Sean Connery Kidney Surgery
Although none of the editors of Insidesurgery.com are participating in the care of Sean Connery, we have read with interest the news reports today of his recent surgery in New York for a kidney tumor. As benign tumors of the kidney are rare this is most worrisome for renal cell carcinoma, a highly malignant
cancer. It spreads readily to the opposite kidney, vena cava, and bones.
Reports have Connery saying that he was “opened in five places”. This almost certainly means that he had his kidney removed laparoscopically. This is a common procedure for removal of the kidney and is the preferred method of removing kidney’s for living related kidney transplanation.
According to Michael J. Moritz, MD, Chief of Transplant Services at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown, Pennsylvania this procedure is performed through 4 1 cm or less “working incisions” that the surgical instruments are placed through and one larger incision either on the flank or a “bikini line” or Pfannenstiel incision on the lower abdomen that the kidney is removed through. According to Moritz, who performs laparoscopic nephrectomy or kidney removal but who did not participate in Connery’s care, “For a movie star, cosmesis and the shorter recovery from a Pfannenstiel (bikini line incision) probably play a role.” Because 4 of the 5 incisions are 1 cm or less, patients have a faster recovery time than when the traditional flank incisions are used.
Disclosure: Dr. Moritz and the author of this article are former colleagues at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and co-editors of Avoiding Common Surgical Errors.
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