Nephrectomy - discharge; Simple nephrectomy - discharge; Radical nephrectomy - discharge; Open nephrectomy - discharge; Laparoscopic nephrectomy - discharge; Partial nephrectomy - discharge
You had surgery to remove part of one kidney or the entire kidney, the lymph nodes near it, and maybe your adrenal gland. This article tells you how to take care of yourself when you leave the hospital.
You may have an 8- to 12-inch (20- to 30-centimeters) surgical cut over your belly or along your side. If you had laparoscopic surgery, you may have three or four small cuts.
Recovering from kidney removal most often takes around 3 to 6 weeks. You may have some of these symptoms:
Plan to have someone drive you home from the hospital. Do not drive yourself home. You may also need help with everyday activities for the first 1 to 2 weeks. Set up your home so it is easier to use.
You should be able to do most of your regular activities within 4 to 6 weeks. Before then:
To manage your pain:
Press a pillow over your incision when you cough or sneeze to ease discomfort and protect your incision.
Make sure your home is safe as you are recovering.
You will need to keep your incision area clean, dry, and protected. Change your dressings the way your provider taught you to.
Do not soak in a bathtub or hot tub, or go swimming, until your provider tells you it is OK.
Eat a normal diet. Drink 4 to 8 glasses of water or liquids a day, unless you are told otherwise.
If you have hard stools:
Call your provider if:
Moriera 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.BACK TO TOP
Review Date: 4/18/2021
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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