What is it?

Laparoscopic renal cyst decortication removes the cover of a large renal cyst so the fluid can drain.   This method uses 3 to 5 small incisions. 

Before Surgery

You will need to empty stool from your bowel.   Buy 1 bottle of magnesium citrate (10 oz). Keep it in the fridge.  It is easier to drink if it is cold.

The Day Before Surgery

Eat a light breakfast and lunch. Avoid greasy foods and red meat.

After lunch drink only clear liquids until midnight (no limit on amount).

  • Water

  • Broth 

  • Juice without pulp (apple, cranberry, grape is okay)

  • Popsicles

  • Hard candy, no chocolate

  • Clear Jell-O®, not premade (no fruit, etc)

  • Sparkling water or soda

  • Weak coffee or tea, no creamer

  • Gatorade® or sport-type drink

  • Boost Breeze®/Resource® etc.

After lunch, do not eat solid food, or drink juice with pulp, dairy products, or alcohol.

_____ At 2:00 pm drink the entire bottle of magnesium citrate (10 oz).   Drink 1 liter (33 oz) of a sport-type drink with electrolytes before midnight (Gatorade®).  

Shower before bed with antibacterial soap. 

Do not eat or drink after midnight.

The day of surgery shower again with the antibacterial soap before you leave for the hospital. 

After Surgery

You will be in the hospital 2-4 days.

  • It is normal for you to have some pain in the area for 2-4 weeks.   Narcotic pain pills may be prescribed for you. Use them for the shortest time at the lowest dose.

  • You will be walking soon after surgery.   Walking will help you heal sooner.

  • Expect to get back to a normal routine in 10-12 days. 


  • Avoid strenuous activities (i.e. jogging, aerobics, swimming) for 4 weeks 

  • Do not lift more than 10 pounds for 4 weeks.

  • Drink at least 8 glasses of fluid per day (any kind of fluid is fine, except no alcohol)

  • You may shower.   Do not soak in a hot tub, bath tub, or swim for at least 2 weeks.  Use Band-Aids® if your incisions are in a skin fold, your clothes rub on them, or they are draining.   Change them at least daily and more often if they get wet or soiled. 

  • You can resume sex after 2 weeks.

  • No driving until you have been off narcotic pain medication for 24 hours.

  • The length of time you will need to be off work depends on how you are healing and the type of work you do.   Check with the clinic before going back to work.


Your first follow-up visit will be made before you go home.

When to Call

  • Shortness of breath or chest pain call 911

  • Increasing redness, warmth, or swelling of an incision

  • Pus-like drainage from the incision or drain site

  • Fever over 100.4° F for two readings taken 4 hours apart

  • Decrease in urine output

  • Bloody urine

Who to Call 

Urology Clinic:   

(608) 263-4757

Nights, weekends and holidays this will connect you to the paging operator.   Ask for the urology doctor on call.   Leave your name and phone number with the area code.   The doctor will call you back.

If you live out of the area, please call 


Your urology doctor is ___________________________________

If you are a patient receiving care at UnityPoint – Meriter, Swedish American or a health system outside of UW Health, please use the phone numbers provided in your discharge instructions for any questions or concerns.