Innovative kidney surgery treats cancer, while maintaining single kidney function

Cai Wenjun
An innovative surgery at Renji Hospital treated kidney cancer by taking out the sole remaining kidney, removing the cancer, and re-transplanting it, restoring proper function.
Cai Wenjun

A special kidney cancer surgery was reported successful in Renji Hospital, with doctors taking out the kidney, removing the cancer and then transplanting it back into the patient, maintaining his only remaining kidney.

The 70-year-old patient had his right kidney removed due to cancer 12 years ago. He has since focused attention on his left kidney and received regular checkups.

In June the patient found he had cancer in his remaining kidney, with the cancer already invading the veins. He toured urological centers in domestic hospitals, which all suggested the removal of the only kidney, while receiving regular dialysis. However, the patient wanted to keep the kidney, and maintain his quality of life.

Innovative kidney surgery treats cancer, while maintaining single kidney function
Ti Gong

Doctors from Renji Hospital remove the entire cancer from the patient's left kidney.

He finally received a positive answer from Renji Hospital, as Dr Huang Jiwei from its urology department said doctors could remove the entire cancer while protecting the surrounding tissues to the largest extent.

Doctors from different departments held detailed discussions and issued a plan to help keep the kidney.

"We developed an innovative measure – self kidney transplant. The entire process must be conducted quickly due to the limited time," said Dr Xue Wei, vice president of Renji. "It is a significant trial, as there is a large number of patients wanting to keep their kidney."

During the surgery, doctors removed the entire left kidney and put the kidney on the operation table to remove the cancer within 15 minutes and then quickly transplanted it back.

The patient's kidney function has since recovered to pre-surgery level. Which means the innovative operation was a success, doctors said.

There are 75,000 cases of kidney cancer reported in the nation each year, with 27,000 deaths annually.

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