Simple removal of the kidney

What is this?

This involves the removal of a kidney via a cut In the loin or abdomen

What alternatives are there?

Observation, (telescopic or minimally-invasive) approach

What to expect before procedure

You will usually be admitted on the day before your surgery. You will normally receive an appointment for pre-assessment, approximately 14 days before your admission, to assess your general fitness, to screen for the carriage of MRSA and to perform some baseline investigations. After admission, you will be seen by members of the medical team which may include the Consultant, Specialist Registrar, House Officer and your named nurse. You will be asked not to eat or drink for 6 hours before surgery and, immediately before the operation, you may be given a pre-medication by the anaesthetist which will make you dry-mouthed and pleasantly sleepy. You will be given an injection under the skin of a drug (Clexane), that, along with the help of elasticated stockings provided by the ward, will help prevent thrombosis (clots) in the veins.

What happens during the procedure?

Normally, a full general anaesthetic will be used and you will be asleep throughout the procedure. In some patients, the anaesthetist may also use an epidural anaesthetic which improves or minimises pain post-operatively. You will usually be given injectable antibiotics before the procedure, after checking for any allergies. The kidney is usually removed through an incision in your loin although, on occasions, the incision is made in the front of the abdomen or extended into the chest area. A bladder catheter is normally inserted post-operatively, to monitor urine output, and a drainage tube is usually placed through the skin into the bed of the kidney. Occasionally, it may be necessary to insert a stomach tube, If the operation was particularly difficult, to prevent distension of your stomach with air.

After the procedure

You will be mobilised as soon as possible after the operation to prevent deep vein thrombosis. Physiotherapy will also be provided to help you mobilise and to aid your breathing & coughing. The drainage tube is removed once drainage from the renal bed has ceased, usually after 3-4 days. The catheter will be removed from your bladder when you are mobile enough to get to the toilet to pass urine. If you have a stomach tube, you will only be allowed small sips of water or ice to suck initially. This will be gradually increased when your bowel starts functioning again and the stomach tube can be removed. Food is only introduced once your bowel is functioning normally. The average hospital stay is 7 days.

Potential side effects