Advance works wonders

TECHNOLOGY used in Australia for the first time at Westmead Private Hospital is helping sufferers of kidney cancer.

Urologist Howard Lau performed the country's first partial nephrectomy using robotic technology with Firefly imaging recently.

The procedure removes tumours from the kidneys. Surgeons can better assess the tumour and leave the remaining healthy kidney tissue.

About 3000 people were diagnosed with kidney cancer in Australia last year, making it one of the top 10 most common cancers.

Doctor Howard Lau recently performed the minimally invasive surgery using the da Vinci Si Robotic Surgical System with Firefly.

The [technology used] is ideally suited to the delicate cutting and stitching required in this surgery," Dr Lau said.

"There are a number of advantages to the patient including less surgical trauma, less blood loss and a faster recovery time."

The Firefly technology uses infrared imaging to to show the difference between cancerous and healthy tissue, as well as the tumour's blood supply.

A spokeswoman for Westmead Private Hospital said the technology means surgeons can more accurately remove tumours and leave the healthy tissue in place and potentially lower the risk of leaving a cancer behind.

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