Kidney Cancer Treatment: Nephrectomy
A nephrectomy is a surgical procedure performed to partially or entirely remove the kidney. Northwest Medical Specialties has providers who have specialized in completing this type of surgery for many years, and has been able to help a number of patients improve their quality of life. If you are interested in discussing whether a nephrectomy may be applicable to you and your individual case of kidney disease, please call one of our five locations in the South Puget Sound area today to schedule a consultation.
Why a Nephrectomy Is Performed
This surgery is often performed for treatment of kidney cancer, removal of a tumor from the kidney, or some type of kidney disease that has resulted in permanent damage. It is of course also common for individuals without any sort of kidney condition to undergo a nephrectomy if they wish to donate their healthy kidney.
There are three distinctive types of nephrectomy that our providers are able to perform:
As its name would suggest, this procedure is used to remove only a part of the patient’s kidney. If there is enough healthy tissue left to sustain regular kidney function then a partial nephrectomy is likely best suited for you.
Many medical professionals will also refer to this particular surgery as a kidney-sparing or nephron-sparing procedure.
During a simple nephrectomy, your specialist will remove the entire kidney and nothing else.
This specific type of nephrectomy is the most extensive, as it not only removes the kidney, but also many surrounding tissues and structures. It is common for surgeons to remove the kidney, ureter (the tube that takes filtered urine from the kidney to the bladder), adrenal gland, and nearby lymph nodes as well in order to ensure that the disease is completely excised from the area.
Benefits of the da Vinci Surgical System
Traditional approaches to this procedure are still suitable for accomplishing a successful nephrectomy, though there are many advantages to utilizing more modern technology. One of these primary benefits being that the surgery is minimally invasive, which leads to a much lower risk of potential complications, and a significant reduction in recovery time.
After the Procedure
Those who elect for a minimally invasive nephrectomy can typically expect to return to normal activities only a few weeks after their procedure. Discomfort usually subsides within the first 1 to 2 weeks, and long-term results can often be achieved after a period of 3 to 6 months. It is important to speak with your physician prior to introducing any potentially strenuous tasks to your routine, as these may be dangerous for those who have not healed fully.