Kidney Tumor Treatment Evolves with Robotic Technology

Patients with kidney tumors now have the chance to receive highly advanced treatments from the Porter Robotics Institute. This new technology allows surgeons the ability to remove just a portion of the kidney. Porter Adventist Hospital is among a handful of centers in the country with advanced fluorescence imaging technology, called Firefly, and only the second in the region. St. Anthony Hospital in Lakewood also recently implemented the Firefly.

Medical Director of the PRI, Dr. Mark Jones, claims, “The Firefly addition, along with our second da Vinci Si surgical system, will allow our surgeons even greater precision and flexibility in treating their patients with kidney cancer. The rapid growth of our robotic surgery program has helped us to acquire the latest advances in robotics to better serve our patients.”

Fluorescence imaging technology, along with real-time, 3D visualization and fully articulated instruments used by surgeons trained in the da Vinci Si Surgical System, can bring cancer patients an improved quality of life and offers long-term survival benefits for kidney cancer patients.

In nearly four out of five cases where patients have small renal masses, their entire kidney is removed; a procedure known as nephrectomy. Studies suggest that patients treated with a radical nephrectomy experience more cardiovascular problems and an increased risk of death compared to patients who only received a partial nephrectomy. Additionally, patients who received a partial nephrectomy are three times less likely to develop chronic kidney disease.

The Firefly technology functions by allowing surgeons to identify the clear margins of kidney tumors, and more accurately identifies critical blood vessels and tissue during surgery. The specifically designed camera and endoscopes allow surgeons to capture images of tissue and surrounding blood vessels by injecting a fluorescent dye that is activated by a near-infrared light. The camera also has the capacity to switch views between the surgical field and the surrounding tissue and blood vessels.