How you prepare

A urologic surgeon discusses treatment options with a patient.

A urologic surgeon discusses treatment options, as well as benefits and risks, with each patient.

Before surgery, you'll talk with your urologic 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 procedure (laparoscopic, robotic or other)?
  • 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 night to a week or more, 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?
Aug. 15, 2017
References
  1. Nephrectomy. National Kidney Foundation. https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/nephrectomy. Accessed March 15, 2017.
  2. Leibovich BC (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 8, 2017.
  3. Renal cell carcinoma. Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/genitourinary-disorders/genitourinary-cancer/renal-cell-carcinoma. Accessed March 16, 2017.
  4. AskMayoExpert. Wilms tumor. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2016.
  5. AskMayoExpert. Partial nephrectomy. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2016.
  6. Richie JP. Definitive surgical management of renal cell carcinoma. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 16, 2017.
  7. Richie JP, et al. Role of surgery in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 16, 2017.
  8. Tan HJ, et al. Long-term survival following partial vs. radical nephrectomy among older patients with early-stage kidney cancer. JAMA. 2012;307:1629.
  9. Abaza R, et al. Multi-institutional experience with robotic nephrectomy with inferior vena cava tumor thrombectomy. The Journal of Urology. 2016;195:865.
  10. Stewart-Merrill SB, et al. Oncologic surveillance after surgical resection for renal cell carcinoma: A novel risk-based approach. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2015;33:4151.
  11. Kim SP, et al. Approach to the small renal mass: To treat or not to treat. Urologic Clinics of North America. 2012;39:171.
  12. Patton MW, et al. Robot-assisted partial nephrectomy for complex renal masses. Journal of Robotic Surgery. 2016;10:27.
  13. Zaid HB, et al. Outcomes following complete surgical metastasectomy for patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma: A systematic review and meta-analysis. The Journal of Urology. 2017;197:44.
  14. Your kidneys and how they work. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/kidneys-how-they-work. Accessed May 10, 2017.
  15. Solitary kidney. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/solitary-kidney. Accessed May 10, 2017.