Kidney removal

Definition

Kidney removal, or nephrectomy, is surgery to remove all or part of a kidney. It may involve:

Description

This surgery is done in the hospital while you are asleep and pain-free (general anesthesia). The procedure can take 3 or more hours.

Simple nephrectomy or open kidney removal:

Radical nephrectomy or open kidney removal:

Laparoscopic kidney removal:

Sometimes, your surgeon may make a cut in a different place than described above.

Some hospitals and medical centers are doing this surgery using robotic tools.

Why the Procedure Is Performed

Kidney removal may be recommended for:

Risks

Risks of any surgery are:

Risks of this procedure are:

Before the Procedure

Always tell your health care provider:

During the days before the surgery:

On the day of the surgery:

After the Procedure

You will stay in the hospital for 1 to 7 days, depending on the type of surgery you have. During a hospital stay, you may:

Recovering from open surgery may be painful because of where the surgical cut is located. Recovery after a laparoscopic procedure is most often quicker, with less pain.

Outlook (Prognosis)

The outcome is most often good when a single kidney is removed. If both kidneys are removed, or the remaining kidney does not work well enough, you will need hemodialysis or a kidney transplant.


Review Date: 1/31/2019
Reviewed By: Sovrin M. Shah, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Urology, The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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