What do you understand by Nephrectomy (Kidney Removal surgery)?

Medpho Team April 27, 2023


Nephrectomy or kidney removal surgery is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of the kidney. The surgical process conducted is either partial, simple or radical nephrectomy. Removing an entire kidney is called a simple nephrectomy, but if only part of the kidney is removed, it's called a partial nephrectomy. Still, there are several circumstances when the entire kidney needs to be removed as the patient suffers from kidney disease or cancer. Here nephrectomy surgery can be a life-saving procedure and is termed radical nephrectomy. 

Why is a Nephrectomy or Kidney removal surgery done?

Nephrectomy is suggested for both benign and malignant conditions that include

  • Renal stones
  • Hypertension
  • Chronic pyelonephritis
  • Neglected ureteropelvic junction obstruction
  • Renal tuberculosis
  • polycystic kidney disease
  • dysplastic kidney

Nephrectomy can be performed laparoscopically or by open surgery.

The laparoscopic procedure has a much higher demand as it is less invasive, needing only several small incisions into the skin or a tiny incision in the belly button. A laparoscopic nephrectomy surgery removes one of the two kidneys.

Nephrectomy is carried out for two reasons cancer of the kidney or a non-functioning kidney. A laparoscopic nephrectomy involves the complete removal of the kidney through keyhole incisions. 

For any information related to free surgery under Ayushman Yojana or any queries regarding Ayushman Bharat Yojana, Contact Medpho on #BasEkCall at 88569-88569.

Advantages of Nephrectomy Laparoscopic Surgery

Laparoscopy performs the same as traditional surgical approaches and can be carried out for both radical and partial surgery. Surgery is a preferred technique for kidney transplant donor nephrectomy.

Laparoscopic surgery has various advantages :

  • Quicker recovery time
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Shorter incisions
  • Fewer post-operative complications

Nephrectomy needs unique skills to perform and is not available at all hospitals. You can have laparoscopic surgery depending on your medical circumstances and overall fitness. Get clarity about your options for laparoscopic nephrectomy from your physician.


Nephrectomy: Open &  Laparoscopic Procedure 

The surgeon either conducts laparoscopic or open surgery. The procedure starts with anaesthesia to ensure you don't feel anything.

During a laparoscopic nephrectomy,

  1. Small incisions are made in the abdomen area by the surgeon.
  2. Next, a camera (laparoscope) is inserted through the incision.
  3. The surgeon can view the camera image from the laparoscope on a large screen.
  4. The camera images help to use the small surgical tools to remove the diseased portion of the kidney or your entire kidney.
  5. All the incisions are closed with tiny stitches that will dissolve on their own.

Laparoscopic nephrectomy takes around 2 – 4 hours, and the hospital involves about 1 – 2 nights.

During an open nephrectomy, the surgeon:

  • Has to make one incision in the abdomen area.
  • It leads to the removal of the diseased portion of the kidney or the whole kidney.
  • Finally, the surgeon closes the incision with stitches.

What occurs post nephrectomy surgery?

After nephrectomy surgery, the person is made to stay in the hospital for one to five days. Depending upon partial or radical nephrectomy types your stay in the hospital will be decided.

A medical team under a doctor's guidance will monitor the

blood pressure, electrolyte and fluid levels. A drainage tube is also attached to monitor the urine output from the remaining kidney. The catheter usually stays in for 1 – 2 days or until you are discharged.

Initially, the incision is painful, and the patient may witness numbness. The doctor and other healthcare team are there to help in such pain control assistance.

As the incision is made near the diaphragm, it may be uneasy to breathe deeply. However, doing exercises is the best way to prevent pneumonia (lung infection).

Follow-Up Post Nephrectomy Surgery 

Post nephrectomy you have to regularly go for follow-up visits as suggested by your doctor. These follow-up visits continue for four to five years and the common test suggested during these visits includes a chest x-ray, urine and blood analysis. 

For any information related to free surgery under Ayushman Yojana or any queries regarding Ayushman Bharat Yojana, Contact Medpho on #BasEkCall at 88569-88569.