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Pain in the abdomen. What is the reason for not opting a robotic surgery for kidney cancer?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
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Why would surgeon say cancer of kidney may be in bad place to operate robotically. Also, would this be why I have had bad pain in abdomen
Posted Tue, 8 May 2012 in Cancer
Answered by Dr. Radhika 1 hour later

Thanks for the query.

You would like to know why certain cancers of the kidney cannot be operated due to bad position.

Robotic surgery is normally done since it is less invasive and painful, and it involves fewer instruments and less tissue trauma. The instruments also allow close and detailed manipulation inside the body without making large incisions.

Bad pain in stomach may be due to the cancer, but it is not the cause for the doctor denying robotic surgery.

There are a number of reasons to be taken into consideration before deciding for robotic surgery like:

1. The size and general radiographic appearance of the mass.
2. The local anatomy of the mass.
3. The overall age and health condition (any other medical conditions) of the patient.
4. The extent of kidney function.
4. The number of lesions in the kidney.

These treatments are generally done for kidney cancers that are less than 4 cm. If the doctor says you are not an ideal candidate for Robotic surgery it has to be due to any of the above reasons. He might prefer open or laparoscopic surgery in such cases.

Do not worry. The decision for the treatment of kidney cancer is very challenging and should be made after discussing with a Nephrologist who is experienced in managing kidney cancer.

Hope I have answered your query. If you do not have any follow up please accept my answer.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Pain in the abdomen. What is the reason for not opting a robotic surgery for kidney cancer? 6 hours later
The surgery is being done robotically, but Dr said it is in an area that might be hard to find that way and then he would have to open up and find the marble like mass on upper side of kidney. They can't tell if it is on inside or outside of kidney. I have no other health problems, 48 years of age in otherwise good health.

Thank you for your previous reply.
Answered by Dr. Radhika 16 hours later

Thanks for the follow up.

I understand you have discussed with your doctor about this possibilities.

I had mentioned earlier about the general causes due to which it is not possible to do a surgery, and one of the causes is location. It is quite difficult if the mass is in a location which is very difficult to operate using robotic surgery. The surgeon will not be at the operating table and will be in fact front of a computer. He will have to guide it through the area of surgery. Sometimes such procedures will need to done by open surgery itself otherwise the risks might outweigh the advantages.

Even though you might be in good health, it is always better to take the easier option for this case.

Your doctor knows better and will help guide you. Also most important thing is removal of the cancerous mass, if he cannot access it in robotic surgery it will be a waste of time and money too.

Hope I have answered your query. If you do not have any follow up please accept my answer.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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