A laparoscopic nephrectomy is a keyhole surgical removal of a kidney. This procedure is most commonly indicated for patients suffering from kidney cancer, but also for patients with poor kidney function caused by benign kidney disease such as chronic infection or kidney stones.
The surgery usually takes between 2 and 3 hours and requires the patient to have a general anaesthesia. The surgeon will insert a laparoscope and the surgical instruments through 4 or 5 small incisions. The damaged kidney will be removed through one of the incisions.
The surgery will require the patient to stay in the hospital for a few days.
The potential benefits of laparoscopic surgery compared to traditional open surgical procedures are: less blood loss, less pain, shorter recovery times and a better cosmetic outcome. It is generally a safe procedure with a low complication rate. Like most major abdominal procedures, however, complications can occur, though these are generally of a minor nature and will be explained by your surgeon.
Copy written by Mr Ian Dunn, Consultant Urological Surgeon at BMI Ross Hall Hospital