Robotic Kidney Cancer Surgery

Home Robotic Kidney Cancer Surgery

At Melbourne Urology Centre, our specialist urologists are experts in performing robotic kidney cancer surgery using the da Vinci robotic surgical system. The da Vinci surgical system was developed to enable the surgeon to perform procedures that are minimally invasive; this offers both the patient and the surgeon a number of potential benefits.

Doctors Shekib Shahbaz and Tony de Sousa of Melbourne Urology Centre are fully trained and highly experienced in performing robotic kidney cancer surgery. Every patient is treated with personal care and a highly individualized approach.

What is robotic kidney cancer surgery?

Robotic kidney cancer surgery involves the use of the da Vinci robotic equipment, which his highly specialized equipment that allows the surgeon to perform minimally-invasive surgical procedures through very small keyhole incisions.

The da Vinci robot is entirely under the control of the surgeon for the duration of the robotic kidney cancer surgery. There are three main components that make up the da Vinci system. These are:

  • The surgeon console: this is the place where your surgeon sits during the robotic kidney cancer surgery. From this position, the surgeon has a high-definition, 3-dimensional view of the patient’s internal anatomy. The surgeon controls the robotic instruments from here.
  • The patient cart: this part is positioned close to the operating table, and is where the robotic instruments move in response to the surgeon’s control, working in real time.
  • The vision cart: this part enables communication between the components of the da Vinci system, and it gives the surgical team a clear view of the procedure as it occurs.

When is robotic kidney cancer surgery indicated?

Surgery is the primary definitive kidney cancer treatment option for cancer that has not spread beyond the kidney. For cases where a partial nephrectomy is indicated, robotic kidney cancer surgery is sometimes offered as a safe and effective surgical option.

This type of robotic kidney cancer surgery (partial nephrectomy) is most commonly performed to remove small kidney cancers, usually those that are less than 4cm in diameter, or smaller. In some instances, slightly larger (5-7cm) tumours may also be removed using the robotic system, depending on their position on the kidney.

For patients with larger kidney tumours, partial nephrectomy and robotic kidney cancer surgery may not be a safe or feasible option, so for those patients, radical (complete) nephrectomy is often recommended. Your surgeon will discuss with you in great detail the most appropriate treatment option for your condition.

What happens during robotic kidney cancer surgery?

During robotic kidney cancer surgery for a partial nephrectomy, the surgeon uses the da Vinci robotic system to remove the affected part of the kidney. Healthy kidney tissue is left intact, preserving the function of the kidney .

Robotic kidney cancer surgery is performed under general anaesthesia. Hospital stay is usually 2-3 nights.

What are the benefits of robotic kidney cancer surgery?

Traditionally, surgeons needed to make large incisions in order to be able to visualize and access the area of concern in the patient; this type of surgery is referred to as ‘open surgery’. Many urological procedures can now be performed either laparoscopically, or for those that are appropriate, with the assistance of the da Vinci robotic surgery system.

Robotic kidney cancer surgery (partial nephrectomy) is often considered to be safer and more precise than traditional open surgery. When compared to traditional open surgical technique, or even when compared to conventional laparoscopic surgery, robotic surgery offers patients the following advantages:

  • A shorter operating time
  • Less blood loss
  • A shorter hospital stay
  • Faster recovery time
  • Less pain after surgery
  • Much smaller incisions, therefore less scarring.

Da Vinci robotic surgery also offers the surgeon some important advantages:

  • Magnified, high definition, 3D view inside the patient’s body
  • A greater range of movements, using very small and very precise instruments.

Is robotic kidney cancer surgery an appropriate choice for me?

This is something that your specialist urologist will discuss with you during your consultation. Your suitability for robotic kidney cancer surgery will be thoroughly assessed and determined based upon a number of factors.

For most patients requiring a partial nephrectomy, robotic kidney cancer surgery is a very safe and effective option that offers both the patient and the surgeon many practical benefits.

Melbourne Urology Centre are the experts in robotic kidney cancer surgery.

At Melbourne Urology Centre, our specialist urologists, Mr Shekib Shahbaz and Mr Tony de Sousa are highly experienced, fully trained and highly skilled in performing robotic kidney cancer surgery. Our staff are committed to providing patients a completely individualised service with a personal touch.

Should you have any questions regarding robotic kidney cancer surgery, please contact our clinic via the request form or by phoning 1300 702 811, to request an appointment with one of our specialist urologists.


Cancer Council Victoria, (2021), Kidney Cancer, [] accessed 19/03/2021.

Rogers, C. G., Singh, A., Blatt, A. M., Linehan, M., Pinto, P. A., (2008), Robotic partial nephrectomy for complex renal tumours: surgical technique, European Urology ,53(3), [] accessed 27/02/2021.

Yu, H. Y., Friedlander, D. F., Patel, S., Hu. J. C., (2012), The current status of robotic oncologic surgery, CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, 63(1), 45-56,[] accessed 09/02/2021.


Written by:

Mr Shekib Shahbaz and Mr Tony de Sousa

Request an Appointment

We are here to assist you before, during and after your visit to the Melbourne Urology Centre. To request an appointment, simply complete the form below and we will contact you within 48 hours to confirm your appointment with us. For urgent enquiries or consulations please contact us on 1300 702 811