Mayo Clinic's approach

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.

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.

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Expertise and rankings

  • 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, Minnesota, is ranked No. 1 for urology in the U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals rankings. Mayo Clinic in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona, is ranked among the Best Hospitals in the nation and Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, is ranked highly performing for urology by U.S. News & World Report. Mayo Clinic Children's Center in Rochester is ranked the No. 1 hospital in Minnesota, and the five-state region of Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin, according to U.S. News & World Report's 2022–2023 "Best Children's Hospitals" rankings.

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.