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Question

07 Sep 2003

nephrectomy
Dear Doc

In your opinion is having a nephrectomy a "high risk" form of surgery and generally what type of type of anaesthetics are given? I have a bad non-functioning left kidney and am currently in ongoing discussions with my doctors (gp, urologists, 2nd opinions, etc!) about possible surgery I might have to have. I have been told that if I had the op I would have, as one of the anaesthetics, nerve block anaesthesia. What exactly is this and would this be in conjunction with any other form of anaesthesia? Have you been involved in any nephrectomy surgery and what is the general time spent in theatre?

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.

PS I am fully aware that a nephrectomy is major surgery, I was just interested in your opinion about how "high risk" you think the surgery is.

Answer 1,065 views
Expert

01 Jan 0001

Dear Anxious

RISK OF SURGERY AND ANAESTHESIA:
This depends on certain factors:
Normally we will first do a premedication, which includes a full medical history and physical examination and if needed we will ask for more investigations.
This premedication will highlight the following points for us as anaesthesiologists:
1. Your specific risk for the operation.
2. Your specific need for the operation.
3. Your specific method of anaesthesia.
The risks differs from patient to patient as you can see.

NERVE BLOCK ANAESTHESIA:
We call this Regional Anaesthesia in comparison to General Anaesthesia. Regional anaesthesia concsists of different techniques where two well known options are: Epidurals and Spinals. You will probably have one of the two if the anaesthesiologist prefers to do a regional technique, but a nephrectomy can easily been done under general anaesthesia as well. Another option is to do the nephrectomy with a combined general and regional anaesthesia which will give you the benefit of both and especially good post-operative pain control.
If regional anaesthesia is the main part of the anaesthesia a form of sedation will be given to the patient for his/her comfort.

TIME OF NEPHRECTOMY:
This all depends on the reason for the nephrectomy, the surgeon and if any kind of difficulty is to be expected.
A "normal" nephrectomy can take plus minus two hours.

Regards
Anaesthesiologist expert
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
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