A nephrectomy is basically the surgical extraction of a kidney, usually done to treat various kidney diseases such as kidney cancer, and to remove a benign kidney in a dead or living kidney recipient, which is a major part of a kidney transplants procedure. This type of kidney removal surgery is rarely performed for non-malignant kidney removal. In this operation, the surgeon removes the kidney through the urethra, through the bladder, or both.
The nephrectomy can either be done when there’s only one kidney tumor, or when there are multiple kidney tumors. Basically, what happens is that the tumor or mass can be seen on an x-ray screen, and then the kidney is removed through the opening in the kidney. Sometimes, additional tissue from another part of the body, such as the abdomen, is removed along with the kidney to make it easier (and safer) to place the kidney on the mount. Sometimes, the kidney tumor itself will have to be removed surgically.
There are several ways in which the kidneys can be removed. In terms of the less common kidney removal surgery, the main type is done by the urethra. In this process, a urethra tube is inserted into the urinary tract and a camera takes pictures of the inside to be used for diagnosis and surgery.
Sometimes, the urethra is simply cut, without needing to cut the kidney tumor out. This is particularly done if the size and location of the tumor is very small. With this type of kidney removal surgery, the kidney tumor is usually removed surgically after a few days or weeks. Sometimes, no pain is normally felt with this type of operation.
When kidney removal surgery is performed by cutting the kidney tumor out, sometimes the actual kidney is actually damaged during the surgery. This can either result in death (if it’s a very big tumor) or it can cause further problems, requiring further operations and more time to recover from the operation. If the kidney is damaged during the removal surgery, then it may need to be removed later on. The extent of the damage of the kidney varies. In this case, the kidney has to be re-evaluated and tested for a possible replacement. This is called a ‘come back operation.’
Sometimes, both the kidney tumor and the kidney are removed surgically at the same time. This means that the hospital stays the same – and that the recovery time is relatively short. The kidney tumor is removed before the kidney is, so that the operation can take place faster and with fewer complications. This technique is usually used when the kidney is not big enough to be removed surgically.
When the patient (who is generally an older person) decides to have the kidney removed surgically, then he/she should be aware of what will happen after the procedure. The operation may have been successful, but the side effects are quite unpleasant, such as nausea, fever, and blood in the urine. Other side effects may include urinary retention, which means that the patient has to urinate more often than usual. There may also be pain after the operation in the abdomen or lower back. Generally, people who have kidney removed surgically report feeling like they’ve been hit by a car (but this can also be an allergic reaction).
There are different procedures that can be done after kidney removal surgery to reduce pain and to help the patient recover more quickly. One of these is referred as dialysis. With this procedure, the kidney is replaced with a dialysis machine. This machine can keep up with the kidney’s functions and prevent kidney failure, allowing the patient to live a relatively normal life. Another procedure that can be performed after kidney removal is called hematuria, or removing a hemoglobin product from the blood. Hematuria can reduce the size of the kidneys and makes it harder for them to work properly, so hematuria patients are sometimes given dialysis as a result.