In honor of National Kidney Month, we've compiled a portion of a video interview with Dr. Natalya Lopushnyan in which she talks about robotic surgery to treat kidney cancer.
"Kidney cancer is not a very common cancer. I think it's about 3% of all adult cancers in the United States. Probably because of that, there isn't a specific screening that people do for kidney cancer. Most of the kidney cancers are actually picked up incidentally on CAT scans or ultrasounds that are ordered for a different reason.
Because of that, probably most of the kidney cancers that we now see are quite small. They're Stage 1, which is beneficial for the patient because in the past when kidney cancer was discovered and it was quite large, you had to do a big open surgery to remove it.
Now, we can use minimally invasive options, such as laparoscopic or robotic surgery where we remove just the tumor most of the time and keep the rest of the kidney in place. Instead of having one large incision—one large scar that's quite painful—you end up having several smaller scars in the area of the abdomen that are a lot less painful. That actually decreases your stay in the hospital and decreases the recovery time."
Watch the interview in its entirety below.