Robotic Surgery for Kidney Cancer

OHSU surgeons are experts at using robotic surgery to treat kidney cancer. With the da Vinci robotic surgery system, your doctor can:

  • Remove just the tumor, leaving healthy tissue (partial nephrectomy)
  • Remove the entire kidney (total or radical nephrectomy)
  • Remove the kidney, bladder and other tissues (nephroureterectomy)

Advantages of Robotic Surgery for Kidney Cancer

Robotic surgery is one of the safest and most effective treatments for kidney cancer. The da Vinci robotic system allows your surgeon to clearly see inside the body and operate with great precision. This makes it easier to remove just the tumor and leave healthy tissue behind (partial nephrectomy). Leaving as much healthy tissue as possible helps the kidney function better after surgery. 

Traditional open surgery for kidney cancer is done through an abdominal incision several inches long. Recovering from surgery takes several weeks and can be painful.

In robotic kidney cancer surgery (robotic nephrectomy), your surgeon removes the tumor or kidney through several tiny holes in your abdomen. Because the incisions are so small, there is less blood loss during surgery.

Other advantages include:

  • Less discomfort after surgery
  • Fewer complications
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Faster recovery and earlier return to normal activities

During kidney surgery, your surgical team stops the blood flow to the kidney being treated. Because robotic surgery is usually quicker than other types of kidney cancer surgery, blood flow is stopped for a shorter time. This increases the chances that the kidney will function well after the tumor is removed.