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Patient Information

Instructions For Care Following Nephrectomy

You have just undergone a major operation. The healing process takes time and we would like for you to observe the following instructions during your initial recovery. We have written this pamphlet for you to use as a reference during this initial healing phase.

Post-op Treatments and Instructions


During surgery a small drain may be placed. This drain is used for drainage of excess fluid from the surgical area if there is need for it. It will be removed before discharge.

You will have a foley catheter in your bladder. This will be removed on Post-operative day 1 or 2.

Pain Controlled Analgesic

You will most likely have your pain controlled by a Patient Controlled Analgesic device referred to as a PCA. This will be administered though your IV. This administers pain medication at a prescribed dosage and also at preset intervals. You will have a button to push, which can enable you to give yourself pain medication, as you need it. This monitored closely. The PCA will be discontinued on post-operative day 1 or 2. You will be given oral pain medications to keep you comfortable.

Incentive Spirometer

The purpose is to promote full lung expansion and prevent respiratory complications, which can affect the body temperature. This will be used throughout you hospital stay. The Respiratory therapist and the Nurse will teach instruction about use.

Sequential Compression Devices (SCD)

The purpose of the SCD is to aid circulation by providing intermittent periods of compression on the legs which is connected to a machine that has been preset to automatically give the prescribed or recommended compression pressures that are needed to prevent blood clots from forming.

Plantar Extension/Flexion Exercises

Begin with pointing your toes toward the foot side of the bed. Then point your toes up toward your face. Repeat this simple exercise at least 100 times an hour while awake.


Walking soon after surgery encourages early return bowel function, promotes effective breathing, mobilizes secretions, 


10/13/10 J.S. Wolf