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Definition of «Nephrectomy»

Nephrectomy: The surgical removal of a kidney.

A nephrectomy can be radical, simple, or partial. The kidney, the adrenal gland, nearby lymph nodes, and other surrounding tissue are removed in a radical nephrectomy. Simple nephrectomy is the removal of just the affected kidney. Partial nephrectomy removes the tumor from the kidney, but spares the rest of the kidney.

The first reported removal of a kidney was done by the German surgeon Gustav Simon (1824-77). The operation was considered a success because the patient lived. The first nephrectomy had, in fact, been done a year earlier by a Canadian physician, William Hingston, who did not report it, perhaps because the patient died.

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