Asymptomatic small kidney tumors have been diagnosed with increasing frequency due to widespread use of CT scanning for the diagnosis of abdominal pathology. These are called incidentalomas.
Traditionally when patients were diagnosed with kidney masses or tumors, they underwent open simple or radical nephrectomies. These procedures are performed through large incisions which result in a long hospital stay and significant postoperative pain.
In the 1990s, laparoscopic surgery was introduced for removal of kidneys and now is routine in the current surgical practice to perform simple and radical nephrectomy laparoscopically (keyhole surgery).
However, it is technically difficult to do a partial nephrectomy laparoscopically. Da Vinci Robotic Surgery has made it possible for us to perform partial removal of the kidney utilizing the minimally invasive technique. Robotic surgery has made fine dissection and delicate suturing possible with a high definition 3-D view.
After minimally invasive kidney surgery, patients are able to go home in one to two days with minimal postoperative pain and an earlier return to work.