Nephrectomy is a surgical procedure to remove all or part of your kidney. The kidneys are 2 small, bean-shaped organs located in the back of the abdomen. They function by filtering blood and removing waste from your body in the form of urine. Nephrectomy is indicated when your kidney fails to function normally due to severe infection or abnormality. Nephrectomy can be performed either through open surgery or laparoscopically with minimally invasive laparoscopic nephrectomy being the preferred choice of most patients and surgeons due to its advantages over open surgery.
- Laparoscopic nephrectomy is performed under general anesthesia.
- Your surgeon will make 3 to 5 small keyhole incisions on your abdomen.
- A laparoscope - small, thin tube with a light and tiny video camera (connected to a television monitor) attached at the end- is introduced into the abdomen through one of the keyhole incisions, which helps visualize the inside of the abdomen.
- A harmless carbon dioxide gas is pumped into the abdomen through the laparoscope to expand the abdomen for better visualization of the internal structures and to make more space for the surgeon to work.
- Small specialized instruments are introduced through the other incisions.
- The high-intensity camera attached with the laparoscope provides an enlarged image of the patient’s internal organs on a television monitor.
- The ureter and blood vessels that carry blood to and from the kidney to be removed are clipped.
- The kidney is then released carefully from the surrounding tissues and enclosed in a bag within the body. This is removed by enlarging one of the incisions by approximately 2 inches.
- The scope and the instruments are withdrawn and incisions are sutured firmly with stitches and sterile dressing is applied.
- The benefits of minimally invasive laparoscopic nephrectomy include small surgical cuts, minimal pain, shorter hospital stay, faster recovery, reduced scarring, minimal risk of infection, minimal blood loss, minimal damage to surrounding tissues, and you will probably be able to get back to most of your normal activities in a couple of weeks’ time.
- Ask your doctor to know more about minimally invasive laparoscopic nephrectomy.