Renal cancer is the disease in which certain tissues of the kidney starts to grow uncontrollably and form a tumor.

It is also called as renal adenocarcinoma or hypernephroma.

Classic triad of symptoms are flank pain, palpable abdominal mass and gross hematuria.

Surgical Intervention

  • The preferred treatment for renal cell carcinoma
  • The choice of surgical procedure depends on the extent of the disease, as well as patient-specific factors such as age & comorbidity
  • May be carried out through a conventional approach or by a minimally-invasive approach

Partial Nephrectomy or Nephron-Sparing Surgery (NSS)

  • Indicated in patients w/ solitary kidney, one kidney w/ contralateral renal function & bilateral synchronousrenal cell carcinoma (RCC)
  • Used for patients w/ small unilateral tumors
  • Only the diseased or injured portion of the kidney is removed
  • Contraindicated in patients w/ confirmed nodal metastases

Radical Nephrectomy

  • The most widely used approach & the preferred procedure if there is evidence of invasion into the adrenal gland,renal vein or perinephric fat
  • Involves the removal of the entire kidney along w/ a section of the tube leading to the bladder, ureter, adrenalgland & fatty tissues surrounding the kidney

Other Procedures


  • Considered in patients w/ large upper pole tumors or abnormal-appearing adrenal glands on
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan & must be decided on an individual basis


  • Indicated for <3 cm solitary renal tumor located away from the collecting system

Cytoreductive or Debulking Nephrectomy

  • Mostly involves the removal of the primary tumor from the kidney
  • Recommended in patients w/ good performance preceding systemic therapy

Radiofrequency Ablation

  • An alternative treatment in patients w/ contraindications to nephrectomy, Von Hippel-Lindau disease & unfit elderly patients
  • Creates molecular friction, denaturation of cellular proteins & cell membrane disintegration
  • Heat-based tissue destruction w/ a high-frequency electrical current (400 to 500 kHz)


  • The lungs, bones, brain & liver are the most common sites of metastasis
  • Done in conjunction w/ radical nephrectomy but may also be performed following a relapse after surgery

Risks & side effects of surgery

  • Short-term risks includes reactions to anesthesia, excess bleeding (may require blood transfusions), blood clots & infections
  • Damage to internal organs & blood vessels (spleen, pancreas, aorta, vena cava, large or small bowel) during surgery
  • Leakage of urine into the abdomen (after partial nephrectomy)
  • Kidney failure (if the remaining kidney fails to function well)
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