Peninsula Regional Medical Center - Part of Peninusula Regional Health System

Laparoscopic Partial Nephrectomy-A Typical Patient Experience

Laparoscopic Partial Nephrectomy
Typical Patient Experience

Laparoscopic partial nephrectomy (removal of a portion of the kidney through small incisions) is a procedure that removes a small kidney tumor and leaves the rest of the patient’s kidney in place.  Laparoscopic partial nephrectomy may only be performed for tumors 3-4 centimeters in diameter or smaller.  Larger tumors require laparoscopic radical nephrectomy.

Laparoscopic partial nephrectomy patients report to Same Day Surgery at Peninsula Regional Medical Center on the day of surgery.   They will have the opportunity to meet with both their urologist and anesthesiologist to have any remaining questions answered.   Once in the operating room, the procedure will take about two hours.   At the conclusion of surgery, the patient is moved to the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) for about an hour.   The patient is then brought to their Medical Center room where the family may visit.   

There is traditionally some mild to moderate discomfort at the incision sites for the first 24 hours, and is usually well controlled with oral pain medications.  The patient will have a Jackson-Pratt (JP) drain exiting one of the small incisions for the first 24 to 48 hours.  This drain will remove any fluid that may collect near the kidney after surgery.  The drain will be removed prior to discharge from the Medical Center.  

Patients are restricted to liquids the night following surgery, but can usually resume a regular diet the following day.  A patient will be discharged home after he or she is able to stand and walk, consume food without nausea and is tolerating pain well through oral pain medicines.   The surgeon will usually call the patient with pathology results about one week after the operation.  Follow up is scheduled for 2-4 weeks after surgery.