FAQ: What is Nephron sparing surgery for kidney cancer?
Nephron sparing surgery is the correct term for “partial nephrectomy”, a surgery where we do not remove the whole of your kidney, but remove just the part that has the tumor, saving the rest of the kidney.
There are conditions where we absolutely HAVE to do it
- Where you have a kidney tumor in both of your kidneys (we can’t just remove both of your kidneys)
- When you have only one kidney and that kidney has a tumor in it.
- Where you have tumor in one kidney and the other kidney is diseased (diabetes, hypertension etc)
- When the chance of you developing a tumor in the other kidney are high (some genetic diseases)
Basically when removing the whole of your kidney with tumor will potentially leave you with no kidney at all, we HAVE to do a “Nephron-Sparing” surgery.
But nowadays, we do it in isolated, small, curable tumors, with a normal opposite kidney as well. Scientists have seen that it makes you live as long as you would if we remove the whole of the kidney, with less chances of kidney disease later on. And with better technology in the field like robotic surgery, we can do it with complication rate equaling total removal of the kidney.
Not all tumors are good for a nephron sparing surgery. So if you have a tumor in the kidney, do ask your urologist if “nephron sparing surgery” is an option for you.