During an 11-year period 1,363 patients presented to our institution with renal trauma. Renal exploration was performed in 127 patients (133 renal units). Most patients had multiple organ injuries, as indicated by a mean blood loss of 4,160 ml. and a mean injury severity score of 25.8. Absolute indications for exploration were bleeding and pulsatile perirenal hematoma and relative indications included urinary extravasation, nonviable renal tissue and incomplete staging. Renal surgery was required in 2.4% of the blunt injuries, 45% of the stab wounds and 76% of the gunshot wounds. Salvage was successful in 88.7% of the kidneys explored and total nephrectomy was required in 11.3%. The success rate was based on early vascular control and reconstructive techniques of "renorrhaphy," partial nephrectomy, vascular repair and coverage with omental pedicle flaps. Complications occurred in 9.9% of the cases but none resulted in renal loss. When indicated, renal exploration after trauma is safe and in a high percentage of cases reconstruction will be successful.