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Bilateral Partial Nephrectomies

Posts: 48
Joined: Aug 2013

I was searching the boards, and noticed that people that had bilateral partial nephrectomies, had the operations separately. It sounded like that several of them were two months a part. 


Does anyone know if you can do them at the same time?



Texas_wedge's picture
Posts: 2807
Joined: Nov 2011

It is, in principle, possible but would any sane surgeon(s) go for it?  Two points to consider are these:  What if both ops are unsuccessful, or run into serious problems - unusual, but can happen!  The usual philosophy is to get one op safely under the belt, so that one knows the patient has one (partial) kidney back in adequate function and let that settle down, then go for the other one.

The other factor is the sheer strain on the operating team and the enormous trauma for the patient's body to take.  NSS (nephron sparing surgery) - here meaning partial nephrectomy - requires a lot more expertise and is a lot trickier and more time-consuming than a radical.  There is a lot of cutting and accompanying procedures so the patient's body is taking a real hammering, the op takes a lot longer and the doctors get correspondingly more fatigued.   The idea of doing two of those at the same time wouldn't, therefore, hold much attraction for anyone concerned.

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