Mark Kabulski

Kidney Cancer Patient Stories

Retroperitoneal Lymph Node Dissection
Mark Kabulski

Mark and his wife, Barbara.

Mark Kabulski and his wife, Barbara, could not have been more shocked when his papillary kidney cancer returned since he underwent surgery in December 2012 to have his kidney removed at his local hospital in New Jersey. One year later, in 2013, a follow up CAT Scan revealed four enlarged lymph nodes in the retro peritoneal cavity, next to the site of surgery. “The removal of my kidney gave me a 97 percent chance that the cancer would not return,” recalled Mark. “My doctor was as shocked as we were.”

After doing some research and consulting with the local surgeon in New Jersey who had performed the full nephrectomy, Mark discovered one of the nation's top kidney surgeons, Robert G. Uzzo, MD, FACS, was Chair of Surgery at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia. He made an appointment at Fox Chase right away. 

"The moment Dr. Uzzo stepped into the room and introduced himself, I felt confident."

“The moment Dr. Uzzo stepped into the room and introduced himself, I felt confident," shared Mark. Dr. Uzzo explained in full detail the progression of Mark's cancer, illustrating exactly where the lymph nodes were located and how he would remove them. "When I asked him if he thought he could remove the lymph nodes successfully, he looked right at me and said, 'Yes, I can get those out, no problem,' and I knew he would. He gave us total confidence that surgery was the best option.”

On February 25, 2014, Dr. Uzzo performed a five-hour complicated and delicate surgical procedure to remove the lymph nodes. Following the surgery, Dr. Uzzo personally assured the family that the surgery had gone well. Early the next morning, Mark woke up in his room to see Dr. Uzzo checking up on him. “Dr. Uzzo really treats his patients and their family as if they were part of his own family,” recalled Mark. “During my five-day hospital stay, the nursing staff attended to all my needs and Dr. Uzzo and his team constantly checked on me.”

Of the 20 lymph nodes removed from Mark’s retroperitoneal cavity, only two were cancerous. “Dr. Uzzo emphasized that this was encouraging news,” said Mark.   

Mark found the entire Fox Chase team to be professional, caring and compassionate. “But most of all, it was Dr. Uzzo himself that gave us hope.  He exudes an incredible confidence in what he does, without a trace of arrogance.  It’s his confidence that gives you the feeling that everything will be okay,” he explained.  

Dr. Uzzo is able to give his patients a chance to lead a healthy and active life.

The way Mark sees it, Dr. Uzzo is an extraordinary man with a real presence about him. “His professional accomplishments speak volumes, but when he enters the operating room, he is able to provide patients with another chance to lead a healthy and active life. We knew that we were in the best hands with Dr. Uzzo and Fox Chase Cancer Center.”

When faced with the unfortunate diagnosis of kidney cancer, finding the right doctor is a critical decision.  “I can say without question choosing Dr. Uzzo is a decision that you will not regret,” said Mark.  “My family and I will be forever grateful to Dr. Uzzo and his team, and Fox Chase Cancer Center.”