A catheter will be inserted. An incision will be made in the abdomen or side of the abdomen. A rib may need to be removed to access the kidney. The ureter (tube from the kidney to the bladder) and blood vessels will be cut if the whole kidney is being removed. The kidney (or part of the kidney) will then be removed. The incision will be closed.
may also be used for a nephrectomy. The abdominal cavity will be inflated with gas. Several key-hole incisions are made in the area. A laparoscope, a long tool with a camera on the end, will be inserted through one of the holes. This allows the doctor to see inside you. Tools will be inserted through the other holes to perform the surgery. The same steps will be used to detach the kidney. A small incision will be made to retrieve the kidney.
How Long Will It Take?
Between 2-4 hours
How Much Will It Hurt?
Anesthesia will prevent pain during the surgery. Recovery is usually painful because of the location of the incision. The laparoscopic approach is significantly less painful. Your doctor will give you medicine to manage the pain.
Average Hospital Stay
Typical hospital stay following nephrectomy is 2-7 days. The exact length depends on the type of surgery. Your doctor may choose to keep you longer if complications arise.
At the Hospital
IV fluids and pain medicine will be given following the surgery. Blood pressure, electrolytes, and fluid balance will all be carefully monitored. A urinary catheter is often needed for a short time following surgery.
You will be encouraged to move around and be cautiously active as symptoms allow.
Avoid strenuous exercise or activities for approximately six weeks.
Be sure to follow your doctor's
Andersen MH, Mathisen L, Oyen O, Edwin B, Digernes R, Kvarstein G. Postoperative pain and convalescence in living kidney donors—laparoscopic versus open donor nephrectomy: a randomized study.
Am J Transplant. 2006;6(6):1438-1443.
Bartlett ST, Schweitzer EJ. Laparoscopic living donor nephrectomy for kidney transplantation.
Dialysis & Transplantation.1999;28(6):318-331.
Campbell M, Wein A, Kavoussi L. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders; 2007.
Dunn MD, Portis AJ, Shalhav AL, Elbahnasy AM, Heidorn C, McDougall EM.
Laparoscopic versus open radical nephrectomy: a 9-year experience.
J Urol. 2000;164(4):1153-1159.
Park YH, Byun SS, Kang SH, et al. Comparison of hand-assisted laparoscopic radical nephrectomy with open radical nephrectomy for pT1-2 clear cell renal-cell carcinoma: a multi-institutional study. J Endourol. 2009;23(9):1485-1489.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a