A nephrectomy is the surgical removal of a kidney, performed to treat a number of kidney diseases including kidney cancer. It is also done to remove a normal healthy kidney from a living or deceased donor, when part of a kidney transplant procedure. The surgery is performed with the patient under general anesthesia. A kidney can be removed through an open incision or laparoscopically. For the open procedure, the surgeon makes an incision in the side of the abdomen to reach the kidney. Depending on circumstances, the incision can also be made midline. The ureter and blood vessels are disconnected, and the kidney is then removed. The laparoscopic approach utilizes three or four small (5–10 mm) cuts in the abdominal and flank area.
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