Process of Kidney Cancer
A kidney tumor is an abnormal growth within the kidney. The terms "mass," "lesion" and "tumor" are often used interchangeably. Tumors may be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). The most common kidney lesion is a fluid-filled area called a cyst . Simple cysts are benign, do not turn into cancer and usually require no follow-up or treatment. Solid kidney tumors can be benign, but are cancerous more than 90 percent of the time.1
Kidney cancer can potentially grow into the renal vein and the vena cava. The renal vein is the kidney's primary draining vein and the vena cava is the vein that takes blood to the heart. The portion of the cancer that extends into these veins is called "tumor thrombus." Imaging studies, particularly an MRI, can help to determine if tumor thrombus is present.
Tumors must stimulate the growth of new blood vessels to provide the tumor with nutrients and oxygen. This process, known as angiogenesis, is needed for a tumor to continue to grow and spread to other areas of the body. Kidney cancers are considered very angiogenic and are very efficient at travelling through the blood vessels in the body. They do this by secreting a protein called vascular endothelial growth factor, or VEGF. VEGF acts on nearby blood vessels stimulating them to sprout new vessels to supply the tumor.2
da Vinci Nephrectomy: Overview Video
- "About Kidney Cancer", Kidney Cancer Association, www.kidneycancer.org , URL: http://www.kidneycancer.org/knowledge/learn/about-kidney-cancer
All surgery presents risk, including da Vinci Surgery. Results, including cosmetic results, may vary. Serious complications may occur in any surgery, up to and including death. Examples of serious and life-threatening complications, which may require hospitalization, include injury to tissues or organs; bleeding; infection, and internal scarring that can cause long-lasting dysfunction or pain. Temporary pain or nerve injury has been linked to the inverted position often used during abdominal and pelvic surgery. Patients should understand that risks of surgery include potential for human error and potential for equipment failure. Risk specific to minimally invasive surgery may include: a longer operative time; the need to convert the procedure to an open approach; or the need for additional or larger incision sites. Converting the procedure to open could mean a longer operative time, long time under anesthesia, and could lead to increased complications. Research suggests that there may be an increased risk of incision-site hernia with single-incision surgery. Patients who bleed easily, have abnormal blood clotting, are pregnant or morbidly obese are typically not candidates for minimally invasive surgery, including da Vinci Surgery. Other surgical approaches are available. Patients should review the risks associated with all surgical approaches. They should talk to their doctors about their surgical experience and to decide if da Vinci is right for them. For more complete information on surgical risks, safety and indications for use, please refer to http://www.davincisurgery.com/da-vinci-surgery/safety-information.php.
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PN 1002323 Rev A 04/2013