Mayo Clinic to try out new laparoscopic procedure for kidney removal

Scottsdale 28 January 2000An innovative surgery method has been performed at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Arizona to cut away a patient's diseased kidneys by means of laparoscopy. The pioneering technique just requires a small incision which allows the patient to recover much faster and leave the hospital sooner than before. Mayo Clinic Hospital constitutes the only medical centre in the region to offer this kind of procedure.


The groundbreaking surgical intervention is being referred to as laparoscopic nephrectomy. The diseased kidney is removed through a very small incision after a television camera has been attached to a fibre-optic tube. The surgical tools are inserted through tiny incisions as well, whereas the surgeon performs the operation while viewing a television monitor.

"This procedure is a major breakthrough in the removal of diseased kidneys", according to Dr. Paul Andrews, Mayo Clinic Scottsdale urologist. "Instead of making the usual 8- to 10-inch incision applied in the standard procedure, we can remove the kidney through an incision that is only 2-3 inches."

An important benefit of this less invasive procedure is the reduction of post-operative pain and recovery time for the patient. The patient's hospital stay is reduced by more than half. Previously, a patient needed five to seven days of recovery in the hospital, compared to only one or two days, at present. As a result, substantial financial savings can be made. In addition, a smaller scar leads to a better cosmetic appearance after surgery.

Laparoscopic kidney nephrectomy is particularly effective for the removal of non-functioning kidneys due to tumours, obstructions, cancer or alternative kidney diseases. The patients are extremely satisfied with the new surgery, and one recent patient commented that she was able to return home to a nearly normal lifestyle the day after surgery. Except from avoiding lifting heavy objects, she was able to play golf and assume her daily activities.

Mayo Clinic is a private group practice of medicine dedicated to providing diagnosis and treatment of patient illnesses through a systematic focus on individual patient needs. As such, Mayo provides comprehensive hospital and outpatient services at each of its major locations: Rochester, Minnesota; Jacksonville, Florida; and Scottsdale, Arizona.

At each site, clinical practice is closely integrated with advanced education and research programmes. Mayo Clinic Scottsdale offers health care in 65 medical and surgical specialities and programmes. Located on 274 acres, the Clinic's 250 physicians and more than 1900 support staff have served over 446.000 patients since its opening in 1987.

Mayo equally provides care at primary care practices located throughout the Valley, and at the new Mayo Clinic Hospital. This hospital is located on 210 acres and offers inpatient care in order to support the medical and surgical specialities of the Clinic. The hospital has 178 licensed beds and employs a support staff of 1000.

Leslie Versweyveld

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