Removal of Renal Cell Carcinoma Extending into the Right Atrium Using Cardiopulmonary Bypass, Profound Hypothermia and Circulatory Arrest

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An operation is indicated in patients with renal cancer growing into the inferior vena cava and right atrium because the tumor in the right atrium presents an immediate risk to life if acute obstruction of the tricuspid valve or pulmonary emboli occur. In addition, patients treated by such an operation may enjoy reasonable survivals. We believe that the best technique for operative management includes cardiopulmonary bypass, profound hypothermia and total circulatory arrest. Although perhaps seemingly complicated, it is the only technique that simplifies the operative dissection and permits as complete removal as possible of the cancer without the risk of tumor embolization or uncontrollable hemorrhage.

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