A nephrectomy is the removal of all or part of a kidney. Types of nephrectomy include:

•    Partial nephrectomy is the removal of part of a kidney.
•    Radical nephrectomy is the removal of a kidney, the adrenal gland, and the surrounding lymph nodes.
•    Total nephrectomy is the removal of a kidney.
•    Bilateral nephrectomy is the removal of both kidneys.


·       If the patient undergoes an accident that damages the kidney beyond repair.

·       If the patient must undergo a kidney transplantation.

·       If the patient’s kidney is destroyed due to infection, kidney stone, kidney cyst, or urinary tract obstruction.

·       If the patient has a malignant tumor, a kidney as well as the adrenal gland and surrounding lymph nodes must be removed. In some cases just part of the kidney will be removed, depending on the location and size of the tumor.

·       If the patient suffers from extremely high blood pressure due to narrowing of the blood vessels to the kidney, leading to kidney death.

·       Injury to nearby organs, such as the intestines, liver, spleen, and pancreas.

·       Bleeding in the abdominal cavity or at the incisions.

·       Leaking into the pleural cavity during the surgery, causing collapse of the lung.

·       Decrease in efficiency of the lungs or respiratory system after the procedure.

·       Infection.

·       Decrease in efficiency of the remaining kidney immediately after the procedure.

·       Injury to the nerves close to the incisions.

·       Hernia at the incisions.

After the procedure your doctor will assess your condition and incision before making recommendations for travel. You will be given instructions for caring for yourself and your incision if your doctor considers that it is safe for you to travel.

Since a nephrectomy is usually done when there are no other options, there is no alternative to the procedure. The doctor will explain the necessity of the procedure to you before the procedure.

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