What is Angiomyolipoma (AML)?
It is the most common benign tumor of the kidney, consisting of fat, muscle and vascular structures. It is 4 times more common in women. They generally do not spread elsewhere. When their size increases (greater than 4 cm), they can bleed spontaneously. While small-sized AMLs are followed, surgery or embolization (occlusion-closure of the vessels in the mass with drugs by angio) is performed for larger-sized AMLs.
What Symptoms Do Kidney Tumors Give?
Kidney tumors are usually detected by ultrasound or tomography performed for another reason. The patients do not have any complaints in the early stages. As the disease progresses, they cause some complaints:
- Bleeding in the urine (visible or detected by urinalysis)
- Abdominal bloating
- Loss of appetite - fatigue - weight loss
- flank pain
- anemia, pallor
- swelling in the legs
How is Kidney Cancer Diagnosed?
More detailed investigations should be performed in patients who are found to have a mass in the kidney during the investigation of their complaints or incidentally by ultrasound. For this purpose, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) or medicated tomography (contrast-enhanced CT) is taken.
In patients with kidney cancer, lung (thorax) tomography is also taken due to the possibility of spreading. With these imaging methods, information is obtained about the size of the mass, its location, its relationship with the main vessels and urinary canals, whether it has spread to another place or to neighboring organs (spleen, liver, pancreas, adrenal gland or lymph nodes), and the structure of the mass. Staging is also done with imaging methods, but tomography or MRI cannot definitively differentiate the mass from benign or malignant.
Definitive distinction of the tumor as benign or malignant is possible only by pathological examination of the surgically removed mass.
Kidney Cancer Treatment
The main treatment for kidney tumors is surgery. The basic principle is to remove the tumorous kidney tissue and to protect the healthy and non-cancerous kidney tissue. This surgery is called partial nephrectomy, that is, removal of tumor kidney tissue. Unfortunately, we perform radical nephrectomy surgery, in which the kidney is removed together with the fatty tissue around it, in tumors that have grown excessively, have involved the renal vessels, and are numerous in the kidney.
Partial or radical nephrectomy surgery can be performed with open or closed (laparoscopic or robotic) methods. Laparoscopic and Robotic surgery provides advantages such as shorter hospital stay, less painkiller use, faster return to work and social life, and less scarring compared to open surgery. Laparoscopic radical nephrectomy is currently accepted as the standard treatment.
Chemotherapy can be applied in kidney tumors that are not suitable for surgery or metastatic (spread to distant organs).
Tumors originating from the cells lining the urinary tract in the kidney (transitional-transitional cell) are called collecting system tumors (transitional cell carcinoma). In the treatment of these tumors, the connection of the kidney, urinary canal (ureter) and urinary canal to the bladder (urinary bladder) is surgically removed. This surgery is called radical nephro-ureterectomy.
How is Post-Operation Follow-up Performed?
As a result of the pathological examination of the tissue removed after the operation, the type, type, stage and grade of the tumor are revealed. Our patients are followed up at regular intervals with blood and imaging methods such as CT / MRI / USG, guided by these pathology results.