Laparoscopic Live Donor Nephrectomy

What you should know

Laparoscopic live donor nephrectomy is surgery to remove a kidney for transplant to another person.


Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

Risks

You may get an infection or bleed more than expected. You may have trouble breathing. Your laparoscopic surgery may need to become an open surgery if there are problems. Nerves, blood vessels, muscles, intestines, and other organs may be damaged. The gas used during the surgery may cause shoulder or chest pain for 1 to 2 days after your surgery. You may get a blood clot in your leg or arm. This may become life-threatening.

Getting Ready

The week before your surgery:

  • Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. The decision to donate a kidney is serious, and you must consider your decision carefully. No one should force or pressure you to donate your kidney. Your caregiver will tell you what will happen before, during, and after surgery in words that you know. You will be told what tests, treatments, or procedures need to be done. Your caregiver will tell you the risks of this surgery. He will also tell you what benefits the person receiving your kidney may get. Before you give your consent, make sure all your questions have been answered and that you understand what may happen.

  • Write down the correct date, time, and location of your surgery.

  • Arrange a ride home. Ask a family member or friend to drive you home after your surgery or procedure. Do not drive yourself home.

  • Ask your caregiver if you need to stop using aspirin or any other prescribed or over-the-counter medicine before your procedure or surgery.

  • Bring your medicine bottles or a list of your medicines when you see your caregiver. Tell your caregiver if you are allergic to any medicine. Tell your caregiver if you use any herbs, food supplements, or over-the-counter medicine.

  • You may need to have blood and urine tests. You may also need an ECG, x-rays, a CT scan, an MRI, or a renal arteriography. Ask your caregiver for more information about these and other tests that you may need. Write down the date, time, and location of each test.

The night before your surgery:

  • You may be given medicine to help you sleep.

  • Ask caregivers about directions for eating and drinking.

  • Bowel preparation will help clean out your bowel before surgery. Your caregiver may ask you to do one or more of the following:

    • You may need an enema. An enema uses medicine or warm water that is put into your rectum to help empty your bowel. Ask your caregiver how to do this, and follow the directions on the package.

    • You may be given a bowel prep medicine to drink. Drink 1 eight-ounce cup every 10 minutes until you are passing clear fluid. Ask your caregiver for more information about this medicine.

The day of your surgery:

  • Ask your caregiver before you take any medicine on the day of your surgery. Bring a list of all the medicines you take, or your pill bottles, with you to the hospital. Caregivers will check that your medicines will not interact poorly with the medicine you need for surgery.

  • Bowel preparation:

    • Do not eat or drink anything on the morning of your surgery. Your bowel needs to be empty during your surgery. If you need to take medicines, take them with small sips of water.

    • You may need an additional enema the morning of your surgery.

    • You may also be asked to drink an additional 4 to 8 (eight-ounce) cups of bowel prep medicine.

  • An anesthesiologist will talk to you before your surgery. You may need medicine to keep you asleep or numb an area of your body during surgery. Tell caregivers if you or anyone in your family has had a problem with anesthesia in the past.

  • You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives caregivers permission to do the procedure or surgery. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your choices. Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign this form.

  • Caregivers may insert an intravenous tube (IV) into your vein. A vein in the arm is usually chosen. Through the IV tube, you may be given liquids and medicine.

Treatment

What will happen:

General anesthesia will be given to keep you asleep and free from pain during the surgery. You will be placed on your side. Your caregiver will make 3 to 5 small incisions in your side where tools will pass through. Your abdomen will be filled with gas (carbon dioxide) to lift the abdominal wall so your caregiver can see the kidney better. Your caregiver will use the instruments to tie, clamp, or cut blood vessels. The kidney is removed through a larger incision in your abdomen. The incisions will be closed with stitches and covered with bandages.

After your surgery:

You will be taken to a room to rest until you are fully awake. Caregivers will monitor you closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your caregiver says it is okay. When your caregiver sees that you are okay, you will be taken to your hospital room. The bandages used to cover your stitches keep the area clean and dry to prevent infection. A caregiver may remove the bandages to check your wounds.

Contact a caregiver if

  • You cannot make it to your surgery.

  • You have a fever.

  • You get a cold or the flu.

  • You have questions or concerns about your surgery.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Laparoscopic Live Donor Nephrectomy (Precare)

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