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Patient Pathway

Surgery

About Surgery

Surgical options

If a tumour is small enough and localised to the kidney, there is a very good chance that surgery will relieve you of the physical symptoms of kidney cancer. Although you may still need emotional support for life after cancer.

Removal of your kidney is called a nephrectomy. The size and location of your tumour will determine whether you have part of your kidney removed (partial nephrectomy) or all of your kidney removed (radial nephrectomy). If your tumour has spread to both kidneys, or you have multiple tumours, you may need both kidneys removed (bilateral nephrectomy). If both kidneys are removed you will need to have dialysis to perform the function of the kidneys, which is to purify the blood of waste products.

There are different surgical techniques that can be used to perform a nephrectomy. The type of surgery you are offered may depend on your general health and the location and size of the tumour. Your surgical options can also be influenced by the equipment available at your local hospital and/or how far you are able to travel. You also have a choice of whether you want to have surgery.

The downloadable charts provide answers to the frequently asked questions and explain the differences in surgical techniques. Please print the charts off and take them with you to the clinic to help aid discussions about your treatment options.

Download the Surgical Options Chart

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