Excision of the inferior vena cava for renal cell carcinoma with intracaval tumor thrombus is infrequently performed. Herein the authors report a 60-year old woman with a right renal cell carcinoma and massive occluding tumor thrombus of the inferior vena cava. Following a negative metastatic workup, this patient underwent surgery to remove the tumor and thrombus.
Thrombectomy occurred via excision of the affected portion of inferior vena cava and proximal left renal vein. Reconstruction of the vena cava was not undertaken. The patient did not suffer any morbidity during recovery in hospital. Her renal function was normal upon discharge. All resection margins were negative for tumor. This experience is compared to those reported in the literature. Postoperative morbidity may be minimized by careful patient selection. Suitable patients should have a right-sided tumor with an occlusive subhepatic vena caval tumor thrombus.