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What is laparoscopic nephrectomy?

A laparoscopic nephrectomy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure for removing a kidney.

When is a nephrectomy used?

Laparoscopic simple nephrectomy is suitable for patients with benign conditions resulting in end-stage kidney disease (kidney failure) including infection, stones, obstruction, dysplasia and renal vascular hypertension.

Laparoscopic radical nephrectomy is an excellent minimally invasive treatment for the majority of localized renal tumors, up to 12 to 15 centimeters in size.

What does a laparoscopic nephrectomy involve?

Unlike a conventional nephrectomy, laparoscopic nephrectomy surgery requires only several small incisions. Through these incisions, a surgeon uses a powerful endoscope – a tiny camera – and specialized surgical instruments to conduct the operation and remove the kidney.

How long does laparoscopic nephrectomy surgery take?

Laparoscopic nephrectomy surgery takes approximately 2 to 21/2 hours, and the hospital stay is usually just overnight, even for large tumors.

What are the advantages of a nephrectomy?

Cleveland Clinic is the only medical center in the United States where the retroperitoneal (behind the peritoneum) approach is used consistently for laparoscopic radical nephrectomy. Technically more advanced, Clinic urologists believe this approach to nephrectomy offers significant advantages to the patient, including:

  • Avoidance of potential bowel complications
  • Reduced hospital stay (one day in younger, healthy patients) and faster healing
  • Less postoperative pain and less need for pain medication
  • Quicker return to normal activity and work
  • Smaller incisions and less scarring than a traditional nephrectomy

How long has Cleveland Clinic been performing laparoscopic radical nephrectomy procedures?

Cleveland Clinic was the first medical center in Ohio to perform laparoscopic radical nephrectomy for kidney disease, beginning in 1997. Cleveland Clinic now offers laparoscopic options for a majority of kidney diseases and has, by far, the most experience with laparoscopic surgery for kidney cancer in the United States.

How many laparoscopic radical nephrectomies have Cleveland Clinic urologist performed?

To date, the Urological Institute laparoscopic team has performed more than 430 such kinds of nephrectomy for both benign and malignant diseases.

Call us for an Appointment

Urology Appointments: 800.223.2273 ext. 4-5600
Nephrology Appointments: 800.223.2273 ext. 4-6771

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Do you have a question about our services? Ask the nurse in the Glickman Urological & Kidney Institute.

This information is provided by Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.

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