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Nephrectomy (synonyms: simple lumbar nephrectomy, radical nephrectomy, radical tumor nephrectomy, kidney removal) is the surgical removal of a kidney. A nephrectomy is required if the kidney is irreversibly damaged.

A kidney can also be taken as part of an organ donation. Then one speaks of a Spendernephrektomie.

The following forms of nephrectomy are distinguished:

  • Simple nephrectomy - only the affected kidney is removed; Adrenal glands, fat capsules, Gerota fascia (connective tissue surrounding the fat capsule) and lymph nodes are preserved
  • Radical nephrectomy - removal of the affected kidney and additionally the adrenal gland, fat capsule, gerota fascia and the regional lymph nodes

Kidney removal (nephrectomy) is performed under general anesthesia.

The operation can be done by a larger incision on the flank, on the abdominal wall or on the back. Sometimes surgery can also be performed by laparoscopy.

In the procedure of a larger skin incision, the affected kidney is exposed. If necessary, it is again checked whether the kidney actually needs to be removed. The kidney is separated from the vessels and taken out, possibly together with the ureter.

During surgery by means of laparoscopy, an optical device (laparoscope) with a small video camera is inserted through a small incision in the front or back area. To expand the abdominal arch and improve visibility, CO2 gas is injected. Required instruments will be introduced through further cuts. On a monitor, the surgeon sees the operating area in real time. The kidney is separated, one of the cuts enlarged to about 3 cm and the kidney pulled out.

At the end of the procedure, a drainage tube is often inserted to catch wound fluid. The hose can be pulled after a few days.

GermanMedicalGroup + 49 (7221) 39-65-785 Flugstrasse 8a
76532 Baden-Baden
Nephrectomy is the surgical removal of a kidney. The procedure is done to treat kidney cancer as well as other kidney diseases and injuries. 2020-03-10 Nephrectomy
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