Also known as: kidney removal.

What is nephrectomy?

Nephrectomy is the medical term for the surgical removal of a kidney. It’s done in the case of kidney failure, a kidney transplant, cancer or other reasons. All or just part of the kidney may be removed.

What happens during the procedure?

The procedure is performed under general anesthesia, and a catheter to drain urine from the bladder is used.

The procedure to remove the kidney can be performed with a laparoscope (a thin, flexible tube inserted through an incision) or via an open surgery. After the kidney is removed, the wound is closed.

Is any special preparation needed? 

The patient needs to avoid food, drink or certain medications before a nephrectomy.

What are the risk factors? 

Infection, bleeding, damage to surrounding organs and tissues, high blood pressure and chronic kidney disease are all potential risks of nephrectomy.

Reviewed by: Felix I Ramirez-Seijas, MD

This page was last updated on: May 12, 2023 03:33 PM


The Division of Nephrology at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital treats kidney disorders and provides comprehensive evaluation of renal functions, including kidney biopsies.

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