Nephrectomy means removal of a kidney. Laparoscopic n ephrectomy uses keyhole technique. Laparoscopic method of kidney removal uses three or four one centimeter small cuts (incisions). A laparoscope which is a thin tube with a light and camera on the end, and surgical instruments are then passed through these incisions. The camera sends pictures to a TV screen so that the surgeon can see the kidney and surrounding tissue. One of the incisions will be enlarged to enable the kidney to pass through once it has been disconnected from the surrounding tissues and blood vessels.
A laparoscopic nephrectomy is performed under a general anesthetic . The operation usually takes 2-3 hours but can vary depending on the specific operation.
You are expected to stay in hospital for 2-4 nights. Following the operation it is usual to have mild shoulder or stomach pain for a couple of days. This pain is often described as a "wind-like" pain, and is due to the surgeon using gas to inflate your abdominal cavity so that he can visualize the kidney better. Painkillers will be used to relieve the pain. You will be encouraged to sit out of bed for short periods the day following the operation and to walk a short distance. On the second day after the operation you would be able to be out of bed for most of the day and walk longer distances.
The small wounds are closed with dissolvable stitches. And dressings are removed after the forty-eight hours of the operation. The wounds are covered with a protective plastic film so that you can bath or shower as normal.
The laparoscopic method of kidney removal has been shown to cause less blood loss and fewer complications than the open method, and also has a shorter recovery time.
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