What happens before surgery?

Before your operation, you will be seen at a pre-assessment clinic. You may have tests to check your general health. These can include:

  • blood tests
  • a chest x-ray
  • a recording of your heart (ECG)
  • tests to check your kidney function.

You will see a member of the surgical team and a specialist nurse. They will talk to you about your operation. This is a good time to ask questions or to talk over any concerns you may have about the operation. It is important that you understand everything about the operation you are having.

You will see the doctor who gives you your anaesthetic (the anaesthetist), either at a clinic or when you are admitted to hospital.

If you smoke, try to stop or cut down before your operation. This will help reduce your risk of chest problems, such as a chest infection. It will also help your wound heal after the operation. Your GP can give you advice and support to give up smoking.

Some people may need help when they go home after surgery. For example, you may live alone or care for someone else. If you think you may need help when you go home, tell your healthcare team as soon as possible. This will mean arrangements can be made in plenty of time.

Some hospitals follow an enhanced recovery programme. This aims to reduce the time you spend in hospital and speed up your recovery. It involves you more in your own care. For example, you will be given information about diet and exercise before surgery. You may also be given supplement drinks to take.

You will usually be admitted to hospital the day before or on the morning of your operation. The nurses will give you elastic stockings (TED stockings) to wear during and after the operation. The stockings help prevent blood clots forming in the legs. Your doctor can tell you how long to wear them for.

Back to Surgery for kidney cancer

Surgery for kidney cancer

Surgery is the main treatment for kidney cancer. The operation you have will depend on the stage of the cancer.

Who might I meet?

A team of specialists will plan your surgery. This will include a surgeon who specialises in your type of cancer.