Depending on the type of surgery that you have, your stay will vary. If you have minimally invasive surgery (laparoscopic or robot-assisted), your average length of stay will be shorter, 1-2 days. If you have an open surgery, the average length of stay is 6-7 days.
When you remove only the part of the kidney with the tumor (partial nephrectomy), blood loss is more of a concern than when the whole kidney is removed. We feel the benefit of removing as little of the normal kidney as possible is worth the higher risk of blood loss. In a minimally invasive surgery, blood loss is not as much of a concern. The average amount of blood loss in our minimally invasive surgeries is roughly 10 ounces and only 5% of patients need a blood transfusion during surgery.
When you come to Roswell Park for a consultation there is a lot of information that we need from you to make sure we do the best possible job we can. Some of that information you can easily provide includes an up-to-date list of your medications, previous surgeries, allergies, and current medical conditions. In the week prior to surgery, start both of these exercises: Coughing and deep breathing exercises will help clear and expand your lungs and help prevent pneumonia. Leg exercises will help prevent blood clots from forming in your legs.
What do I go home with? After your surgery, your doctor will determine when you are able to go home. You will receive written discharge instructions, a prescription for pain medication and an appointment for your first follow up visit. Don’t hesitate to ask any member of the health care team a question if there is any confusion. The majority of patients spend only one night.
When you return after your surgery, your pathology report (the full evaluation of the tumor after removal) should be available to discuss with your doctor. Your vital signs will be assessed (bladder, bowel function and incision healing). Keep a list of any problems or questions that you have before this appointment so you can discuss it with your doctor. Your final pathology results will be reviewed in detail with your doctor. Depending on the pathology results, you may be referred to another physician for additional treatment.