Kidney cancer surgery is the primary form of treatment for most patients with renal tumors. In determining the optimal surgical approach, a surgeon will generally evaluate the size, type and location of a tumor, as well as the extent of the cancer and the patient’s overall health. While the main goal of renal cancer surgery is to remove a tumor and the surrounding cancerous tissue, surgical intervention can also be beneficial to patients with kidney cancer thatKidney has begun to spread. That’s because surgery can reduce the amount of cancer that must be later addressed through other treatments like chemotherapy, radiation therapy and biological therapy.
Some types of kidney cancer surgery include:
- Open partial nephrectomy – Removal of a portion of an affected kidney through a standard surgical incision in the abdomen
- Open radical nephrectomy – Removal of an entire kidney and possibly the adjacent adrenal gland, nearby lymph nodes and surrounding fatty tissue through a standard surgical incision in the abdomen
- Laparoscopic partial nephrectomy – Removal of a portion of an affected kidney through a series of tiny incisions in the abdominal wall
- Laparoscopic radical nephrectomy – Removal of an entire kidney and possibly the adjacent adrenal gland, nearby lymph nodes and surrounding fatty tissue through a series of tiny incisions in the abdominal wall
- Robotic nephroureterectomy - Removal of the affected kidney and ureter from the surrounding tissue. After dividing the kidney artery and vein and separating the ureter, the kidney and ureter are placed into a bag and removed through a slightly widened incision.
- Arterial embolization – Injection of small pieces of a special gelatin sponge, beads or a glue-like material through a catheter to block the artery that feeds a cancerous tumor; this treatment can help shrink a tumor by inhibiting the delivery of blood to the cancerous cells, which can ease symptoms, prevent or slow tumor growth and preclude the need for subsequent kidney cancer surgery
Patients who require kidney cancer surgery can receive world-class treatment from the fellowship-trained surgeons at Moffitt Cancer Center. In addition to extensive surgical expertise, Moffitt is known for offering patients access to groundbreaking drugs and therapies that are available exclusively through our clinical trial program. For instance, our scientists and clinicians are continually evaluating promising new surgical techniques, such as robotic surgery and those that use tissue extracted from a surgically removed kidney tumor to help target residual cancer cells. This is just one way that we are working to improve the standard of care for all current and future kidney cancer patients.