasive approaches like laparoscopy or robotic surgery.
Studies have shown that sparing the normal kidney tissue whenever feasible has less impact on overall kidney function and less risk of developing cardiac issues later in life.