Personally performed operations (as of 2019): 794
Every healthy human has two kidneys. They have multiple responsiblities, most importantly the regulation of the water and electrolyte balance and the excretion of metabolic end products and toxic substances through the urine.
Moreover, the kidney produces crucial hormones. Unlike the liver, it does not possess regenerative abilities.
Surgery of the kidney is mostly necessary because of tumors, which have either formed primarily in the kidney or (in rarer instances) through metastasis, meaning the scattering of malignant cells of tumors in other organs. Most of the tumors originating in the kidneys themselves are malignant. While in the past the complete removal of the affected kidney was standard procedure, nowadays a organ-preserving operation is possible in most of the cases, by removing only the tumor with a slim rim of surrounding tissue. This kind of surgery is mostly performed with the Da Vinci Surgical System.
In very complex cases, if there is only one kidney or if kidney function is impaired, the preservation of kidney functionality is crucial to avoid dialysis. In those cases, an open operation in cold ischemia (reduction of blood flow) is favoured over the minimally invasive operation with the Da Vinci method.