Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Firefly technology lights up more precise kidney sparing surgery

Date:
June 5, 2012
Source:
MedStar Georgetown University Hospital
Summary:
During kidney surgery, Firefly fluorescence used with the da Vinci robot lights up in "firefly green" the blood supply to the kidney and helps differentiate cancerous from healthy tissue. More patients can keep the healthy part of their kidney rather than losing the entire organ.

A surgical technology called Firefly is shedding new light on kidney cancers and helping doctors at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital remove tumors more safely and more efficiently while sparing the rest of the healthy kidney.

"The addition of Firefly fluorescence during robotic surgery improves our ability to remove kidney tumors when before we might have had to remove the whole kidney," said Keith Kowalczyk, MD, urologist and robotic surgeon. "Firefly, which essentially utilizes a dye that lights up in "firefly green" when using a specialized fluoroscopic camera, can show us the difference between cancerous and healthy tissue and helps us see the blood supply to the tumor. It lights up parts of the kidney and its blood supply we couldn't see this well before."

This new innovation uses the minimally-invasive precision of the da Vinci Surgical System, and adds the second component of Firefly fluorescence imaging. MedStar Georgetown is one of the first hospitals in the DC region to use this new technology.

When Eugene Carter of Washington, D.C. was diagnosed with kidney cancer, the decision to have robotic surgery by Dr. Kowalczyk while utilizing fluorescence imaging seemed the obvious choice.

"I'm 70, and with advanced age the hazards of surgery can increase, so I wanted the least invasive surgery possible," explained Mr. Carter. "The robotics provide more steadiness and precision, and I wanted my surgeon to be as steady and as precise as possible. It seems to me this is just a much wiser system."

How does it work? The Firefly technology uses near-infrared imaging to detect an injected tracer dye of indocyanine green (ICG) in the blood.

During surgery, urologists use the Firefly system at three different stages of the procedure. The first injection of the dye into the IV by the anesthesiologist gives a detailed picture of the blood supply to the kidney.

"Up to 25-percent of patients might have extra renal arteries that are not always obvious on a CT scan or MRI, so the Firefly can help us see these arteries. This helps us ensure that all of the blood supply to the kidney is accounted for and controlled prior to the removal of the tumor, and can therefore decrease blood loss," explained Dr. Kowalczyk.

The second injection of dye helps the surgeon differentiate between the cancerous tissue and the normal kidney tissue, which can allow for better tumor removal and potentially a lower risk of leaving any cancer behind. Finally, after the tumor has been removed and the kidney has been repaired, the dye can again be injected again to ensure that the blood supply to the kidney has been properly restored.

Besides the known benefits of robotic minimally-invasive surgery -- including smaller incisions, less blood loss, less postoperative pain, shorter hospital stays, and earlier returns to work -- the addition of the Firefly system can improve patient outcomes even further.

"Additionally, the ability to better distinguish between tumor tissue and normal kidney tissue may lead to a lower risk of leaving any tumor behind, and therefore better long-term cancer control," said Dr. Kowalczyk.

According to the American Cancer Society, kidney cancer is among the 10 most common cancers among both men and women. The ACS estimates that about 64,770 new cases of kidney cancer will occur in 2012, and about 13,570 people will die from the disease.

"I'm so glad I was able to keep my kidney," said Mr. Carter. "Without this new system, my kidney might not have been able to be saved."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. "New Firefly technology lights up more precise kidney sparing surgery." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 June 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120605143424.htm>.
MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. (2012, June 5). New Firefly technology lights up more precise kidney sparing surgery. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120605143424.htm
MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. "New Firefly technology lights up more precise kidney sparing surgery." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120605143424.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Newsy (July 31, 2014) Citing 81 previous studies, new research out of London suggests the benefits of smoking e-cigarettes instead of regular ones outweighs the risks. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins