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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

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Kidney removal (nephrectomy) - series

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.

Related Information

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

References

Moreira DM, Kavoussi LR. Laparoscopic and robotic surgery of the kidney. In: Partin AW, Domochowski RR, Kavoussi LR, Peters CA, eds. Campbell-Walsh-Wein Urology. 12th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 102.

Olumi AF, Blute ML. Open surgery of the kidney. In: Partin AW, Domochowski RR, Kavoussi LR, Peters CA, eds. Campbell-Walsh-Wein Urology. 12th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 101.

Weiss RH, JaImes EU, Hu SL. Kidney cancer. In: Yu ASL, Chertow GM, Luyckx VA, Marsden PA, Taal MW, Skorecki K, eds. Brenner and Rector's The Kidney. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 41.

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Review Date: 1/10/2021  

Reviewed By: Kelly L. Stratton, MD, FACS, Associate Professor, Department of Urology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK. 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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