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How is surgery used to treat kidney cancer?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Surgery is the most common treatment for kidney cancer. The type of surgery used depends on the location and severity of the cancer. If the tumor is small, doctors may remove only the tumor and a small portion of the surrounding tissue. If the tumor is larger, doctors may perform a nephrectomy, which is the removal of the whole kidney and some surrounding tissue. In some cases, it may also be necessary to remove the adrenal gland or nearby lymph nodes. Regardless of how much of the kidney is removed, surgery may be performed using one of two methods. Sometimes, surgery may be an open operation, which involves making a large cut to access the kidney. In other cases, surgeons may choose to perform the surgery laparoscopically, which involves inserting a camera and small tools through several tiny incisions and accessing the kidney that way.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.