About the Kidneys and Kidney Surgery
The kidneys are two small fist-sized organs located behind the abdomen on each side of the spine. By producing urine, kidneys remove toxic by-products and excess fluids from the body to help maintain a critical balance of salt, potassium and acid.
Each year, kidney cancer is diagnosed in about 190,000 people worldwide. Kidney cancer is slightly more common in men and is usually diagnosed between the ages of 50 and 70 years. It is important to realize that with early diagnosis and treatment, kidney cancer can be cured. In fact, if found early, the survival rate ranges from 79 to 100 percent.
A kidney tumor is an abnormal growth in the kidney. The terms “mass,” “lesion” and “tumor” are often used interchangeably. Tumors may be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). The most common kidney mass is a fluid-filled area called a cyst. Simple cysts are benign, do not turn into cancer and usually do not require follow-up care. Solid kidney tumors can be benign, but are cancerous more than 90 percent of the time. Read more below about the different types of robotic-assisted kidney surgery.