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What to Expect from Partial Nephrectomy

Prior to Surgery

  • Talk to your doctor about any medications/vitamins/herbs you are taking as you may need to stop certain ones before surgery.
  • Let your doctor know if you could be or are pregnant.
  • Discuss any possible bleeding disorders or other medical conditions that you may have.

Pre-Op Instructions

  • You will have blood samples taken in case you need a blood transfusion.
  • You may be asked to stop taking aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), Clopidogrel (Plavix), warfarin (Coumadin), and other blood thinners.
  • Ask your doctor which drugs you should still take on the day of the surgery.
  • Do not smoke. This will help you to recover quicker.

On the Day of the Surgery

  • You will usually be asked not to drink or eat anything after midnight the night before the surgery.
  • Take the drugs your doctor told you to take with a small sip of water.
  • Your doctor or nurse will tell you when to arrive at the hospital.

After Surgery

You will stay in the hospital for a couple of days, depending on your recovery. During a hospital stay, you may:

  • Be asked to sit on the side of the bed and walk on the same day at surgery
  • Have a tube, or catheter, that comes from your bladder
  • Have a drain that comes out through your surgical cut
  • Be encouraged to do breathing exercises
  • Wear special stockings to prevent blood clots
  • Receive shots under your skin to prevent blood clots
  • Receive pain medicine into your veins or pills

Recovery: What to Expect in the Next Few Weeks

  • Most patients will feel better within a few days; however, do not lift, push or pull any heavy objects until after your doctor says it is OK.
  • Full recovery takes six weeks to allow for internal healing.

Alternative Names
Partial nephrectomy, partial kidney removal.