Ground-breaking operation to cut out kidney tumor





BAHAMIAN urologist Dr Greggory Pinto and Bahamian interventional radiologist Dr Mikhail Higgins successfully conducted laparoscopic surgery at Doctors Hospital during a first-time collaboration for the removal of a kidney tumor that was larger than the kidney.

In a post-operative interview with The Tribune yesterday, Dr Pinto said the removal of the tumor on the left kidney of a 56-year-old woman was “minimally invasive”.

Although both Dr Pinto and Dr Higgins have performed this procedure numerous times, the embolisation of the left massive kidney cancerous tumor and partial left nephrectomy was the first of its kind locally.

As the country’s first board-certified fellowship-trained interventional radiologist, Dr Higgins performed the initial stages of the minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery.


THE TUMOR removed in the operation.

“So, what the interventional radiologist (Dr Higgins) does is the day before we surgically remove the left kidney tumor, they would minimally invasively embolise the blood supply while the patient is consciously sedated,” Dr Pinto said.

“They’ll do minimal access to the blood vessels going up even tiny coils and cut off the blood supply to the left kidney tumor. So, the very next day when I as a urologist take the patient for surgery to remove the kidney tumor, I don’t have to contend with the extensive blood supply and worry about blood loss and try to get access to numerous blood vessels,” he continued.

Dr Higgins’ work allowed room for Dr Pinto and his assistant Dr Leonard Stephens to solely concentrate on his aspect of the surgery and ensured the patient’s tumor was successfully removed.

This collaboration between both parties ensured the operation was less complex and time consuming, and additionally put the patient at lower risk.

After practising for 12 years, Dr Pinto describes this surgery as “cutting-edge technology” for cancer treatment and management.

He said: “I think it can reassure the public that we can deal with basically anything in terms of cancer treatment or management with the cutting-edge technology that is readily available to us.

“So, we have minimally invasive capabilities that are disposable in terms of doing procedures laparoscopically. Just making little keyhole incisions using long instruments with a camera that we placed inside the abdomen.”

He also noted the advantages of these revolutionary surgeries, such as the quick recovery and minimal post-operative pain.

Dr Pinto, who has studied in Jamaica, South Africa, Germany, and India, said it is an honour to return home and have the opportunity to perform these procedures for Bahamians.

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