Brandon, Florida – Brandon Regional Hospital announces that urologist Mark Baker, MD is the first surgeon in the area to use FireFly Fluorescence imaging to remove kidney tumors with the da Vinci® Surgical Robotic System for kidney cancer while leaving the healthy portion of the kidney in place. FireFly technology allows for partial nephrectomies which allows for the surgeon to remove just the diseased portion as opposed to the entire kidney.

The FireFly Fluorescence Imaging System allows surgeons to see exactly where the healthy kidney stops and the unhealthy kidney (tumor) begins by illuminating the healthy tissue using a special dye that is injected intravenously during the surgery. Brandon Regional Hospital’s urologists can perform the surgery more safely and with less blood loss, resulting in a shorter hospital stay and quicker recovery.

Using the FireFly Fluorescence Imaging along with zero ischemia method, Dr. Baker is able to carefully map and remove the tumor without stopping the blood flow, maximizing renal function without compromising cancer control. “In the past we had to pack ice around kidneys or make a hypothermic where you would basically deep freeze the kidney or where you would operate on the kidney and have no blood flow. Now we use warm ischemia: the kidney is still staying the same temperature with blood flow to it. Using FireFly Fluorescence Imaging we get fluorescent contrast and we know that the artery we are clamping is the same one where the mass is and it allows you to remove that mass  while still allowing blood flow to other parts of the kidney,” said Dr. Mark Baker.

Robotic assisted partial nephrectomy is now a safe and viable alternative to even laparoscopic partial nephrectomy, providing the equivalent early oncological outcomes and comparable morbidity to a traditional laparoscopic approach. Moreover, robot assisted partial nephrectomy appears to offer the advantages of decreased hospital stay as well as significantly less inoperative blood loss and shorter warm ischemia time the latter of which may help to provide maximal preservation of renal reserve.

Dr. Baker has now performed several robotic assisted partial nephrectomies.  It is important to know that kidney cancer is seventh most common type of cancer and reports are rapidly growing. Thirty thousand people suffered kidney cancer in 1995 and 11,000 deaths were reported. According to Dr. Baker this is now on the rise due to obesity and smoking. “In 2013, 65,000 people will be estimated to have kidney cancer with 13,800 anticipated deaths,” said Dr. Baker. “If we find the kidney mass before it has had a chance to spread, it is curable 90% of the time…as long as we get it when it is confined to the kidney,” added Dr. Baker.

Dr. Baker is board certified in urology. He received his medical degree from the University or Arkansas for Medical Sciences and was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. From 2000 to 2005 Dr. Baker finished a general surgery internship and urology residency at the University of South Florida, which included training at Tampa General Hospital, James A. Haley VA, Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital, and Moffitt Cancer Center. He has been in private practice in Brandon and Sun City Center since August 2005.