Partial or full kidney removal

Trenna Member Posts: 3

Hi,  new here but not to cancer.   It's only 1-3 percent of survivors of Breast cancer get a totally different type.  As a precaution for breast cancer, you should probably know I had a double mastectomy although only the left breast was involved in the end.  Now I have kidney cancer in my left kidney.  Right kidney in good health.

I'm lucky, it's only 2cm but is in a difficult location nestled just above my renal vein.  Seems like a lot of blood vessels in the area too.

Lathroscopically - (with Robotic assist) is planned for April 24th unless I ask for open surgery.

My question is:  Would you go for a removal of the entire kidney?   The Doctor said that if he couldn't be sure of good left kidney function after trying a partial, he would remove entire kidney.  The big but is that if there were some cancer cells left behind, he wouldn't know for a week or so after full labs were finished.   What then?  They go back and take full kidney....not much interested in two surgeries.

With only 4 lymph nodes in my breast cancer, and long chemo and radiation,  I've been considered cancer free.  However, it scares me to have any part of the cancer that could spread anywhere.

Anyone had full kidney removal and problems in same area or with other kidney?   (I know that is more possible with larger and Stage 3 or 4 renal cancers of course)

Thanks for any experiences you might have had.



  • icemantoo
    icemantoo Member Posts: 3,360 Member
    No one right or wrong answer



    Since the main reason for a partial is to maintain kidney function, why not get a second opinion from a Nephropogist. In my day 15 and 1/2 years ago they yanked the whole kidney out and there was no partial option.



  • APny
    APny Member Posts: 1,995 Member
    Trenna, so sorry you're going

    Trenna, so sorry you're going through this again. I agree with Iceman; if possible, go for the partial. With a 2 cm tumor they could most likely get negative margins. All the best to you.

  • stub1969
    stub1969 Member Posts: 959 Member

    Welcome, Trenna.  Partial or full really is inconsequential compared to the trust you need to have in your surgeon.  If you don't trust him/her then search out a new one.  You have to go into surgery with the feeling of peace with your team.  Sure, you will have anxiety--we all do.  If you want to learn more about my journey, just click my "name".  Keep in touch and let us help you with questions you have.

    Good luck.


  • AnnissaP
    AnnissaP Member Posts: 632
    Yes, Stub is right. I was

    Yes, Stub is right. I was super uncomfortable with the 1st urologist I saw. When I went to the 2nd opinion all of my fears and worries dissapeared instantly. I knew I was being taken care of. I hope you get all the answers you need.

  • kiwi68
    kiwi68 Member Posts: 110
    Hi There

    Sorry to hear about your new thing to worry about and cope with.   I had a 4cm mass - in a good spot and a great urological surgeon.   He did a partial, manually and laproscopiacally, manually because that is the way he was trained.  with a small early find tumour such as yours,  I lost only 10% of my kidney, which is small enough to be almost nothing.  Full kidney function is a good thing.   The good news for me was it my mass  turned out to be benign.  A tumour that mimics RCC . Still had to come about, but the operation is considered curative, they don't usually happen again.   Apparently 10 to 20% can be of this kind. 

    You can disucss with the surgeon about getting 'all of it' how they will do that.  My guy had a specialist radiographer operating the camera's so that he was free to do all the surgery.  I don't know if that is normal - but when he told me he got someone in he made it sound like it wasn't always normal. 

    My limited understanding is that because of the involvement with the vein the surgeon needs to be very careful in removal of the tumour and it may be safer to reove the whole kidney.  Not fully informed about that though.