William Krassan

Kidney Cancer Patient Stories

da VinciĀ® Robotic-Assisted Partial Nephrectomy
William Krassan

William Krassan

In October 2007, Bill Krassan was experiencing abdominal pain and discomfort. His family doctor suggested an abdominal CAT Scan. Bill and his wife, Sandy, were shocked by the results.

"Not only was I stunned to hear I had kidney cancer - I had different types of cancer in each kidney. The right was renal cell carcinoma while the left was cystic renal cell carcinoma," explained Bill.

"I knew all the doctors at Fox Chase were excellent."

"A friend of mine was a patient Dr. Robert Uzzo's at Fox Chase, so I called for an appointment. Given my diagnosis of kidney cancer, I wanted to be seen immediately. Dr. Uzzo was booked but I knew all the doctors at Fox Chase were excellent," said Bill. "I made an appointment with Dr. Rosalia Viterbo, a surgeon, the next week."

"Dr. Viterbo performed a da Vinci robotic-assisted partial nephrectomy."

Dr. Viterbo scheduled Bill's first surgery on his right kidney just before Thanksgiving. The left kidney was operated on 8 weeks later. Using the latest technology, Dr. Viterbo performed a da Vinci robotic-assisted partial nephrectomy. This minimally-invasive technique allows the surgeon to reach the kidney through 4 tiny holes rather than one large incicision in the patient's back.

"Dr. Viterbo did a wonderful job in an expeditious way."

Bill explained, "The procedure and recovery were fairly painless and easy. Dr. Viterbo did a wonderful job in an expeditious way. She was able to save 90 percent of my right kidney and two-thirds of my left kidney."

During the first surgery, Bill had a one-night stay at the hospital. For the second, which was more complicated, he stayed 3 nights.

"If you have to stay in the hospital, Fox Chase is where you want to be."

"If you have to stay in the hospital, Fox Chase is where you want to be. The nurses were super nice. I can't say enough about them. They even had me laughing," recalled Bill.

Bill's cancer was encapsulated to his kidneys and there was no sign of metastases. His next step? Follow-up testing and check-ups.

Back to work and activities

Bill's successful treatment and relatively speedy recovery have allowed him to return rather quickly to his fraternity. As a member of Shriners of North America, Bill is a freemason. His organization supports Shriners Hospitals for Children by providing specialty pediatric care, research and teaching programs.

"I feel very lucky to have such a terrific cancer center nearby."

"I feel very lucky to have such a terrific cancer center nearby. Today, I feel pretty good and have gone back to work as a photographer," said Bill, who also enjoys spending time with his 5 granddaughters.