Mayo Clinic's approach

Experts discuss complex kidney tumor cases at a tumor board meeting.

Mayo Clinic experts discuss complex kidney tumor cases at a tumor board meeting to determine the best approach for each patient.

Experience in complex cases

Mayo is in the forefront of quality care and research for patients with complex large renal masses. Mayo's highly specialized and experienced surgical teams are able to perform complex nephrectomies in circumstances where others have considered the tumor to be unremovable.

Urologists maximize outcomes in these complex cases using a team approach with the most expert medical, surgical, technical and other types of support that modern medicine can offer. This ensures that each patient receives the highest quality care and the best outcome.

Kidney-sparing surgery

At Mayo Clinic, urologic surgeons are leaders in kidney-sparing surgery (partial nephrectomy) approaches. Highly trained and experienced experts can accomplish kidney preservation in circumstances that otherwise might cause a patient to have severely limited kidney function or the need for dialysis.

Urologists use advanced surgical techniques to offer robot-assisted options and open surgery for partial nephrectomy. Mayo Clinic experience and surgical specialization results in excellent outcomes and minimizes potential complications.

Mayo urologic surgeons perform a nephrectomy.

Highly skilled Mayo Clinic urologic surgeons have performed thousands of nephrectomies over the years, with excellent outcomes.

Unparalleled expertise

Nephrectomies at Mayo Clinic are always performed by urologic surgeons with specialized training and expertise who do large numbers of these procedures. In pediatric patients, pediatric urologists with specialized training and experience working with children perform nephrectomies.

Innovation and extensive experience

For over 150 years, Mayo Clinic has been a leader in surgical techniques and clinical care of patients who need kidney surgery. In addition, Mayo Clinic urologists recognize when surgery may not be needed, taking into account patient preferences. In some instances, for example, the recommendation may be active surveillance: observe for a specified time and follow up with scans.

Research leader

Mayo Clinic urologists are international leaders in innovation and research on surgical and nonsurgical management of kidney tumors. Mayo Clinic researchers have improved the chances of cure, extended survival for patients who can't be cured, improved quality of life and minimized the impact of treatment for patients worldwide.

Ongoing clinical trials at Mayo Clinic continue to lead to improved patient outcomes and a higher standard of care.

Related video

A grateful patient with kidney cancer explains his Mayo Clinic experience, from confirmation of a large tumor on his right kidney to surgical removal of the kidney (nephrectomy) and follow-up care.

Expertise and rankings

Mayo urologic surgeons perform a partial nephrectomy.

Highly skilled urologic surgeons at Mayo Clinic use the latest techniques and technology, with a focus on kidney-sparing surgery (partial nephrectomy) whenever possible.

  • Experts in nephrectomy surgery. Mayo Clinic urologic surgeons have extensive expertise in treating all types of kidney tumors, from simple to large complex tumors, as well as advanced cancer that has spread. All Mayo surgeons who perform renal tumor surgery nephrectomy have training in urologic oncology or minimally invasive surgery or both. Urologic surgeons help determine when surgery is required and use a team approach in performing surgery on complex tumors that may be deemed impossible to surgically remove at other facilities.
  • Latest technology. Mayo Clinic urologic surgeons are highly skilled in the latest techniques and technology, such as minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery and robotic surgery and the most advanced open techniques. Mayo's surgeons utilize advanced imaging techniques and are experimenting with 3-D modeling and other innovations to improve surgical precision and surgery outcomes.
  • Excellent outcomes. Mayo Clinic offers low nephrectomy complication rates with short hospital stays and the best outcomes for our patients. Mayo's urologic surgeons showed early on that, in appropriately selected cancer cases, partial nephrectomy outcome can be just as good as radical nephrectomy. Partial nephrectomy preserves kidney function and aids in prevention of complications.

Nationally recognized expertise

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., are ranked among the Best Hospitals for urology by U.S. News & World report. Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., is ranked highly performing for urology by U.S. News & World Report.

Mayo Clinic uses a team approach.

Mayo Clinic is known for its team approach to planning to help ensure the best outcomes for patients.

Locations, travel and lodging

Mayo Clinic has major campuses in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona; Jacksonville, Florida; and Rochester, Minnesota. The Mayo Clinic Health System has dozens of locations in several states.

For more information on visiting Mayo Clinic, choose your location below:

Costs and insurance

Mayo Clinic works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people.

In most cases, Mayo Clinic doesn't require a physician referral. Some insurers require referrals, or may have additional requirements for certain medical care. All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.

Learn more about appointments at Mayo Clinic.

Please contact your insurance company to verify medical coverage and to obtain any needed authorization prior to your visit. Often, your insurer's customer service number is printed on the back of your insurance card.

Clinical trials

Explore Mayo Clinic studies testing new treatments, interventions and tests as a means to prevent, detect, treat or manage this disease.

March 28, 2018
References
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  2. Leibovich BC (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 8, 2017.
  3. Renal cell carcinoma. Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/genitourinary-disorders/genitourinary-cancer/renal-cell-carcinoma. Accessed March 16, 2017.
  4. AskMayoExpert. Wilms tumor. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2016.
  5. AskMayoExpert. Partial nephrectomy. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2016.
  6. Richie JP. Definitive surgical management of renal cell carcinoma. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 16, 2017.
  7. Richie JP, et al. Role of surgery in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 16, 2017.
  8. Tan HJ, et al. Long-term survival following partial vs. radical nephrectomy among older patients with early-stage kidney cancer. JAMA. 2012;307:1629.
  9. Abaza R, et al. Multi-institutional experience with robotic nephrectomy with inferior vena cava tumor thrombectomy. The Journal of Urology. 2016;195:865.
  10. Stewart-Merrill SB, et al. Oncologic surveillance after surgical resection for renal cell carcinoma: A novel risk-based approach. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2015;33:4151.
  11. Kim SP, et al. Approach to the small renal mass: To treat or not to treat. Urologic Clinics of North America. 2012;39:171.
  12. Patton MW, et al. Robot-assisted partial nephrectomy for complex renal masses. Journal of Robotic Surgery. 2016;10:27.
  13. Zaid HB, et al. Outcomes following complete surgical metastasectomy for patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma: A systematic review and meta-analysis. The Journal of Urology. 2017;197:44.
  14. Your kidneys and how they work. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/kidneys-how-they-work. Accessed May 10, 2017.
  15. Solitary kidney. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/solitary-kidney. Accessed May 10, 2017.

Nephrectomy (kidney removal)