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Kidney removal

Nephrectomy; Simple nephrectomy; Radical nephrectomy; Open nephrectomy; Laparoscopic nephrectomy; Partial nephrectomy

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

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Kidneys

Presantation

Kidney removal - series

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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 robots.

Why the Procedure Is Performed

Kidney removal may be recommended for:

Risks

Risks for any surgery are:

Risks for 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 2 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.

Related Information

High blood pressure
Tumor
Kidney transplant
Bathroom safety - adults
Surgical wound care - open
Preventing falls
Kidney removal - discharge

References

Kavoussi LR, Schwartz MJ, Gill IS. Laparoscopic surgery of the kidney. In: Wein AJ, ed. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 55.

Kenney PA, Wotkowicz T, Libertino JA. Contemporary open surgery of the kidney. In: Wein AJ, ed. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 54.

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Review Date: 1/21/2015  

Reviewed By: Scott Miller, MD, urologist in private practice in Atlanta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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