Before surgery, you'll talk with your surgeon about what options are available for you. Questions you might ask include:
- Will I need a partial or complete nephrectomy?
- Am I a candidate for a minimally invasive (laparoscopic) procedure?
- What are the chances that I'll need a complete nephrectomy even if a partial nephrectomy is planned?
- If the surgery is for treating cancer, what other related procedures or treatments might I need?
Planning your hospital stay
You may need to stay in the hospital from one to five days, depending on the type of procedure. Ask your surgeon and health care team about your probable recovery time.
Preparing for the surgery
You'll receive instructions about what to do the day before and the day of your surgery. Make note of any questions you might have, such as:
- When do I need to begin fasting?
- Can I take my prescription medications?
- If so, how soon before the surgery can I take a dose?
- What nonprescription medications should I avoid?
- When do I need to arrive at the hospital?
Planning for a donor nephrectomy
If you're planning to donate a kidney for a transplant, you'll have certain tests and exams done to make sure you're a suitable candidate.
Criteria for being an ideal kidney donor include:
May 16, 2015
- Age 18 years or older
- Compatible blood type with kidney transplant recipient
- General good health
- Two well-functioning kidneys
- No history of high blood pressure, kidney disease, diabetes, certain cancers or major risk factors for heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease
- Stable mental health
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- Leach GE, et al. Partial nephrectomy: Mayo Clinic experience 1957-1977. Urology. 1980;15:219.
- Thompson RH, et al. Radical nephrectomy for pT1a renal masses may be associated with decreased overall survival compared with partial nephrectomy. The Journal of Urology. 2008;179:468.
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- Tan HJ, et al. Long-term survival following partial vs. radical nephrectomy among older patients with early-stage kidney cancer. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2012;307:1629.
- Castle EP (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Phoenix, Ariz. May 1, 2015.
- Salevitz DA, et al. The impact of ischemia on long-term renal function after partial nephrectomy in the two kidney model. Journal of Endourology. 2015;29:474.
- Wisenbaugh ES, et al. Massive renal size is not a contraindication to a laparoscopic approach for bilateral native nephrectomies in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD). BJU International. 2015;115:796.