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Spokane Urology at Forefront of Kidney Cancer Treatment

Aimee Sharp
Author | Shield HealthCare
05/30/17  12:43 PM PST
Kidney Cancer Treatment

By Kevin Blocker for the Spokane Journal

With offices on the lower South Hill and North Spokane, urologists at Spokane Urology are blowing away the national average for using robotics technology to remove tumors and cancerous portions from kidneys, claims one of the practice’s six managing partners.

Dr. Levi Deters says being able to allow patients to continue having the function of both kidneys more effectively contributes to their overall long-term health.

“It’s straightforward to remove a kidney; it’s harder to remove part of a kidney,” says Deters, who also serves as a clinical professor for both the Washington State University Elson S. Floyd School of Medicine and the University of Washington School of Medicine.

The most common method for treating kidney cancer is to remove the affected kidney. However, at Spokane Urology, doctors perform what’s called a robotic-assisted, laparoscopic, partial nephrectomy on 65 percent of its patients with kidney cancer. By comparison, the nationwide average for such a surgery is just 20 percent, says Deters, citing a 2013 Journal of Urology report.

Instead of having to make the foot-long incision in a patient that’s required to remove a kidney, a laparoscopic surgery requires only a one- to two-inch incision, Deters says.

The doctor has a three-dimensional view of the patient’s interior while sitting at a console five feet away from the patient and manipulates the robot’s arms from there.

“Urologists have long suffered c-spine and other back injuries from years of surgery standing over patients,” Deters says. “The laparoscope is less invasive to the patient, and better on the health of the doctor who now has a better view of the kidney and can sit down to manipulate the robot. The robot has dexterity and a range of motion similar to your hands.”

The procedure typically enables patients to avoid chemotherapy and radiation altogether, Deters says.

Read the Full Article at the Spokane Journal.

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