First reports of robotic surgery for advanced vena cava tumor thrombus due to kidney cancer

Surgery is required when cancer of the kidney causes a Level III thrombus, or clot, to develop in the major vein leading back to the heart. Traditionally this complicated procedure, inferior vena cava (IVC) thrombectomy, is performed using a large open incision, primarily because the vein is often difficult to reach. In a new article, a team of surgeons describe the first cases in which this procedure has been successfully performed robotically, using only seven small incisions and four robotic tools.