Over the last 30 years, there has been a transition to minimally invasive techniques, such as laparoscopic or robotic techniques, in the treatment of kidney cancer. These patients experience less pain and have a shorter postoperative stay in the hospital. A recent study demonstrates that although the immediate effects of surgery improve quickly, it still takes a considerable time to "return to normal". Using a standardized questionnaire, only 50% of patient indicated they had returned to their complete preoperative activities and pain levels by 4 weeks after surgery. At 8 weeks, roughly 80% of patients had returned to baseline. This emphasizes that although many kidney surgeries can be performed minimally invasively, the body needs significant time to heal, and this should be communicated to patients to set appropriate postoperative expectations.
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