Daniel Eun, MD, Chief of Robotic Surgery at Temple University Hospital and Fox Chase-Temple Urologic Institute leader, discusses the different kidney sparing robotic and minimally invasive procedures available at Temple, and the potential benefits of these procedures as it relates to maintaining kidney function.
At Temple. We are offering kidney sparing minimally invasive surgery for a lot of patients that out in the community are being offered total kidney removal or an open operation. And so I would say that our capabilities allow us to push the envelope further with kidney sparing operation and keeping the operation minimally invasively. And I think that's probably what sets us apart the most from other institutions uh in the Philadelphia or Delaware Valley region. The majority of the patients that come to see us um are very good candidates for uh robotic uh kidney sparing type of surgery. There, there really is the ideal patient uh patient who has uh compromised kidney function or a patient that has a solitary kidney where a kidney sparing surgery really is a must in their situation. Um And those patients, it's very critical that they find the right surgeon and the right center to take out their uh cancer in many cases can be cured from their cancer and yet still retain kidney function so they can stay off of dialysis. But you know, that's really kind of uh the most pressing type of patient that needs kidney sparing surgery but most of the patients that walk into the door, most of the patients that are referred to us are patients that can still benefit from uh kidney sparing surgery. Many of them are younger and, and uh, we don't know in 10, 2030 years, uh where their kidney function will be and what their medical problems will be. And if we can try to simplify uh their future health care because we've spared their kidney function today uh to help them tomorrow, then we've done them a great service. The traditional open uh approach to kidney surgery uh requires a large flank incision. That is probably one of the worst incisions uh to have to recover from. Um that incision is right underneath the diaphragm. So it's along your flank and um it, every time you breathe, uh your diaphragm is pushing against that area. And in many cases, uh traditionally, part of the rib is removed. And so it's a, it's a terrible incision to recover from. And so the one of the greatest benefits of minimum invasive and robotic surgery for those patients is simply the recovery is just a lot easier. Um Many of these patients can go back to work as long as they're not lifting anything heavy, they can go back to work the following week. So there is a huge benefit from just an incision recovery pain um management standpoint. Um But that's just, you know, one of the advantages, the other one is long term kidney function is spared. And uh really the most important reason why they're here is so that we can remove their kidney tumor completely. And many of them walk away from this operation uh with uh no future recurrence of their kidney cancer. So, the potential advantages of robotic partial nephrectomy would be complete removal of your kidney tumor, uh preserved uh function of your kidney. Uh for long term purposes, uh shorter hospital, stay, less pain, uh control required uh faster time to recovery and going back to doing the things you love to do.