Nephrectomy is the surgical removal of one or both the kidneys.
Located at the rear of the abdominal cavity, kidneys are bean shaped organs that help in filtration of blood, regulation of electrolytes, maintenance of acid-base balance, regulation of blood pressure, excretion of wastes, reabsorption of water, glucose and amino acids.
Clinical conditions involving the kidneys include urinary tract infection, urinary tract obstruction, nephrotic syndrome, nephritis, cysts, chronic kidney disease, kidney stones.
Patients presenting with conditions like renal cell carcinoma,a non-functioning kidney or a congenitally small kidney which is not functioning are advised surgical removal of the kidney.
Nephrectomy or surgical removal of the kidney can be performed by two approaches:
- Open surgery
- Laparoscopic surgery
In the open procedure, a large surgical cut is made on the side of the abdomen and the affected kidney is disconnected from the surrounding vessels and ureter and removed,
In the laparoscopic approach, the surgeon makes two-three tiny incisions in the abdomen and enters the laparoscope and instruments through these incisions. The ureter and vessels are disconnected and the kidney is placed inside a bag inside the body itself and removed through one of the incisions.
Why Laparoscopic surgery over open surgery?
Laparoscopic surgery is less painful and has fewer complications as the abdominal muscles are not cut. The recovery is faster and the patients are mobile within a few hours after the surgery. The cosmetic results are excellent as compared to an Open surgery.