Robotic nephrectomy, is a surgical procedure that uses uses da Vinci technology to remove all or part of a kidney. Robotics is an advanced tool that enhances the surgeon’s ability to perform complex surgical procedures.
The procedure is performed through keyhole-sized incisions, as opposed to a large open incision on the side of the abdomen.
There are two types of nephrectomy:
In circumstances where the affected kidney tissues/tumor is too large, or where the kidney is no longer functional, the urologist may recommend the complete surgical removal of the kidney.
The entire robotically assisted procedure to remove the kidneys is carried out through the tiny keyhole-sized incisions instead of a huge open incision on the side of the abdomen, which is often painful and necessitates partial removal of the rib.
The surgeon initially inflates the abdomen with carbon dioxide to create enough room for the colon to be moved away from the kidney. He/she identifies and clips off the blood vessels leading into the kidneys whereby blood flow is permanently halted. A surgical procedure is then performed to separate the kidney from the bowels, liver, spleen, pancreas, and/or back muscles.
Once released, the kidney is placed in a special bag within the body before being removed by widening a keyhole incision.
In some situations, a nephrectomy will also include the removal and examination of adjacent lymph nodes (lymph node dissection).
Some of the benefits of robotic-assisted nephrectomy as compared to conventional nephrectomy include: