April 27, 2009

Robotic renal cancer surgery found helpful

U.S. cancer researchers say they've determined outcomes of robot-assisted kidney cancer surgery are more beneficial to patients than open surgery.

Medical scientists at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia led by Dr. Rosalia Viterbo said the da Vinci robot assisted surgical system for renal cell carcinoma has enabled faster and greater technical proficiency, allowing for quicker completion of complex surgical procedures, facilitating a minimally invasive approach for partial nephrectomy.

Our patients have experienced many benefits from the robot-assisted approach, including shorter hospital stays, preserved kidney function, smaller scars with optimal cosmetic results, lower blood loss and easier and earlier return to normal activity, Viterbo said.

As a result of the fast recovery, patients do not delay the next step in their treatment plan -- chemotherapy or radiation therapy -- thereby stopping the disease from progressing as fast, Viterbo said.

Similarly, she said, patients with disease on both kidneys benefit because there is less waiting time between surgeries and there is no delay on further treatment -- again, providing less opportunity for the cancer to grow and spread.

The research was presented this week in Chicago during the annual meeting of the American Urological Association.