Combined colon and kidney surgery using single-incision laparoscopy
21 April 2010
Surgeons at the University of California, San Diego School of
Medicine have carried out a single-incision laparoscopy to perform
a combined colectomy and kidney-preserving therapy.
During the procedure, tumours were removed from the patient’s kidney
and colon, and the colon was partially removed and reconstructed.
Pioneers in minimally invasive surgery, UC San Diego Medical
Center’s team of urologic and colorectal surgeons now use this novel
micro-incision approach to combine multiple procedures into one
operating room visit.
“Traditionally, these procedures are performed in separate
operations,” said Elisabeth C. McLemore, MD, colorectal surgeon at
UC San Diego Medical Center and Moores UCSD Cancer Center. “To do
what’s best for the patient, we have integrated our approach so that
the patient can benefit from multiple procedures with one small
incision. This means less pain, a quicker recovery and a better
During the four-hour procedure, surgeons immobilized the small
intestine, colon and kidney. Cryotherapy was performed to freeze and
destroy a 2.5 cm kidney mass. The section of diseased colon was then
removed and reconstructed. The entire procedure was performed with
one incision in the belly button through which tools and cameras
were passed and diseased tissue removed. The patient, who suffers
from congestive heart failure and high blood pressure, reported a
post-surgery pain score of one on a scale of 1 to 10.
“With our broad experience in single-incision laparoscopic
surgeries, we can offer patients with complex medical problems an
innovative approach that requires fewer incisions,” said Ithaar
Derweesh, MD, urologic oncologist at UC San Diego Medical Center and
Moores UCSD Cancer Center. “While multi-incision laparoscopy confers
significant benefits over open surgery, reducing the number of
incisions to one may decrease potential complications and accelerate
Derweesh, a pioneer in single-incision surgery, is currently
researching the benefits of minimally invasive techniques for kidney
surgery through the UC San Diego Center for the Future of Surgery.
He was the first surgeon in California to perform both complete and
partial nephrectomies with a single incision and now has a robust
practice offering both. McLemore, the most recent member of the
Center, is developing minimally invasive techniques for colorectal
cancer and inflammatory bowel disease.