Radical nephrectomy is a surgical procedure to completely remove the kidneys and the surrounding fat tissue in case of various diseases/conditions such as renal carcinoma, kidney damage, and kidney transplant. In a few cases, lymph nodes and adrenal glands close to the kidney can also be removed. It is an invasive procedure and requires inpatient hospitalization. It is a treatment of choice for renal cell carcinoma.
Complete kidney removal
Kidneys and adrenal glands
Radical nephrectomy is performed under sedatives and anaesthesia to block the pain and sensation. Surgery could be either laparoscopic or open.
You should complete your follow-ups as per the schedule to ensure a complication-free recovery. Usually, your surgeon will give a follow-up chart to follow until your incision and wounds have healed. In addition, you should take proper rest as recommended by your doctor and do not overexert yourself. Avoid bending and seek help from your family members or friends. You can start returning to your routine activities in a few weeks. However, avoid strenuous exercises such as running and weight lifting, for an additional few weeks. Make sure to adhere to the follow-up plan with your surgeon to assess the recovery and the need for any additional interventions.
Laparoscopic surgery is safer than open surgery but is not preferred in certain cases such as complex cancers. The following risks could be associated with both open and laparoscopic surgery:
In addition, surgery could be associated with the following side effects:
Depending on the type of surgical procedure used, you will be transferred to the recovery room after a few hours to a couple of days. Once your vital signs have stabilized, you will be shifted to the hospital room/ward and within a few days, you will be discharged from the hospital.
The recovery will take a few weeks and you can start returning to your normal activities. While you are in recovery mode, avoid heavy-duty work for a few weeks that could stress your body. Getting regular follow-ups per the schedule is also crucial to achieving a complication-free recovery.
Take good care of the incision wounds and keep them clean. Take your medications including painkillers and antibiotics as prescribed. If you experience any unexplained pain, excessive vomiting, or any other side effects, then seek medical attention.