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Urinary Tract Cancers

Ultrasound After Partial Nephrectomy

08/25/2009

Question:

Hello, In March 2009, my mother underwent a partial nephrectomy to remove a tumor (approx 3.75 cm) on her left kidney. The tumor was initially being monitored for approx 3 years, when it was originally found on ultrasound following unfavourable kidney function tests. The decision to remove the tumor was made after it had grown from 2.7 to 3.7cm in a 12 month period. The pathology report said the tumor was fully encapsulated, with smooth edges. The tissue removed that surrounded the tumor was free of any cancer. It was staged as 1 and a grade 2. This week my mother underwent a follow up ultrasound. The radiologist documented seeing some scar tissue, and saw something on the cortex of the kidney (my terms may be off). The urologist explained that this was the area from which he had removed part of her kidney. The radiologist, in his report, noted that what was seen on ultrasound favors scar tissue, but to rule out possible recurrence in the same spot - he recommended a CT scan.

My question: what is the likelihood that there could be a recurrence in the same kidney, at the same location of the nephrectomy? We are petrified that something has returned. How likely is it that this is just scar tissue picked up on ultrasound? We are waiting for the hospital to book the CT scan.

Thank you.

Answer:

The likelihood is high that what was seen is scar tissue. I do agree with the CT scan however. Local recurrence in that area is low.

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Response by:

Thomas  Olencki, DO Thomas Olencki, DO
Clinical Professor of Medical Oncology
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University