Discharge Instructions for Nephrectomy (Pediatric)

Your child had a nephrectomy. His or her kidney was removed because it wasn’t working properly, putting your child at risk of future problems, such as dangerous infections or high blood pressure. Now your child can live a normal, healthy life with one kidney. Here’s what you’ll need to know about caring for your child following surgery.

Incision care

  • Don’t let your child swim or sit in a bathtub or hot tub until the healthcare provider says it’s OK to do so. This helps prevent infection of the incision site.

  • Allow your child to take showers as needed.

  • Keep your child’s incision clean and dry. Wash the incision gently with mild soap and warm water. Then gently pat the incision dry with a towel.

  • Don’t remove the white strips from your child’s incision. Let the strips fall off on their own.


  • Don’t worry if your child feels more tired than usual. Fatigue and weakness are common for a few weeks after this surgery.

  • Follow the healthcare provider's instructions regarding activity. Your child’s activity should be limited at first, then gradually increased as he or she heals.

  • Don’t let your child do strenuous activities such as mowing the lawn or playing very active sports or games.

  • Tell your child to stop any activity that causes pain.

  • Let your child go back to school as soon as he or she feels ready.

Other home care

  • Unless the provider says otherwise, encourage your child to drink plenty of water. Give your child water or other fluids every 2 or 3 hours as directed by the provider.

  • Feed your child a normal, healthy, well-balanced diet.

  • Feed your child high-fiber foods to avoid constipation. Also, use laxatives, stool softeners, or enemas as directed by your child’s healthcare provider.

  • Give your child pain medicine as directed.

Follow-up care

Follow up with your child’s healthcare provider, or as advised.

When to seek medical care

Call your child’s healthcare provider right away if your child has any of the following:

  • Fever, as directed by the provider

  • Shaking chills

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Increased pain

  • Blood in the urine

  • Noticeable decrease in urine output

  • Redness, swelling, warmth, or pain at the incision site

  • Drainage, pus, or bleeding from the incision

  • Incision that opens up or pulls apart