Laparoscopic nephrectomy (minimally invasive removal of the kidney) has been performed at Washington University School of Medicine for more than 20 years. In fact, the first laparoscopic nephrectomy in the world was performed by Dr. Ralph V.  Clayman and his team at Washington University in 1990. No other institution has offered minimally invasive urologic surgery longer than Washington University School of Medicine.

Many advances in the technology and the methods of the surgery have been made. The current procedure is performed with the patient under general anesthesia. In most cases the patient has three or four small incisions, one of which is made just large enough to extract the kidney. The procedure typically lasts between two and three hours. Patients are usually discharged after two days in the hospital, and return to their regular activities within two to four weeks.

More information on kidney cancer treatment at Siteman Cancer Center.