Kidney function is vital because your kidneys are your body’s main filtration system. Kidneys filter waste, excess fluid and electrolytes from your blood. They also can help maintain proper levels of minerals in your body and produce hormones that help regulate both blood pressure and the number of circulating red blood cells. In fact, your kidneys filter about a half cup of blood every minute, so they’re crucial to keeping your bones and body strong and healthy. If a significant problem comes along, though, a robotic partial nephrectomy could be the way to retain as much functioning kidney as possible.
A partial nephrectomy is a procedure in which the surgeon removes part of a kidney to treat disease, cancer or injury. This minimally-invasive surgery spares as much kidney as possible by using robotic arms to remove only the affected tissue. A robotic partial nephrectomy is performed by making small incisions, generally only around 3/4 of an inch in the abdomen, so that the robotic surgical equipment and camera can be inserted. This technology allows the surgeon to access harder-to-reach areas of the body and move very precisely during the surgery.
Robotic partial nephrectomy also uses high-definition 3D magnifications to give clearer detail of the surgical area. The four mechanically precise robotic hands act as the surgeon’s arms. “Robotic surgery is simply using an instrument in surgery that assists us in taking better care of people. We actually sit next to you, looking at a 3D camera image as we move the instruments. I’ve been doing that for about 20 years.” Dr. Peter Sershon, board-certified and Mayo Clinic-trained urologist with Blount Memorial Physicians Group – Urology, explained.
The goal for this type of surgery is to restore function and improve quality of life for the patient. This procedure means faster recovery times for patients, less pain, fewer medications, less scarring and less blood loss during surgery. In addition to partial nephrectomies, the robotic surgery program can be used to treat cancer by removing tumors in hard to reach or tight areas, and complicated bladder and kidney reconstructions. “This hospital has an excellent robotic surgery program, and we can do more detailed and complex operations. Blount Memorial Hospital has state-of-the-art equipment and people in the operating room with a tremendous amount of experience, and it makes these procedures very easy to do here,” Sershon added.
In addition to robotic surgeries, the team at Blount Memorial Physicians Group – Urology is trained to diagnose and treat all urologic conditions. Some chronic conditions need to be managed; some conditions can be cured. “People tend to delay coming in for urological problems, but if you have leaking urine, blood in the urine or are having trouble emptying your bladder, it’s time to come in. Coming in early means we can start treatment at an earlier stage. A lot of cancers are curative. We can fix a lot of problems that people come in with,” Sershon said.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Blount Memorial Physicians Group – Urology at 865-980-5260.