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Overview:Nephrectomy is a surgical procedure done to remove all or a part of the kidney. A nephrectomy is usually performed to treat kidney cancer or to remove a noncancerous tumor. In some cases, a nephrectomy is done to deal with a diseased or damaged kidney.
In cases of donor nephrectomy, the urologic surgeon removes a healthy kidney from a donor for transplant into a person who needs a functioning kidney.
A nephrectomy may either be performed through a single incision in the abdomen or through a series of small incisions in the abdomen using a camera and small instruments.Learn More
A nephrectomy procedure is performed during general anaesthesia. You will receive medication (anaesthetic) before surgery so that you won't be awake or feel pain. nephrectomy procedure varies, depending on how the surgery is performed and how much of the kidney is removed. These variations include:
During laparoscopic surgery, the surgeon makes a few minimally invasive small incisions in your abdomen to insert devices equipped with video cameras and small surgical tools. The surgeon may make a slightly larger opening if your entire kidney needs to be removed.
Robot-assisted laparoscopic surgery
During robot-assisted laparoscopic surgery, your surgeon uses a robotic system to perform the procedure. Robotic tools require very small incisions, provide better 3-D images during the procedure, and can make fine or complicated motions.
During an open nephrectomy surgery, the urologic surgeon makes an incision along your side or on your abdomen. An open approach allows surgeons to perform some surgeries that still can't be performed safely with less invasive approaches.
During a radical nephrectomy, the surgeon removes the whole kidney, the fatty tissues surrounding the kidney and a portion of the tube connecting the kidney to the bladder. The surgeon may also remove the adrenal gland and lymph nodes if required.
During a partial nephrectomy, also called kidney-sparing (nephron-sparing) surgery, the surgeon removes a cancerous tumor or diseased tissue and leaves in as much healthy kidney tissue as possible.
Nephrectomy is considered to be a safe procedure. But as with any surgery, nephrectomy carries some possible complications, such as:
Although overall kidney function decreases a little after nephrectomy, the remaining kidney tissue generally works well enough to lead a healthy life. Problems that may occur with long-term reduced kidney function can include:
Nephron Sparing Surgery: Nephron sparing surgery (NSS), also known as partial nephrectomy, is kidney surgery where only part of the kidney is removed.Learn Less
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