A nephrectomy is an operation to remove a kidney. It is usually performed with minimally invasive techniques, using laparoscopic (keyhole) or robotic surgery.
There are different types of nephrectomies:
A partial nephrectomy is an operation to remove part of a kidney. It is done to remove a mass in the kidney, leaving the healthy part of the kidney behind. If successful, it allows better preservation of kidney function than a complete removal of the kidney nephrectomy. However, if a partial removal is not considered feasible, or is felt to be unsafe, a complete removal of the kidney may be recommended instead.
Partial nephrectomy can be performed in different ways:
A pyeloplasty is an operation to reconstruct the renal pelvis (a part of the kidney) to relieve a uretero-pelvic junction (UPJ) obstruction. A UPJ obstruction is a condition where urine is unable to drain normally from the kidney into the ureter (urine tube), which can cause the kidney to swell and become damaged.
During a pyeloplasty, the diseased portion of the UPJ is removed and the healthy ureter is rejoined to the kidney.
Pyeloplasty can be performed in different ways:
Renal transplant, or kidney transplant, is a major surgery where a healthy donor kidney is transplanted into a person with end-stage renal disease, when the kidneys have lost about 90% of their normal function. Only one donor kidney is needed to replace two failed kidneys. In the majority of patients, a renal transplant is a preferred treatment over a lifetime on dialysis.
The kidneys play an important role in filtering and removing waste products from the blood. As kidney function fails, these toxins and excess fluid cannot be removed from the body effectively. The build up of waste products in the blood can cause permanent damage to the other organs. Common causes of kidney failure include diabetes, uncontrolled hypertension, and hereditary conditions like polycystic kidney disease.
At URODOC, our team understands the importance of holistic and patient-centred care when undergoing a significant surgery. We work closely with a multi-disciplinary team of specialists as we guide patients through their renal transplant journey — before, in and after the operating theatre.