I may have an idea, but please bear in mind I also have cancer - and the cancer is what started the kidney problems that I do have.
In June of 2012, I did admit myself into the hospital after feeling very light-headed and slightly spaced-out for at least a day or two. I had been in the hospital in January of 2011 with what was suspected as kidney failure - so I had some experience with it before 2012.
I was diagnosed with a creatine level of slightly over 14 at the time of admittance. I was in the hospital for about one week getting hydrated and getting the creatine level down. And by the way, two weeks ago, my creatine level was 1.70! Amoung other things, my kidneys are tested monthly with a blood test.
Part of what was done while in the hospital in 2012 was a nefrostomy tube was placed for the right kidney. And for the less usefull left kidney, an internal stent was placed. Both could very well be permanent!
The nefrostomy tube, placed by Radiology, is simply a tube that goes from the kidney and then up thru the back where it exits the body. That tube is connected to another tube that empties into a plastic bag that's strapped around the leg. That bag holds the urine - and needs to be emptied several times a day. The specialized dressing that covers the exit hole in the back needs to be changed weekly - and the internal tube needs to be replaced or changed every four to six months.
The replacment is pretty simple and can be done without any anesthesia. It may be a nuisance to wear the nefrostomy tube, but nothing is painful about it!
The internal stent is a different story. It is placed by a Urologist with a fairly simple operation and under some kind of pain-killer. My last replacement was done with something called "twilight" as a pain-killer. It is a short tube that connects the kidney to the bladder. Unfortunately, the only way i know of it being placed is thru the penis. So it is pretty invasive!
There are no maintenance procedures for me with it. It's just replaced every four to six months. The only pain is for a day or two after replacement.
It would probably be best to ask a urologist your question. But now you have an idea of what two of the procedures might be like. I was in my late 60's when these were done in 2012.
In my case, if the cancer was to move back from the kidneys and become a non-factor ....... it would be possible for one or maybe even both to be removed.
In your husbands case ...... the key is "what caused it"!!!!!!!
Best of luck to you both.
Rob & Gizmo
Initial Dx of PCa in 2003/2004
Radiation (5x5wks) & Brachytherapy (96 seeds) in 2004
Low PSA for 6-years then Casodex briefly
Lupron from 2011 to current
Zytiga 2012 (5-months) - PSA increase
Prednisone & Xgeva from 2012
Taxotere - August 2012 (30-weeks) - PSA from 54+ to 12+
No chemo (8-wks) - PSA to over 23
Xtandi - June to Aug - 2013 - PSA increase
Jevtana + Lexapro - from October 2013