The Cure

The Robot and the Firefly

How the revolutionary 'firefly' surgery is used on kidney cancer patients.

Last Modified: 25 Sep 2013 06:52
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More than 273,000 people are diagnosed with kidney cancer globally each year.

For surgeons, the challenge is to remove potentially deadly kidney cancer tumours while minimising bleeding and doing as little damage as possible to the surrounding healthy tissue. 

Using a revolutionary technique known as ‘firefly’, the patient’s blood is injected with a dye which shows up as fluorescent green under the surgeon’s modified camera.

This helps the surgeon identify often unpredictable blood supply to the kidney and tumour. With blood supply established, the surgeon can accurately halt blood supply to the kidney and tumour – a vital step before the tumour can be removed.

Dr Rafik Bedair travels to St George’s Hospital in south London to see kidney cancer patient Bob Cutts receive this pioneering treatment.


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Al Jazeera
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