After one kidney is removed, your other kidney may not work as well for awhile
Hernia of your surgical wound
Before the Procedure
Always tell your doctor or nurse:
If you could be pregnant
What drugs you are taking, even drugs or herbs you bought without a prescription
During the days before the surgery:
You will have blood samples taken in case you need a blood transfusion.
You may be asked to stop taking aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), Clopidogrel (Plavix), warfarin (Coumadin), and other blood thinners.
Ask your doctor which drugs you should still take on the day of the surgery.
Do not smoke. This will help you to recover quicker.
On the day of the surgery:
You will usually be asked not to drink or eat anything after midnight the night before the surgery.
Take the drugs your doctor told you to take with a small sip of water.
Your doctor or nurse will tell you when to arrive at the hospital.
After the Procedure
You will stay in the hospital for 2 to 7 days, depending on the type of the surgery you have. During a hospital stay, you may:
Be asked to sit on the side of the bed and walk on the same day at surgery
Have a tube, or catheter, that comes from your bladder
Have a drain that comes out through your surgical cut
Not be able to eat the first 1 to 3 days, and then you will begin with liquids
Be encouraged to do breathing exercises
Wear special stockings to prevent blood clots
Receive shots under your skin to prevent blood clots
Receive pain medicine into your veins or pills
Recovering from open surgery may be painful because of where the surgical cut is. Recovery after a laparoscopic procedure is usually quicker, with less pain.
The outcome is usually good when a single kidney is removed. If both kidneys are removed, or the remaining kidney does not work well enough, you will need hemodialysis or a kidney transplant.
Kavoussi LR, Schwartz MJ, Gill IS. Laparoscopic surgery of the kidney. In: Wein AJ, ed. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 55.
Kenney PA, Wotkowicz T, Libertino JA. Contemporary open surgery of the kidney. In: Wein AJ, ed. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 54.
David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Louis S. Liou, MD, PhD, Chief of Urology, Cambridge Health Alliance, Visiting Assistant Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.