It's been a little over a year since I first wrote here about our revolutionary FAST partial nephrectomy procedure, where steps usually performed by a surgical assistant are now incorporated into the robotic process – and I now have even more exciting news to share!
In a study published in the Journal of Endourology (June 2012), my colleagues and I confirmed that FAST – which, as you may recall, stands for "first assistant sparing technique" – reduces the time in which the kidney is without blood flow (called the "warm ischemia time") by almost 25 percent. In fact, we were able to cut warm ischemia time to an average of 15 minutes for most tumor surgery, and 18 minutes for more complicated tumors. So not only does FAST achieve the same results as standard robotic partial nephrectomy surgery, but it takes much less time – regardless of the tumor size, location, or complexity.
What does this mean for you or your loved one? Since blood flow is cut off from the kidney for less time using FAST, it's better for the patient, better for recovery, and achieves the same result: cancer removal.
We're constantly trying to improve what we're doing and hope to continue to further refine our surgery offerings going forward. Another advancement in this procedure is the use of immunofluorescence imaging during FAST partial nephrectomy. This allows us to perform "selective arterial clamping," which means that we can identify and isolate only the smaller artery that feeds the tumor and maintain blood flow to the rest of the kidney during the surgery. In these instances, there is ZERO warm ischemia time! Our ability to perform this technique is based on tumor location and some other factors, and during review of the CT or MRI, we can make that determination.
Don't hesitate to contact me at (212) 305-9722 if you have more questions about FAST robotic partial nephrectomy or are considering whether it’s the right procedure for you or someone close to you.