Skip to main content


Medically reviewed by Last updated on Mar 5, 2023.

A nephrectomy is surgery to remove part or all of your kidney.

Kidney, Ureters, Bladder


Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

  • You have sudden chest pain or trouble breathing.

Seek care immediately if:

  • Blood soaks through your bandage.
  • Your stitches come apart.
  • You cannot urinate.

Call your doctor or surgeon if:

  • You have a fever.
  • You have blood in your urine.
  • Your surgery area is red, swollen, or draining pus.
  • You have chills, a cough, or feel weak and achy.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


You may need any of the following:

  • Prescription pain medicine may be given. Ask your healthcare provider how to take this medicine safely. Some prescription pain medicines contain acetaminophen. Do not take other medicines that contain acetaminophen without talking to your healthcare provider. Too much acetaminophen may cause liver damage. Prescription pain medicine may cause constipation. Ask your healthcare provider how to prevent or treat constipation.
  • Antibiotics may be given to prevent or treat an infection caused by bacteria.
  • Bowel movement softeners may be given to help prevent constipation.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell your provider if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Care for the surgery area:

Do not get your stitches wet unless your surgeon says it is okay. When you are allowed to shower, carefully wash the wound with soap and water. Gently pat the area dry and put on new, clean bandages as directed. Change your bandages when they get wet or dirty. Do not sit in bathtubs, pools, or hot tubs until your surgeon says it is okay.

Drink liquids as directed:

This will help prevent constipation and help your other kidney work correctly. Ask your healthcare provider how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you. Do not drink alcohol. Alcohol can damage your other kidney.


You will be given instructions on food to limit or avoid after surgery to protect your other kidney. You may be told to have more vegetables and fruits to help protect the kidney.


Do not lift, pull, or push heavy objects. You may also need to limit movement, such as bending your back or twisting. Ask your healthcare provider when to can return to work or play sports.

Follow up with your doctor or surgeon as directed:

You will need to return to have your wound checked and stitches removed. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

© Copyright Merative 2023 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes.

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.