Depending on the seriousness of a kidney condition, there are a range of kidney procedures that a urology team may recommend, many of which are available laparoscopically for easier recovery. Common kidney problems include kidney stones, cysts, benign and cancerous tumors, and defects or blockages in the ureter, which drains urine from the kidneys.
Procedures used for kidney stones include the non-invasive lithotripsy, which uses shock waves to break up large stones so they can pass more easily through the urinary system, and a surgery called percutaneous nephrolithonomy (PCNL) to remove stones that are too big for other treatments.
Laparoscopic cyst ablation is a minimally-invasive technique for removing kidney cysts. Laparoscopic pyeloplasty corrects problems where the ureter and the kidney attach.
When part or all of a kidney must be removed due to disease or cancer, this procedure is called a nephrectomy. Nephrectomies can be radical (the entire kidney is removed) or partial (only the tumor is removed), and they can be performed in open surgery (larger incision) or laparoscopically (minimally invasive, with small incisions).