Urology of Greater Atlanta

Robotic Nephrectomy - How to Remove a Kidney With Robotic Surgery

Urology Of Greater Atlanta

Radical nephrectomy may be an option if you have been diagnosed with kidney cancer or kidney tumors. 

The surgery could either remove part of the kidney or the entire kidney, depending on how large the cancer is, using an advanced robotic system.

Before the Kidney Removal

Before the surgery for kidney cancer, the surgeon will ask you to stop taking some medications. Blood thinners such as warfarin, aspirin, or Plavix will need to be stopped 5 to 7 days before surgery. 

You will also need to tell your surgeon if you are taking any anti-inflammatory medications or vitamin supplements, as these can increase bleeding.

Tobacco can limit the body’s ability to heal itself. So stop smoking in the week leading up to the surgery.

You shouldn’t eat or drink anything after midnight before the surgery. This will help prevent nausea that some patients experience due to anesthesia. 

If you take blood pressure medicine, your surgeon may ask you to take it with just a few sips of water.

During the Procedure

Patients are given general anesthesia so they can be unconscious for the procedure. 

The surgeon will make small keyhole incisions in the abdomen to allow the surgical instruments and the laparoscopic camera to be inserted. 

Then the surgeon will inflate the abdomen cavity with carbon dioxide to create space to access the cancerous kidney tissue.

The surgeon will then stop the blood flow to the kidney with the tumor or cancer. This allows the kidney tumor or cancer to be removed, in the case of nephron-sparing surgery, or the entire kidney, if necessary.

Finally, the other part of the kidney is sewn back together, the instruments are removed, and the abdomen is deflated.

How Long Does Robotic Kidney Surgery Take?

Laparoscopic surgery and robotic full and partial nephrectomy require that patients undergo general anesthesia. 

The exact operating time will vary from one individual to another. However, it will usually take on average 3-4 hours.

What Can I Expect After a Robotic Partial Nephrectomy?

Once the laparoscopic nephrectomy has been completed, you will remain in the hospital for a few days to be monitored and treated for postoperative pain. 

Minimally invasive surgery is far less traumatic than open surgery and, therefore, your hospital stay and pain will be far less. However, there still will be some pain that needs to be managed.

Shortly after your surgery, you will be encouraged to walk a little to encourage blood flow, healing, and normal function. It also helps prevent pneumonia and other complications.

To begin with, you will be limited to a liquid diet immediately after surgery. You’ll start to eat solid food as you heal and recover.

You will be able to function normally on the remaining kidney as long as it is healthy. Your doctor will likely encourage you to stick to a routine of a healthy diet,  physical activity, and regular checkups to help preserve kidney function.

If you have kidney cancer, tumors, or any other chronic kidney disease and are looking for an expert urological surgeon who specializes in robot-assisted laparoscopic surgery, call Urology of Greater Atlanta or make an appointment online today to learn about your surgical options. 

Our expert surgeons are fully trained in robotic surgery using the computerized da Vinci Surgical System.

We have offices throughout Greater Atlanta, including Blue Ridge, GA.

Stockbridge, Country Club Drive

290 Country Club Drive Suite 100, Stockbridge, GA 30281

Blue Ridge, Blue Ridge Drive

4799 Blue Ridge Drive Suite 107, Blue Ridge, GA 30513

Sandy Springs

1100 Lake Hearn Drive NE STE 320
Atlanta, GA 30342

Griffin, West College Street

230 West College Street Bldg. C, Griffin, GA 30224

Spivey Station

7823 Spivey Station Blvd Suite 210, Jonesboro, GA 30236


4143 Hospital Drive NE Covington, GA 30014