Discharge Instructions for Nephrectomy
You had a procedure to remove a kidney. This is called a nephrectomy. This procedure was done because one of your kidneys was not working properly or because there was a tumor. You can live a normal, healthy life with one kidney.
Shower as necessary.
Don’t swim or use a bathtub or hot tub until after your follow-up appointment.
Keep your incision clean and dry. Wash your incision gently with mild soap and warm water and pat it dry.
Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet.
Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water a day unless your doctor tells you to limit your fluids.
Use laxatives, stool softeners, or enemas as directed by your doctor.
Eat more high-fiber foods.
Don’t drive until you are off your pain medication and pain-free. This may take 2 to 4 weeks.
Don’t worry if you feel more tired than usual. Fatigue and weakness are common for a few weeks after this surgery.
Limit your activity to short walks. Gradually increase your pace and distance as you feel able.
Avoid strenuous activities, such as mowing the lawn, vacuuming, or playing sports.
Don’t lift anything heavier than 10 pounds for 4 weeks.
Listen to your body. If an activity causes pain, stop.
If you were asked to stop any medicines before the surgery, be sure to ask the doctor when you may restart taking them. This is especially important in the case of blood thinners (anticoagulants or antiplatelet agents).
Make a follow-up appointment as directed by our staff.
When to seek medical care
Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the following:
100.4°F ( 38°C) or higher, or as directed by your healthcare provider
Redness, swelling, warmth, or pain at your incision site
Drainage or pus from your incision
Nausea or vomiting
Noticeable decrease in urine output
Blood in your urine