A nephrectomy is a surgical procedure in which all or part of a patient’s kidney is removed. It may be performed to harvest a healthy kidney from a donor patient for transplantation, or to treat an existing illness such as kidney cancer or a traumatic injury that has rendered the organ dysfunctional. Surgical approaches include both the “open” method, where the surgeon operates through a large abdominal incision, or via laparoscopic method, where he or she operates via multiple smaller incisions. In some cases, the operation can be performed via robot-assisted surgical techniques, which also are laparoscopic (minimally invasive) and allow for very precise visualization and removal of tumors or other diseased tissue. Removal of an entire kidney is called a radical nephrectomy, while removal of a portion of a kidney is called a partial nephrectomy or kidney-sparing nephrectomy. Recovery time from a nephrectomy procedure varies depending on the patient’s overall state of health, the reason the operation was performed and the specific procedure employed.