Surgeons use robot and dye to remove tumor - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Surgeons use robot and dye to remove tumor

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler today became the region's first hospital to use robotics to treat renal tumors.

Hope Kidwell, 75, of Mount Pleasant had a kidney tumor removed with the help of a surgical robot that uses state of the art technology.

"We're using immunofluorescence, which actually lights up the kidney," said Trinity Clinic's Chief of Urology Dr. Andrew Kirkpatrick. "It lights up the vessels that go to the tumor and lights up the tumor a different color so it allows us to selectively remove that tumor without injuring the rest of the kidney."

During Kidwell's surgery, her body was injected with the immunofluorescence dye. Her organs turned one shade of green and the tumor turned another shade of green, allowing Dr. Kirkpatrick and his staff to see the tumor better and remove it more precisely.

Only three hospitals in the state offer robotic surgeries using immunofluorescence. Trinity Mother Frances Hospital is the first in East Texas. It has been performing robotic surgeries on hearts and for prostatectomies since 2004.

Dr. Kirkpatrick considers the robotic surgery to be far better for the patient, in terms of recovery.

"The best part about it is we're doing it robotically, so the largest incision is going to be about one inch. So that translates into a better outcome for the patient," said Dr. Kirkpatrick.

Kidwell is only expected to remain in the hospital for two or three days, as opposed to the usual five days that comes with more invasive surgeries. She should be fully recovered in about 14 days.

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