Radical and Partial Nephrectomy
What is a Nephrectomy?
A nephrectomy is the surgical removal of the kidney. Partial nephrectomy is when only a portion of the kidney needs to be removed. Whereas, radical nephrectomy is the removal of the entire kidney. Along with the kidney, the fatty tissue that surrounds it, the connecting ureter for the kidney and the adrenal gland connected to said kidney. This type of procedure is usually required in cases where tumors are present. Your doctor will perform a laparoscopic or open nephrectomy in order to removed the disease area and or the remainder of the kidney.
Laparoscopic Vs. Open Nephrectomy
There are two main types of surgery to remove the kidney. An open nephrectomy entails incisions in the abdomen which will later be stitched up. Once the patient has their abdomen open, the surgeon will remove the ureter, kidney and adrenal gland. On the other hand, a laparoscopic nephrectomy is going to be the standard option. In this case, a laparoscope is used to get a visual presentation inside the body. Your surgeon will make small incisions in the abdomen in order to fit the laparoscope into the body. Using the tiny camera on the scope, the doctor will perform the surgery within the body and use the tools to remove the portion of the kidney that is diseased.
After the surgery is concluded, you will be placed on a monitor for multiple hours to ensure that the blood levels are stable. Also, your waste filtration systems and urine protein levels will be measured for healthy kidney function. Hospital stays will most likely last 1 – 7 days. Afterwards you will be sent home with post-operative instructions from your health care provider. Strenuous activities of any kind should be avoided at all costs. If you have any questions or concerns about pain or your recovery, contact your health care provider as soon as possible.