Radical nephrectomy is a surgical procedure conducted to remove your kidney completely. It is usually performed to treat kidney cancer or to remove a seriously damaged or diseased kidney.
There are two types of radical nephrectomy – open nephrectomy and laparoscopic nephrectomy. The radical nephrectomy procedure is generally performed through a single large incision in the abdomen or side known as open nephrectomy. However, in some cases it is also done through a series of small incisions in the abdomen known as laparoscopic nephrectomy.
You will be given general anesthesia before the radical nephrectomy procedure. Your surgeon will make an incision on the side of the abdomen to reach the kidney. Then the ureter and blood vessels are disconnected and the kidney is completely removed. The adrenal gland that sits atop the kidney may also need removal if a tumor is close to it.
You will need post operative care after radical nephrectomy to preserve normal kidney function. You should eat a healthy diet, engage in daily physical activity and attend regular checkups to monitor your kidney health.
Common complications of radical nephrectomy are bleeding, infection and urinary leak. However, some more severe risks such as chronic kidney diseases and hypertension are also involved.
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