Laparoscopic Radical Nephrectomy


Laparoscopic Radical Nephrectomy is the complete surgical removal of the kidney, performed in case of severe recurrent kidney infections, irreversible damage and injury to kidney, long-standing blockage or suspicious growth associated with the kidney (like cancer).

Open Nephrectomy surgery requires larger incisions over the abdomen, and in some cases even removing a rib. The patient is also reported to have pain and numbness at the operated site after this surgery. 

Laparoscopic nephrectomy uses smaller "keyhole" incisions, that results in less scar formation, reduced blood loss, fewer hospital stays and quicker recovery as compared to open surgery.

What are Pre surgery procedures for Laparoscopic Radical Nephrectomy?


The urologist/ surgeon conducts several tests including:

  • Physical exam

  • Blood and urine work

  • ECG (electrocardiogram)

And imaging tests like Computerized tomography (CT), an MRI -Magnetic resonance imaging, or Ultrasound.

You will need to follow the instructions given by the doctor regarding eating, drinking, and taking medicines before and on the day of the surgery. 

Some medicines like those taken for treating arthritis and blood thinners dosages need to be altered before this procedure to reduce the potential risk of complications.

What are Surgery Procedures for Laparoscopic Radical Nephrectomy?


The surgery is performed under general anesthesia. The surgeon makes many small 'keyhole' incisions. A laparoscope is inserted and carbon dioxide is injected via another one of the incisions to enlarge the cavity and separate the abdominal wall from other surrounding organs. 

The scope inserted helps to view the diseased kidney and make cuts using thin and flexible surgical instruments. The ureter and vessels of the kidney are clipped. The diseased kidney is dissected out from surrounding organs.

The tumor or cancer within the kidney is separated from the surrounding fat and adjacent lymph nodes are removed. Sometimes adjacent adrenal glands may also be removed if the tumor is large and associated with it.

Once the tumor and kidney are removed, they are sent for biopsy. The incisions are sutured up and closed in a manner to minimize scarring.

What are the Complications of the surgery?


Infection:

  • Injury to nearby Tissue/Organ

  • Excessive bleeding

  • Incisional Hernia

  • The requirement of additional open surgery: In cases of complications during the surgery.

How Laparoscopic Radical Nephrectomy is Recovered?


You may be required to stay at the hospital for two to three days after this surgery. A clear liquid diet is given the day after surgery. A regular diet is started on the second day.

Post-operative pain can be managed by medicines prescribed after leaving the hospital.

A urinary catheter is placed for a day and then removed.

Most patients can resume all activities in 3-4 weeks.

Patients will have to visit the surgeon for follow up appointment, one month after the surgery for monitoring the healing process and looking out for signs of infection.

Many people who undergo such operations can live with one kidney but sometimes may require replacement therapy for normal renal functions like- hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, kidney transplant, temporarily or permanently.

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