Polycystic Kidney Disease
Patient’s with polycystic kidney disease commonly have pain, bleeding, infection, and pressure symptoms from their enlarged kidneys. Our surgeons in the section of Urology at the University of Chicago offer multiple minimally invasive treatment options for patients with these symptoms.
PKD patients with end stage renal failure who need their kidneys removed were previously limited to open surgery with very large incisions related to complications and a very slow recovery. We now offer the laparoscopic approach that allows removal of these large kidneys through small incisions using special laparoscopic techniques including tissue morcellation.
For the management of pain, laparoscopic cyst unroofing can be done successfully and is related to a significant improvement in the related pain in 70% of the patients for two years. Recently, we started performing laparoscopic kidney denervation (division of the nerves feeding the kidney) as an additional treatment for pain in PKD patients. This is a minimally invasive procedure that allows a significant improvement in pain for patients who have pain which is unresponsive to medications or to previous cyst unroofing.
In a recent study (PDF) on animals which are the best model for polycystic kidney disease, it was shown that denervating ( dividing the nerves of) the kidneys resulted in significant reduction in cyst size and prevention of hypertension and renal function deterioration in the animals that underwent this procedure on both kidneys.