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Radical Nephrectomy Surgery

Nephrectomy refers to the surgical removal of the kidney and its connective systems, such as the ureter and renal pelvis.


Where to get a Radical Nephrectomy?

The average cost of Radical Nephrectomy worldwide is around USD 30,000.

(This includes the cost of the surgery and the expenses for the hospital stay. The exact cost will be determined after the surgeon’s opinion from detailed study of medical reports and patient’s evaluation.)

However, India offers an ideal and affordable solution for getting a Radical Nephrectomy. In India, the average cost of a radical Nephrectomy procedure is around 25% to 30% of the average value of the same procedure in the US.

Fill out the Inquiry Form given below to know the exact cost of a Radical Nephrectomy in India for you.


What is Radical Nephrectomy?

In Radical Nephrectomy the patient’s kidney, along with the urine collecting system is removed. The adrenal gland and the lymph nodes on the same side are also removed in this procedure.

Are there different kinds of Radical Nephrectomy procedures?

There are mainly 5 different types of Radical Nephrectomy procedures performed:

  1. Partial/Hemi-Nephrectomy – With this method, the affected part of the kidney is removed only.

  2. Simple Nephrectomy – In this method, the entire affected kidney is removed.

  3. Radical Nephrectomy – This method requires surgical removal of one affected kidney with the neighboring adrenal gland and the lymph nodes on the same side.

  4. Bilateral Nephrectomy – This method involves removing both the kidneys.

  5. Unilateral Nephrectomy – This procedure is used to remove a single kidney only.


Who is an ideal candidate for a Radical Nephrectomy procedure?

A patient with renal cell carcinoma at Stage I, II or III of the kidney, or if the patient has polycystic kidney disease that has damaged the kidney extensively, is considered ideally for a Radical Nephrectomy procedure.


How to prepare for a Radical Nephrectomy surgery?

It is vital for the surgeon to check the functioning level of the kidney before the Radical Nephrectomy procedure.

A thorough physical evaluation will involve chest x-rays, ECG, complete blood profile, complete kidney profile, blood gas analysis, pulmonary function tests and blood typing and cross-matching is done in case if blood transfusion is needed during the surgery.

Complete anatomical assessment may require extensive testing, including Cystoscopy/Ureteroscopy, IVP (intravenous Pyelogram), retrograde pyelography, CT scan, cystourethrography, MRI, ultrasonography, renal venography and renal angiography.

The surgery will require the patient to be hospitalized at least a day prior to the scheduled surgery date. Inform the surgeon about pre-existing conditions and any medications, drugs or supplements you are on.

Avoid taking ibuprofen and aspirin at least a couple of weeks before the surgery. Also refrain from smoking a few weeks before surgery to help make recovery period shorter and easy. Avoid eating or drinking anything at least 10 to 12 hours prior to the Radical Nephrectomy surgery.


How is Radical Nephrectomy performed?

Radical Nephrectomy requires administering general anesthesia to avoid pain or discomfort to the patient during the surgery.

Radical Nephrectomy may be performed using an Abdominal (Open) approach or a Laparoscopic (minimally invasive) approach. An abdominal approach requires making incision either in the front of the abdomen in front of the ribcage (anterior subcostal) or Thoraco-abdominal or on the side (flank).

Once the incision is made, the surgeon will remove the kidney by disconnecting it from the surrounding tissue. The renal artery and vein, ureter and the adrenal gland are also removed along with the kidney.

The surgeon will attach a drain to the incision wound before closing the incision. This entire procedure takes around 3 hours to perform.

In Laparoscopic Radical Nephrectomy, the procedure requires making 4 small incisions (each around 3 inches long). Miniature surgical instruments are used to disconnect the affected kidney from its supportive structures. The kidney is removed through a small incision in the abdominal wall, below the navel. Before suturing the small incisions closed, the surgeon will also tie the renal artery, ureter and renal vein.

This procedure normally takes around 3 to 5 hours of surgical time to get completed.


What is recovery like following a Radical Nephrectomy procedure?

After the Radical Nephrectomy procedure, the patient is shifted to the recovery room for a few hours. The doctors and surgeon can effectively monitor the patient’s vital signs and the functioning of the other kidney in this room.

The patient is usually hospitalized for around 5 to 7 days following a Radical Nephrectomy procedure.

It is advised to avoid strenuous activity, including exercise or lifting heavy weights and playing sports for around 2 to 3 weeks following a Radical Nephrectomy. The patient is able to rejoin work and resume daily activities within 4 to 6 weeks after the surgery.

Follow-up appointments will be scheduled to monitor the patient’s kidney functions to ensure that the remaining kidney is able to perform the filtering process efficiently.


How successful is Radical Nephrectomy?

The success rate of Radical Nephrectomy mainly depends on the type and size of the cancer. With Stage I of renal cell carcinoma (RCC), the patient recovers with Radical Nephrectomy in over 93% of all cases.

This is for the tumor which is isolated to the kidney and has not spread to the surrounding organs and tissues.


What are the benefits of Radical Nephrectomy?

Following a Radical Nephrectomy, the remaining healthy kidney compensates effectively for the removed kidney, under normal conditions. This is seen in around 75% to 80% of cases. The patient is able to lead a normal healthy life even if one of the kidney is removed using a Radical Nephrectomy.
The Laparoscopic Radical Nephrectomy is more beneficial as it requires shorter recovery time, is less painful, and results in a shorter stay in the hospital after the surgery.


Are there any risks associated with Radical Nephrectomy?

There are certain surgical risks associated with Radical Nephrectomy surgery as well, like:

  • Organ/tissue injuries

  • Hemorrhaging/bleeding

  • Infection

  • Failure of remaining kidney to compensate

  • Other complications (rare) – Heart failure, heart attack, pulmonary embolism, pneumonia, cerebro-vascular accident and thrombophlebitis.


What are the alternatives to Radical Nephrectomy?

There are several alternatives to undergoing a Radical Nephrectomy for removing affected kidney, including:

Cryosurgery – This new technique uses renal ablation of localized renal cancer.

Nephron-Sparing Surgery – This surgery is best-suited when it is necessary to retain functioning in the renal parenchyma. This becomes essential in case of renal cell carcinoma in both kidneys, or in the kidney which is functioning, and also in case of impairment of renal function from kidney stone, chronic kidney failure, diabetes or renal artery stenosis.


Why should I have a Radical Nephrectomy procedure now?

Radical Nephrectomy is the most advised procedure for treating renal cancer which is within the kidney. Mostly, this might be the only treatment you require for the cancer. The remaining kidney will efficiently compensate for the functioning of the removed kidney, in normal circumstances.

A Radical Nephrectomy procedure will not affect bladder functions and there will not be a need for a urostomy bag after the procedure. This surgery can effectively help to alleviate the pain caused by renal cancer, along with hematuria, weakness and fever being caused by the tumor in the kidney.

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