Objectives. Renal cell carcinoma with a tumor thrombus extending into the supradiaphragmatic inferior vena cava (IVC) and right atrium represents a challenge to the surgical team. We describe a technique that can be used to resect these tumors safely through a transabdominal approach without recourse to cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) for entry into the thoracic cavity. Methods. Between May 1997 and August 2004, 59 patients (mean age 61 years) underwent surgical resection of a renal tumor extending into the IVC by techniques developed with the intention to avoid sternotomy and CPB. In 7 patients (12%), the tumor thrombus extended into the supradiaphragmatic IVC and right atrium. Complete surgical resection was successful through a transabdominal approach without CPB in all 7 of these patients. Results. In the 7 patients who underwent the described technique, the median age was 71 years (range 51 to 80). The mean operative time was 7 hours, 47 minutes. The mean estimated blood loss was 2514 mL (range 500 to 6000). The mean number of blood units transfused was 4.7 (range 0 to 11). One patient died in the immediate postoperative period of cardiac arrhythmia. The median follow-up was 11.1 months, and 5 patients were disease free. Conclusions. In select cases, renal cell carcinoma extending into the supradiaphragmatic IVC and right atrium can be resected without the use of CPB. We describe our technique.
ASJC Scopus subject areas