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Kidney removal - discharge

Nephrectomy - discharge; Simple nephrectomy - discharge; Radical nephrectomy - discharge; Open nephrectomy - discharge; Laparoscopic nephrectomy - discharge; Partial nephrectomy - discharge

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Description

You had surgery to remove part of one kidney or the entire kidney, the lymph nodes near it, and maybe your adrenal gland. This article tells you how to take care of yourself when you leave the hospital.

When You Were in the Hospital

You may have an 8- to 12-inch (20- to 30-centimeters) surgical cut over your belly or along your side. If you had laparoscopic surgery, you may have three or four small cuts.

What to Expect at Home

Recovering from kidney removal most often takes around 3 to 6 weeks. You may have some of these symptoms:

Activity

Plan to have someone drive you home from the hospital. DO NOT drive yourself home. You may also need help with everyday activities for the first 1 to 2 weeks. Set up your home so it is easier to use.

You should be able to do most of your regular activities within 4 to 6 weeks. Before then:

To manage your pain:

Press a pillow over your incision when you cough or sneeze to ease discomfort and protect your incision.

Make sure your home is safe as you are recovering.

Wound Care

You will need to keep your incision area clean, dry, and protected. Change your dressings the way your provider taught you to.

DO NOT soak in a bathtub or hot tub, or go swimming, until your provider tells you it is OK.

Diet

Eat a normal diet. Drink 4 to 8 glasses of water or liquids a day, unless you are told otherwise.

If you have hard stools:

When to Call the Doctor

Call your provider if:

Related Information

High blood pressure - adults
Renal cell carcinoma
Kidney removal
Kidney transplant
Bathroom safety for adults
Surgical wound care - open
Preventing falls

References

Olumi AF, Preston MA, Blute ML. Open surgery of the kidney. In: Wein AJ, Kavoussi LR, Partin AW, Peters CA, eds. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 60.

Schwartz MJ, Rais-Bahrami S, Kavoussi LR. Laparoscopic and robotic surgery of the kidney. In: Wein AJ, Kavoussi LR, Partin AW, Peters CA, eds. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 61.

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Review Date: 4/2/2019  

Reviewed By: Sovrin M. Shah, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Urology, The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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