Việt Nam uses robot surgery for first time on kidney cancer patient

Wednesday, 15/05/2019, 10:29 GMT+7

HCM CITY— Doctors at Bình Dân Hospital in HCM City used a robot to assist surgery in late April to remove a cancerous tumour from a 70-year-old Vietnamese woman from Tiền Giang Province in the Mekong Delta.

The tumour was removed by the retroperitoneal route because it avoided harm to her abdominal organs and reduced risks for gut paralysis. The woman had previously had an ovariotomy and cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal), and surgery to remove her appendix and a uterine fibroid.

The patient also had diabetes and hepatitis C.

The hospital’s doctor spoke to the patient’s relatives about robot-assisted procedures as well as traditionally open and laparoscopic surgeries. The family chose the robotic surgery because it was the best solution to avoid complications since the doctors did not have to open the peritonaeum.

Surgery that uses robots is less invasive and uses smaller incisions than normal surgical methods. It reduces pain, bleeding, infections and the length of hospital stay.

With manoeuverable wrists rotating through 540 degrees and a 3-D camera providing a view of healthy and suspicious tissues, the doctors were able to view kidney structures and more precisely operate and remove the cancerous tumour on her right kidney.

Dr Đỗ Lệnh Hùng of the hospital, who performed the two-hour surgery on April 23, said it was difficult surgery because of the need to master the technique of using a robot.

The patient was discharged from the hospital and is currently recovering at home.

Kidney cancer is the ninth most commonly occurring cancer in men and the 14th most common cancer in women. There were over 400,000 new cases in 2018, according to the non-profit organisation World Cancer Research Fund International, a network of cancer prevention charities with a global reach.

The average age of patients when they are diagnosed is 64, according to the American Cancer Society. Kidney cancer is very uncommon in people younger than age 45.

Overall, the lifetime risk for developing kidney cancer in men is about 1 in 48. The lifetime risk for women is 1 in 83.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer’s 2018 GLOBOCAN report showed that Việt Nam had 2,394 new incidences of kidney cancer, including 1,326 deaths. — VNS