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Laparoscopic Radical Nephrectomy


Laparoscopic radical nephrectomy is surgery to remove your kidney. Surgery is done through small incisions in your side.

Kidney, Ureters, Bladder


The week before your surgery:

  • Arrange to have someone drive you home from surgery.
  • Tell your surgeon about all medicines you currently take. He or she will tell you if you need to stop any medicine for surgery, and when to stop. He or she will tell you which medicines to take or not take on the day of surgery.
  • You may need blood or urine tests before surgery. You may also need x-rays, a CT scan, or an MRI of the kidneys.
  • You may need to only drink clear liquids the day before surgery. Examples of clear liquids are apple juice and broth. You may also need to drink a liquid that cleans out your bowel. Ask your surgeon for more information.

The night before your surgery:

You may be told not to eat or drink anything after midnight.

The day of your surgery:

  • You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives healthcare providers 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.
  • Take only the medicines your surgeon told you to take.
  • An IV will be placed in a vein. You may be given medicine or liquids through the IV.
  • An anesthesiologist will talk to you before your surgery. You will be given general anesthesia to keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. Tell him or her if you or anyone in your family had a problem with anesthesia.


What will happen:

  • Your surgeon will make 3 to 5 small incisions near your kidney. Your abdomen will be filled with carbon dioxide to lift the muscles away from your organs. This helps your surgeon see your kidney better.
  • Your surgeon will remove your kidney. He or she may remove the kidney in several small pieces through the incisions. Your adrenal gland may also be removed. The adrenal gland sits on top of your kidney and produces hormones.
  • Your incisions will be closed with stitches or medical glue and covered with bandages.

After your surgery:

You will be taken to a room to rest until you are fully awake. Healthcare providers will monitor you closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your healthcare provider says it is okay. When your healthcare provider sees that you are okay, you will be able to go home or be taken to your hospital room.


  • You have a fever.
  • You get a cold or the flu.
  • You have questions or concerns about your surgery.


You may get an infection or bleed more than expected. You may need 1 large incision. Nerves, blood vessels, muscles, or organs may be damaged. The carbon dioxide used during surgery may cause shoulder or chest pain for 1 to 2 days after your surgery. Your other kidney may not work as well as it did before.

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 healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

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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.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.