Surgery in Kidney Cancer

Nephrectomy

What is Nephrectomy?

The treatment of many kidney cancers starts by removing the primary tumour in a Surgery called a nephrectomy. The procedure aims to remove the main tumour and infected tissue involved in the kidney. Although nephrectomy is the most common treatment for kidney cancer, it might not be appropriate in some cases. Your urologist can clarify the factors that affect whether you can have nephrectomy.

There are two basic types of nephrectomies for kidney cancer.

A partial nephrectomy involves removing only the part of the kidney that has the tumour.

A radical nephrectomy involves removal of the entire kidney and often the removal of the adrenal gland above the kidney, the surrounding fatty tissue, and the lymph nodes adjacent to the kidney.

How is nephrectomy performed?

The anaesthesiologist will get you ready for Surgery. Various methods of anaesthesia may be used to keep you safe from Pain during your surgical recovery. The surgeon will make an incision to expose the tumour and then remove it. The incision is closed after the surgeon has finished the procedure, and a dressing is applied. You will spend some time in a surgical recovery room where you will be monitored when you wake up from the anaesthetic effects. Depending on the severity of your operation, you may continue your recovery in intensive care, where you will be closely monitored.

What are the side effects of Nephrectomy?

  • Infection
  • Bleeding (haemorrhage) requiring blood transfusion
  • Post-operative pneumonia
  • Rare allergic reactions to anaesthesia
  • Death