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While most patients treated at Henry Ford are candidates for partial nephrectomy, or kidney-sparing surgery, some patients may require a total nephrectomy.
This operation involves the removal of the whole kidney with or without the nearby adrenal gland and the fatty tissue around the kidney. This surgery is the traditional standard intervention for kidney cancer. Almost all patients who require radical nephrectomy today can undergo this operation by a minimally-invasive surgical approach.
Radical nephrectomy with removal of the entire kidney has no long-term impact on a patient's kidney function. The remaining kidney can compensate and sufficiently function independently without a risk for kidney failure or dialysis in the future.