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Minimally Invasive Removal of Kidney Tumours


Partial nephrectomy is performed for small renal masses which are suspicious for cancer, and involves removing just the tumour from the kidney, preserving the kidney itself.

As the kidneys have a very good blood supply,  this surgery needs to be performed precisely using a technique that avoids heavy bleeding, and also the leak of urine from the depths from which the tumour has been removed from the kidney.

The surgery involves the following steps:

1. Temporarily clamping kidney artery to stop blood flow to the kidney

image credit:  Dr Pradeep Durai

2.  Complete removal of the tumour

 image credit:  Dr Pradeep Durai

3. Closing defects in the urine collection system and bleeding vessels

image credit:  Dr Pradeep Durai

4. Complete closure of the defect left in the kidney, followed by release of the clamp on the kidney aartery and checking that there is no bleeding

image credit:  Dr Pradeep Durai

Partial nephrectomy can be done through open, laparoscopic or robotic assisted approaches. Robotic surgery allows this complex operation to be performed through keyhole surgery. With the magnified vision and dexterity of robotic instruments, larger and deeper tumours that previously would not have been possible to remove without sacrificing the kidney, can now be done in a minimally invasive manner.

This not only preserves kidneys which would have been previously sacrificed, but minimises the postoperative complications and discomfort that come from an open approach.