Partial nephrectomy, or kidney sparing surgery, is the preferred surgery of choice for kidney cancers that are diagnosed early.
It aims to preserve your healthy kidney tissue while only removing the tumour. As a result, you might be able to avoid have your entire kidney removed.
The most critical part of this surgery is the cutting away (excision) of the tumour followed by the repair and reconstruction of the nephrons and muscles that are affected by the removal process.
With robotic-assisted kidney sparing surgery, the articulated EndoWrist instruments from the da Vinci® system enable your surgeon to complete the complex procedure more quickly and efficiently than with conventional laparoscopic instruments.
Why do you need partial nephrectomy?
Your specialist will likely recommend you for partial nephrectomy if you suffer from early-stage kidney cancer.
Robotic-assisted kidney sparing surgery has several advantages over conventional laparoscopic surgery. These include:
Better clinical outcomes and cancer control, which helps prevent potential kidney disease in the future
A shorter hospital stay
Effective tumour removal and kidney reconstruction
Better chance of preserving the remaining healthy kidney, which reduces the need for dialysis
Less blood loss and reduced risk of complications during the operation
The procedure may not be suitable if the tumour is very large and if the main blood vessels of the kidney are involved. In these circumstances, open partial nephrectomy or total kidney removal is warranted.
What are the risks and complications of partial nephrectomy?
Partial nephrectomy is generally a safe procedure. However, like any major surgical procedure, it poses some potential risks, including:
Injury to adjacent organs
How do you prepare for a partial nephrectomy?
Before your surgery, you might have to:
Undergo X-rays or other imaging tests
Refrain from eating or drinking anything before your surgery
Stop taking some medications for a period of time
What can you expect in a partial nephrectomy?
Partial nephrectomy is performed under general anaesthesia, so you will not be awake during surgery. You will also have a urinary catheter placed before surgery.
The surgery will take between 3 – 5 hours, depending on the complexity of the tumour.
During the procedure
Partial nephrectomy aims to preserve your healthy kidney tissue as much as possible by removing only the cancerous tumour or diseased tissue of your kidney.
During robotic-assisted kidney sparing surgery, your surgeon will make a few very small incisions in your abdomen. A long wand with a camera is then inserted through the incision. Images are taken from the camera, and your surgeon will view these to control robotic tools and remove the tumour.
After the tumour is removed, your surgeon will take care to repair and reconstruct the nephrons and muscles that are affected by the removal process. This helps to prevent kidney damage from lack of oxygen and blood supply to the kidney.
Your surgeon will finally close the incisions with stitches.
After the procedure
The urinary catheter will remain for a short time while you recover from the surgery. Your recovery time and length of your hospital stay will depend on your overall health and individual condition.
Care and recovery period for partial nephrectomy
The aim of partial nephrectomy is to restore your overall normal kidney function.
To preserve your kidney function, your doctor may recommend you to:
Engage in daily physical activity
Avoid strenuous activity for several weeks
Attend regular checkups to monitor your kidney health
Why choose Mount Elizabeth Hospitals?
Located in the heart of Singapore across prime locations in Orchard and Novena, Mount Elizabeth is a trusted and award-winning name in medical care with modern technology and facilities.
Our team of urologists is experienced in diagnosing and treating conditions such as early stage kidney cancers, and can guide you through an appropriate course of treatment such as partial nephrectomy.
Urology doctors at Mount Elizabeth hospital specialise in medical and surgical interventions to treat kidney diseases and cancers from early stage to end-stage. If you are eligible for partial nephrectomy, we will support you throughout your entire journey to recovery.
Make an appointment with one of our urologists for a more in-depth consultation.