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What to Expect During a Kidney Reconstruction Surgery

Patients with kidney cancer are treated with renal reconstruction, sometimes called a partial nephrectomy, whenever possible.

If you need this complex procedure, trust W. Cooper Buschemeyer III, MD of The Woodlands, Texas. His office provides comprehensive surgical treatments to help heal your damaged or diseased kidney.

Kidney reconstruction is preferable to removal because your body functions best with two functioning kidneys. You want long-term kidney and physical health.

Here’s what you should know about kidney reconstruction surgery. 

About kidney reconstruction

This surgery is performed to remove a cancerous tumor that has not spread throughout the kidney or to other organs. The goal is to leave as much of the healthy kidney as possible but remove all cancerous and possibly cancerous cells. 

During surgery, you lie on your side or back, depending on where the tumor is located. Your surgeon may need to stop blood flow to the kidney temporarily to prevent major blood loss and give a better view of the organ. To prevent damage due to the lack of blood flow, crushed ice may be used to lower the temperature of the organ.  

Your surgeon removes the entire tumor and any suspected areas that may have irregular cells and then sews the wound closed. 

During any kidney surgery, you’re placed under general anesthesia. Expect the entire procedure to take 3-4 hours and for you to spend additional time in the hospital for monitoring and recovery.

Surgical techniques

A partial nephrectomy may be done with traditional open surgery. In this procedure, your surgeon makes an incision in the abdominal wall to directly reach the kidney. Open surgery usually results in a larger scar, more blood loss, and longer recovery.

Your kidney reconstruction may also be done using minimally invasive, laparoscopic techniques. This surgery requires smaller incisions and less blood loss. Your surgeon inserts a small, flexible tube affixed with a camera (a laparoscope) into these small incisions to view your kidney. He then manipulates tiny instruments to complete the mass removal and kidney repair. 

In some cases, a laparoscopic procedure may be guided using a robotic system. Your doctor is in control of the procedure the whole time, but the instruments provide greater precision and accuracy. 

Although laparoscopic surgery is often preferable, not everyone is a candidate. Your surgeon will schedule the right surgery for your case. 

Recovery after kidney reconstruction

Plan to spend 1d day in the hospital following your robotic laparoscopic. It’s normal to have some pain near the surgical area for several weeks. 

We give you complete at-home recovery instructions. If you do develop a fever, notice blood in your urine, or have a lot of pain, please consult with us to determine if you should come in for evaluation. 

Kidney reconstruction following trauma

If you’ve had trauma to your kidney such as in a car accident, you may also need kidney reconstruction. In these cases, your surgeon does everything possible to preserve health tissue and remove any that is damaged. They’ll work to repair blood vessels to get the kidney back as close to normal function as possible.

To learn more about the surgical services offered by the office of W. Cooper Buschemeyer III, MD, call the office or use the online tool to schedule your consultation.

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