A laparoscopic nephrectomy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure useful in removal of a cancerous or a damaged kidney. This is a significantly more efficient and convenient method of performing a nephrectomy as it requires less time for the surgical process and it is also less painful.
This minimally invasive surgical method used to remove diseased kidneys is fast becoming a popular and more preferred method due to its various advantages such as lesser surgery time, less pain after surgery, decreased recovery time and shorter hospital stay.
Am I a candidate for a Laparoscopic Nephrectomy?
Laparoscopic nephrectomy is a procedure to remove a damaged kidney through a minimally invasive surgical method. This is a major type of surgery and the nephrology specialist/doctor will decide if you are a candidate for a surgical procedure depending on your overall health status, physical fitness as well as other similar factors.
If you are suspected to have a damaged or diseased kidney that cannot be treated with other non-surgical methods then the nephrology specialist will likely perform a set of diagnostic tests to determine the need for a nephrectomy using laparoscopic technique. The doctor will perform diagnostic tests such as:
- Physical examination
- Electrocardiogram (EKG)
- Complete Blood Count (CBC)
- Blood coagulation profile (PT/PTT)
- Blood chemistry profile (complete metabolic panel
If the diagnostic tests confirm the need to remove your kidney and you are found physically fit to undergo a nephrectomy the surgeon will advise you on the best and most efficient method suitable for your individual case.
How is a Laparoscopic Nephrectomy procedure performed?
A laparoscopic nephrectomy procedure is basically a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to remove a damaged or a diseased kidney completely. This is a less-invasive surgical method and is more efficient and convenient than the traditional open-type surgical method used otherwise.
This procedure requires administering general anesthesia in order to prevent any sort of pain or discomfort to you during the surgical procedure. The surgery typically lasts for around 3-4 hours. The surgeon will make small (1 cm) incisions at 3 places on the abdomen. The surgeon will initially insert the laparoscope fitted with a light-source and a video camera into the abdominal cavity to view the affected kidney in a better way on the video monitor.
The surgeon will then use tiny specialized surgical instruments attached to the other laparoscopic tubes by inserting them from the other ports and carefully disconnect the kidney and remove it after clamping the connection close.
This is a less invasive kidney removal method and the surgery time is significantly reduced. However, depending on your individual condition the doctor may advise a few days of hospital stay to observe for any unwanted complications.
What are the risks associated with a Laparoscopic Nephrectomy?
There are certain risks and complications that may arise after a laparoscopic nepphrectomy (as is seen in any type of surgical procedure) such as:
- Bleeding – There are very rare chances of bleeding from the incision site after a minimally invasive surgical procedure such as a laparoscopic surgery.
- Infection – Infection might be seen in rare cases after a laparoscopic nehprectomy but the surgeon will prepare for this with intravenous antibiotics administering during surgery to avoid any type of infection from developing.
- Organ/Tissue Injury – Although rare, there are chances of the surrounding tissue or organs such as the vascular system (blood vessels), spleen, bowels, liver, pancreas, etc to get damaged due to a mishap.
- Hernia – This is a very rare possibility as minimally invasive surgery incisions are closed with care after surgery to avoid such a condition from arising.
- Nausea – Anesthetic reaction may result in nausea or even vomiting in some cases.
A laparoscopic nephrectomy is a very efficient and one of the most convenient surgical methods for removal of a damaged or diseased kidney and prevent other resultant complications from arising in the future.