Jefferson Urologists Perform Kidney Surgery That Reduces Recovery Time
Urologists at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson are using a technique called hand-assisted laparoscopic nephrectomy to treat patients with inflamed, infected kidneys and kidney tumors. The procedure, being performed in a handful of centers across the country, is less invasive and can reduce the length of hospital and recovery time for patients. Using this technique, physicians can perform the surgical procedure through a much smaller incision than normal in the abdomen about 8 cm as compared with a normal 25 cm incision. With such a small incision, a patient’s hospital stay can be shortened from four to five days to a total of two days.
Typically, a patient undergoing this type of procedure through conventional surgery could expect to be out of work for six to eight weeks. Even then, it would be three to four months before they feel fully recovered. But with the hand-assisted procedure, a patient can expect to be “back up to speed” within two weeks.
“The key to performing a laparoscopic nephrectomy is using the pneumosleeve, a plastic sheath that allows a physician to put his hand into the abdomen through the smaller incision,” explains said David E. McGinnis, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor of Urology, Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University, and Department of Urology, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. “Even with that small incision, we are able to take the whole kidney out intact, which is important in cancer surgery. The laparoscopic procedure, though more demanding than the traditional surgery, makes the procedure easier without increasing the risk of complications.”
Also performing this procedure at Jefferson are Stephen E. Strup, MD, Assistant Professor of Urology, and Leonard Gomella, MD, Bernard W. Godwin, Jr. Associate Professor of Urology, and Director of Urologic Oncology, Kimmel Cancer Center.