There are two types of surgical treatments for kidney cancer. Each treatment depends on the size of the tumor and the overall health of the patient. The goal is to remove the tumor and maintain the overall health of the kidney but in some cases the entire kidney will be removed. Fortunately, you have two kidneys, and a single kidney can operate without the other. The types of surgical treatment are:
Removing the Tumor (Partial Nephrectomy)
This preferred method is also called kidney-sparing or nephron-sparing surgery is where the doctor removes the tumor and a small amount of the healthy tissues around it. This is a great option if the tumor is small or if the cancerous kidney is the only operating kidney in the body. This can be done with a single incision in the body, laparoscopically or with robotic assistance.
Complete Removal of the Kidney
If the entire kidney is cancerous or if the tumor is too big, the surgeon will remove the entire kidney along with a small border of healthy tissue from surrounding organs like the lymph nodes, and adrenal gland. This surgery is either performed through a single incision through the side of the abdomen, or with smaller incisions and robotic assistance.
If you have kidney cancer, surgery is probably your best option for recovery. The procedures are relatively painless compared to chemotherapy and have a proven track record of successfully eliminate cancer in the kidney.