About kidney cancer surgery
If you have kidney cancer, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove some or all of the kidney and other affected tissues nearby.
The specifics of your surgery depend on several factors, including your age, health and cancer stage. The stage describes if and where cancer cells have spread beyond the kidney.
Our surgeons have specialized training in how to treat genitourinary cancer. This experience enables us to perform highly technical procedures safely.
We deliver personalized care, recommending a surgical approach that’s right for you. Minimally invasive techniques (including robotic technology) may help you heal faster and shorten your recovery.
Why choose us for kidney cancer surgery?
Here, you’re in expert hands. We perform very high volumes of kidney cancer surgeries compared to most centers in South Texas. We also treat a very high volume of advanced kidney cancers that affect areas outside of the kidney. Our team includes surgeons known for their skill in addressing complex cases of kidney cancer, especially tumor thrombus.
We have developed advanced surgical protocols that enable us to treat kidney cancer in new ways. Our surgeons treat conditions such as tumor thrombus, where kidney cancer grows into the major veins. Few centers in the country perform the volume of tumor thrombus surgeries we do. That volume gives us leading expertise in this surgery.
Physician-scientists in our labs pursue wide-ranging research studies to lessen kidney cancer’s impact on our community. Due to our academic focus, we provide leading kidney cancer treatments, such as immunotherapy.
A team of doctors (including surgical oncologists and medical oncologists) meets regularly to tailor care to your unique needs. Read more about how we treat kidney cancer.
Types of kidney cancer surgery
Kidney cancer surgical options include:
- Partial nephrectomy removes part of the kidney. We may recommend this surgery for early-stage cancers or small tumors.
- Radical cystectomy removes the entire kidney and other tissues (such as lymph nodes or adrenal glands) affected by cancer. Many people living with one kidney experience few or no health challenges.
- Tumor thrombus surgery removes kidney cancer that has spread to one of the body’s biggest blood vessels (called the inferior vena cava). Tumor thrombus can pose a serious threat to the heart and liver. Skilled cancer, heart and vascular surgeons work together to remove cancerous cells while protecting your other organs.
Kidney cancer surgery: How to talk to your doctor
You may feel uneasy about what to expect from kidney cancer surgery. We will help you prepare for what’s to come and support your long-term health goals.
Our team approach means surgeons meet with other cancer doctors to coordinate details of your treatment. We consider your needs and what’s important to you before recommending a plan. We encourage you to reach out to us with questions or concerns at any point.
You might want to ask your doctor about:
- Additional testing, if any, you may need to inform an upcoming surgery
- What to expect, including how to prepare for surgery and how long you can expect to stay in the hospital
- Your recovery, including how to encourage your body’s healing process
- Support services, including resources to support you in managing physical or emotional difficulties you experience