Fox Chase Cancer Center researchers have shown that robot assisted kidney cancer surgery is more beneficial for patients compared to open surgery.
The standard treatment for kidney cancer is to surgically remove the entire or a portion of the kidney.
The surgeons are using the da Vinci robot assisted surgical system for patients with kidney cancer, or renal cell carcinoma.
"Our patients have experienced many benefits from the robot assisted approach, including shorter hospital stays (average 3 days), preserved kidney function (reduced need for dialysis), smaller scars with optimal cosmetic results, lower blood loss and easier and earlier return to normal activity," said Dr. Rosalia Viterbo, Fox Chase robotic surgeon
This laparoscopic approach allowed the surgeon to reach the kidney through 4 tiny holes in the patient's abdomen.
The researchers suggest that with fast recovery, patients do not delay the next step in their treatment plan, chemotherapy or radiation therapy, stopping the disease from progressing as fast.
Similarly, patients with disease on both kidneys benefit because there is less waiting time between surgeries and there is no delay on further treatment. This provides less opportunity for the cancer to grow and spread.
"Results of the study show robot assisted partial nephrectomy to be a safe and technically feasible minimally invasive approach to kidney sparing surgery," said Viterbo.
The study was presented at the American Urological Association's Annual Meeting.