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Depending on the Kidney Disease,
Nephrectomy May Be in the Cards

Kidney Disease Nephrectomy

By Edgar Rider

What is it like for someone waiting to get a kidney? Once they have gotten through the process of dialysis and then they go through the application process. Once the medical team has found a willing donor the moment arrives. So, here comes the surgery known as Nephrectomy (maybe). It sounds a little complicated but when you take it apart the words mean (nephro = kidney, ectomy = removal). A patient might need this type of specific surgery depending on the condition. If your kidney was cancerous or even a benign tumor the doctors may decide on this option.

The causes of kidney disease that in some cases require surgery are high blood pressure, diabetes or Lupus. It is important to understand the basics of other types of surgery and other procedures to see how Nephrectomy is used with precision.

The kidney surgery process is a long waiting period. It can be many years of waiting on a list to find a donor. It usually consists of the patient talking to doctors and the surgeon and filling out tons of paperwork. Once they complete this process, they will begin to prepare for actual surgery.

The doctor must decide if a Nephrectomy is in the cards. This is based on the type of kidney disease. 

The First impromptu recorded Nephrectomy surgery occurred in 1861 and it was unsuccessful. In 1869 another was performed. This one proved at that time that only one kidney is needed for patients to live productive lives.

Potential donors are screened to see if they are a match. One of the best donors is usually members of their own family. Some are more likely to have a compatible blood and tissue type.

Some of the tests included are blood type, cross matching, antibody levels, X rays and a urine test.

They will find themselves ready to face kidney surgery known as Nephrectomy. Two types of surgery can take place for a diseased kidney either partial or radical. In partial, they only take the diseased part out. In radical nephrectomy they take the entire kidney out.

There are many other side processes and procedures taking place as well as the main surgery. It is important in Removing kidneys from both patients that a type of immediate storage techniques is required with a comprehensive step by step approach.

One of the steps that may be used to store kidneys is called Hypothermic Machine Perfusion. It is one of the means to preserve organs before transplantation . They also used Static Cold Storage to preserve kidneys. There can be different methods of preserving kidneys before surgery. Both have benefits to using them. Hypothermic Machine Perfusion has a few more benefits if dealing with a deceased donor. In hypothermic machine perfusion, after an initial washout of blood, the kidney is connected to a perfusion device, and a solution is pumped continuously through the renal vasculature.

However in Cold Storage, “the kidney is flushed, cooled with one of several cold preservation solutions, and transported on ice.”

Should be noted, it is called Renal transplantation which is due to the end stage kidney disease.

Kidney Disease Nephrectomy

There was some debate about whether it is better to use Static cold storage for organs or Machine perfusion in certain situations. If the donor is deceased hypothermic machine perfusion is preferred over cold storage. 

Once the preserving situation is resolved, The donor surgery only last about 2 hours. They now in many cases use to transplant kidneys as mentioned is called nephrectomy but also they have used other “keyhole” or laparoscopic surgical techniques uses a number of small incisions to insert instruments and then one large incision to take the kidney out. It is possible they will have to operate differently under certain conditions. But the standard procedure in cancerous and other tumor types is Nephrectomy.

For the transplant patient, they are placed on an operating table and the kidney is transplanted fairly quickly.

Laparoscopic surgery involves the use of a laparoscope (wand-like camera) that is passed through a series of small incisions or “ports” in the abdominal wall (stomach).

Cameras can be used in Nephrectomy surgery to be as precise as possible with every component of operations and to help with incisions as well as the actual transplant of the kidney. 

Surgery may last from 2 to 4 hours for the donor and for the transplant patient as well.

In most cases of other kidney surgery, they do not take out the actual kidney. The new kidney is placed in the pelvis region and not on the back region. It is connected to nearby blood vessels and the new kidney's ureter is attached to your bladder 

There may be some reasons for removing damaged kidneys in other ways . Repeated infection that could spread to the transplanted kidney. Which means they may have to put it in the back region. A couple of these reasons include:

  • Uncontrollable hypertension caused by your original kidneys
  • Backup of urine into your kidneys (a condition called reflux)

All of these factors are important in any type of kidney transplantation. In Nephrectomy, either method could be applied depending on the situation.

After surgery, both the transplanter and transplantee can live long healthy productive lives with only one working kidney. People need only one working kidney to function.

As was stated before, Nephrectomy has been in practice since the late 1800’s. This science-perfected craft has helped many patients with specific issues concerning their kidney disease. Patients in need of a kidney should feel rest assured that it is a routine process. Through the years, medical professions have perfected the approach. They have relied on technology to improve the precision of all particular incisions. Depending on the specific kidney issue, the surgeon will try a comprehensive approach.

Although some complications can ensue, most kidney transplant operations do help patients live productive lives. Nephrectomy has proven to be an effective removal method, a simple process that has had rich results for patients to continue to lead productive lives.

About the author:
Edgar Rider has written about other kidney health issues such as Lupus as well as Peritoneal and Hemodialysis. He has also published articles on Growth Mindset, Blended Learning and Substitute teaching.


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