Surveillance after surgery for RCC is important because approximately 50% of these patients will develop a disease recurrence, two thirds of who will recur within the first year. Although the prognosis is generally poor in these patients, some may respond favorably to immunotherapy. The small subset of patients who develop solitary metastases has the greatest chance to achieve long-term survival. Aggressive surgical resection is an integral part of this success. Proposed surveillance protocols using a stage-based approach or an integrated approach combining stage with other important prognostic factors attempt to provide a rational approach to identifying treatable recurrences while minimizing unnecessary examinations and patient anxiety. However, strict adherence to follow-up guidelines may not be appropriate for all patients. Factors including patient comorbidities and patient willingness to pursue aggressive management in the event of recurrence may alter the follow-up for each individual.