Surgeons at University of Rochester Medical Center in New York state, US, have become the first in the country to use a new infrared imaging technique combined with robot-assisted surgery to remove kidney cancer.

The technology, which combines a fluorescent imaging system and a surgical console in one system, was used in a partial nephrectomy at Strong Memorial Hospital.

The multimodal imaging enables the surgeons to switch their attention from images to surgical tools without stepping away from the console.

The study results showed that in 11 patients, the kidney tumours and surrounding renal arteries were clearly identified, and malignant tissue was differentiated from normal tissue.

Dragan Golijanin MD, who led the team, said that the combination of new and existing technology provides the option of minimally invasive surgery and preserves kidney function in a greater percentage of patients.