Sep 27, 2010 - 7:45 pm
As happens with so many people, I discovered I had a small renal mass during an ultrasound being conducted for other reasons entirely. My local doctor advised me, after an additional CT scan and an MRI, that the chances of it being cancerous were 90% and it needed to be removed.
This was three years ago. The mass was 2.1 cm, had several internal septations, and very slight enhancement in one area. It was considered a complex cyst.
I went to Mayo for a second opinion. The doctor there would not even consider surgery at that point. He felt the MRI was too indefinite to make a decision and that waiting wouldn't hurt.
Well, three years and five more MRIs later, the only thing that has changed is the size. The cyst is now 2.7 cm. Enhancement is minimal to none, but the septations remain. Recent MRIs say the septations could also be "debris."
The doctor is now recommending surgery, if not immediately (in a couple of weeks!), then within six to nine months. He believes MRIs will not give a definitive answer, and surgery is the only way to determine whether this is cancerous. Given the growth in size, he's less content to continue monitoring via MRIs.
He would do a laparoscopic partial nephrectomy.
I'm wondering whether other people have been in this situation of not knowing exactly what the renal mass is and considering whether to have surgery, when it may be nothing at all, other than an incidentally found mass? Have you had surgery? Are you glad that you did? How was the recovery? And were there unexpected complications?
Thanks for any insights anyone is willing to share!