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Partial Right Kidney Nephrotemy on Jan 19th, 28 years old :(

girlypants's picture
girlypants
Posts: 31
Joined: Jan 2012

What can I expect from surgery by the da Vinci machine that will be removing a 3mm tumor from my right kidney? I am 28 years old and have never had surgery, let alone been in a hospital for more than three hours. The tumor was found by complete chance, or miracle during a sonogram for my gall balder and tummy. From there I met with the surgeon who thinks it is cancer and is removing it on the 19th, in two days. Anyone have any advice or tips on what is about to happen? How am I going to feel? I took a month off of work to start, I really hope I can get up and doing stuff by then. I cant work out I am assuming for at least a month. My only hope besides getting it out and not having cancer, is losing weight. Gotta look forward to something and that is the goal, lose 10 pounds. Is anyone on here as young as me?

BG
Posts: 85
Joined: Jun 2011

Hi GPants,

I had the Davinci laproscopic for a 3.9 x 2.5 cm tumor. I am a little sensitive, so when I checked in I asked the first nurse I saw for something to calm me down. I was given 2 valiums, which helped me. My wife was with me after getting checked in. I had to fast from midnight the previous day. The next thing I remember was waking up in the recovery room with my wife by my side.

I had asked previously for nausea meds, so when I woke I am glad I did, and if I began to get nauseous I asked for more (by IV). You will be on pain meds so you should not feel too much pain. I was in the hospital for 2 nights, 3 days. Would of gotten out early but did have one day when I was very nauseous, so they kept me an extra day. When they switched from morphine to another pain med it helped.

After surgery they will push you to walk, it was very painfull the first time, but got easier and I went farther each time I walked. I had a catheter, and they will push for you to go on your own once it is removed. Be sure to asl for a stool softener, as the pain meds constipate you and you dont want that with the incisions. I have 1 2" scar, and 5 very small scars. Pace yourself, listen to your body, let them know if you have pain or are nauseous then can give you meds to help. I am 49, have 4 and 6 year old kids.

I wish you well, and send prayers your way!! It will be good to get this behind you.

BG

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1529
Joined: Jan 2010

Girlypants,

A full recovery is what you can expect. I am assuming your little bugger is 3 cm not 3mm.
At 28 you are going to have it a lot easier than mine 9 and 1/2 years ago at age 59. There are several young ladies like you on this board. One felt so well she went on a roller coaster 3 months after surgery. DO NOT do that. Wait at least 9 months before attempting anything like that. Sorry you have to join our club. But you are welcome as a member. Neither the surgery or recovery are fun, but they are the gateway to your full recovery.

Best wishes,

Icemantoo

NewE2012
Posts: 7
Joined: Dec 2011

Hi GP,
I just turned 31 and had a partial nephrectomy for a 4cm tumor 6 weeks ago. Mine was also found by accident and you are so lucky that your doctor scheduled surgery right away so you can get this done and over with right away. It's normal to be scared but you will be fine. The first few days after surgery will be the worse, but listen to the doctors and nurses and get up and walk around, that will definitely make you feel better faster. You will be in the hospital for a few days and make sure you have someone who will help you around at home the first few days.

You should be ok to go back to work after a month as long as your work doesn't require you to do any heavy lifting. You prob won't be able to work out for 6 weeks post surgery, but you should discuss that with your doctor. Yes you will definitely loose weight, I lost over 15lbs!

Some quick advice:
Get some good slippers for the hospital
As soon as they let you walk, get up and walk. The worse is getting out of bed, but you must walk so you can pass gas. They will fill your belly with gas so it's easier for the doc to work around the machines. The gas gets stuck and hurts so badly. To me it felt like the worse cramps ever. So walk!
Get as much rest as you can once you are home, the more you rest the faster you will be back to normal.
And remember to take it easy once you feel better, your body is doing some serious healing so help it.

This board is a fantastic tool that put me as such ease when I was diagnosed. Ask any questions you may have, most likely one of us has an answer.

Best of luck to you. In a week you will be feeling so much better!

garym's picture
garym
Posts: 1651
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi girlypants,

The picture you posted tells the story, you will live happily ever after. Just look at the iceman, his surgery was so long ago he can tell you what it was like to have Da Vinci himself do the operation. All kidding aside, the surgery and recovery are unpleasant experiences, the next couple weeks will not be fun, but this pales in comparison to what so many others must endure to survive. No chemo, no radiation, just snip snip, a few small scars, and you're done other than follow-up tests for the next five years or so. I'm 60, had a lap. rad. left nephrectomy just over two years ago. I went back to work part-time (office job) after two weeks of stir crazy at home, depending on what you do for work a month should be sufficient. In the meantime the best advice I can give is walk every day starting the day after surgery. Gradually increase distance and pace until you can go at least an hour and still feel good, at that point you can consider starting to work out lightly, but don't push it, slow and steady wins this race. Many of us have found a good recliner to be use, more comfortable than lying flat and easier to get in and out of than a bed as well. Weight loss and fatigue are common concerns post-op, but perfectly normal, it may not feel like it but this is major abdominal surgery, your body will require many weeks or months to fully recover and it will be working overtime to do so. Keep in touch with your doc. and everything will be fine. We're here if/when you need us, and happy to help you through the process, welcome aboard.

Good luck and Godspeed,

Gary

Sm4pack's picture
Sm4pack
Posts: 40
Joined: Dec 2011

Hi,
I am 40 and just had an open radical neph to remove my left kidney on 1/9. From my experience, the first two days are the worst and things start to get better quickly after that. As has been mentioned, try to walk after surgery when they ask you to. The first few walks may not be pleasant (nausea, fatigue) but just getting vertical is an accomplishment. You can then set goals to walk a little further each time. When you get home, laying entirely flat might be somewhat uncomfortable, so a recliner works really well. It allows you to get close to horizontal without completely stretching your side. Take the pain medication as you need it. Don't push things, your body needs time to heal. You've got a lifetime to workout.
I know of folks who were diagnosed with RCC in college, 25 years ago and they are doing fine today. Things are going to be ok.

Scott

girlypants's picture
girlypants
Posts: 31
Joined: Jan 2012

All the posts were very helpful, thanks to everyone. I go in tmrw at 10am and today have to drink magnesium citrate stuff. Should be fun lol.
I cant wait for surgery to be all over! Not looking forward to recovery but I am hoping I will be so drugged out I wont feel much. Too bad I dont have a recliner, just my bed with lots of pillows. Got a stack of books to read and my laptop to keep me going. What is it like when you get home? Super tired and sleeping all the time? Are people typically hungry more or less after surgery?

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1529
Joined: Jan 2010

Girlypants,

Tomorrow is the big day. Not fun. You will probably be in the hospital 1 to 3 days. When you get home you will need some help. You will be really sore for a few days and than things will start getting better. As for food you probably will not want a full meal unil a week or so after surgery. Take it easy for a few weeks. As for going back to work in a month that is pushing it unless you go to work gradually or be able to take it a little easier that second month after surgery. By six weeks after surgery you should be able to do everything in moderation.

Best wishes,

Icemantoo

garym's picture
garym
Posts: 1651
Joined: Nov 2009

girlypants,

Good luck tomorrow and on the next seventy years or so of tomorrows this surgery will provide. You won't remember much past being wheeled into the O.R. and when you wake up in the recovery room it will seem like no time has passed at all, that can feel a bit strange. They will likely keep you "drugged out" until the following morning when you will start working on getting mobile, managing your pain, and getting off the IV drugs so you can go home.

You probably won't feel like doing much the first couple days at home, you'll nap quite a bit and won't be very hungry. You should try to take short walks throughout the day and eat several small amounts of food to help the healing process. Hydration is very important to healing and all bodily functions so drink plenty of water, 8oz., 8 times per day is a good rule of thumb. Pain meds are constipating so make sure they send stool softeners home with you and eat fruits and veggies. Two weeks from now you should be feeling pretty good and well on your way back to "normal". Hope to hear how you are doing in a few days.

Smooth sailing,

Gary

MikeK703's picture
MikeK703
Posts: 235
Joined: Sep 2010

I brought some music and a bible with me to the hospital. I never listened to the music and only opened the bible once. I was too busy sleeping. When I wasn't sleeping, I was busy complaining. I'm sure the nurses' station loved me!

I also slept a lot when I got home. The drugs, of course. The couch was the best place for me to sleep. I couldn't toss and turn. You'll be comfy on that bed with all those pillows.

Best wishes,
Mike

foxhd's picture
foxhd
Posts: 1901
Joined: Oct 2011

Girlypants...I'm guessing your name is something like Debbie and not Gary. Too many Garys here...Anyway,...I promise you that no matter how many books, rolls of yarn, or projects you intend to spend time on, you will never get to them. Concentration levels will be absent. You'll be absorbed thinking about what you went through and the rest of your life, and all your loved ones. Your productivity will return when you begin to feel better. And that takes time. You'll watch crappy tv as it takes no committment.I've watched thousands of people post op for many years and the pattern is almost always the same. You might consider getting a puzzle. It will help the time go by. No deep thought required. Good luck to you!!

tom_in_VT
Posts: 25
Joined: Jan 2012

girlypants

I'll be thinking of you come tomorrow. Our best thoughts and hardest prayers will be with you through your entire journey. I have nothing to tell you about the surgery as mine was an open incision type 4 weeks ago. Relax, you'll be fine, recovery will be what it is and you'll have many days thereafter to live large!!!

Be well
Tom

girlypants's picture
girlypants
Posts: 31
Joined: Jan 2012

I dont know how I am supposed to sleep tonight. The anesthesiologist called which was good, put my nerves at ease a bit. I just keep thinking how things are going to be harder after, like I cant jump out of bed, reach across the desk to get the laptop without getting a toe out of bed, the small stuff I wont be able to do is going to drive me nuts. But I am more worried of the healing process, I don't want to go to work to soon, or get fat, or slow my healing process in any way. I have 12 more hours till I go to the hospital and 9 of which I am just going to sit here thinking of stuff. Thanks for the encouraging words. Its funny how a lot of people I know the only thing they can say is, "Dont worry, you will be fine, its nothing." Uhhhh seriously? Its a huge freaking deal!
Maybe some mind numbing reality and shopping online will help. lol.

Texas_wedge's picture
Texas_wedge
Posts: 2807
Joined: Nov 2011

and you're fine. There are a few others younger than you at op. The pain meds will be your friend - make sure you get enough. You'll not feel like eating much for a few days at least and will almost certainly lose weight. You've set yourself up sensibly with books and laptop - for as soon as you're interested in them! You'll do ok with bed with a lot of pillows. You'll be back in (even better!) shape sooner if you don't try to workout too soon and take it gently when you restart.

Good luck and remember in a few days you'll be a happy bunny talking to your friends in your new club!

tom_in_VT
Posts: 25
Joined: Jan 2012

I hope you found peace last evening, outside the effects of the Mg-Citrate (LOL). Yes, you will have to take it slow after surgery BUT, it is not forever, just a short period when compared to the whole of your life.
Let us know how you make out G-pants; we are all rooting for you!!!

Tom

earnric's picture
earnric
Posts: 34
Joined: Jan 2012

I went thru my partial, robot surgery on 29 Dec -- so I'm not too far ahead of you. I was 47 - but in really good shape (just finished an IRONMAN 4 weeks before surgery!).

The first couple of weeks are rough-- in that you're gonna be tired, but after that you are gonna start feeling like you can do anything! Just don't! ... Take it easy and you'll be great. I'm sure you're already feeling stronger each day!

My doc cleared me (today at 4 weeks) to do some like road bike riding... I'm sure you'll progress just as quickly!

Rick

myboys2's picture
myboys2
Posts: 50
Joined: Nov 2011

Well I think we are the youngest on the site not that this should make you feel better but we are kicking RCC's butt.

Gail mother of Cody 21
diagnosis 8/10/11 unclassified RCC T1B N0 M1 TFE3 negative
8/16 checked into NYU as emergency surgeon concerned head skull tumor was closing ventricle to brain
8/17 embolization via femoral artery to bone lesion on skull 7 hours
8/18 repeat
8/19 10.5 hour surgery to remove skull mass (about 45% right skull)
8/20 began a vegan(from an animal product standpoint) gluten free low glycemic diet; no casein but we do eat ocean caught fish and org chicken; org green drink every day
9/4 titanium skull inserted
9/29 begin sutent 25mg 2 weeks on one week off; then 37.5 2 weeks on 1 week off; then 50mg for 3 weeks then off 5 days (preop tests show 3 tiny liver lesions shrinking) Also Xgeva injection. No lymph,lung or brain involvement
11/16 full neph of lft kidney 5.5 tumor (started at 6cm but sutent was working!!) Still unclassified 
12/1 begin sutent again at 37.5 to work into it
12/8 sutent to 50mg for a week then off a week and continue cycle of 50 2 weeks on 1 week off until next scans (due in late Feb)
12/12 began radiation of remaining skull mets Monday and Thursday for 3 weeks high dose (already noted necrosis of tumor after one dose)
12/31 completed high dose radiation of skull mets
1/10 rescans stability and continued remission; no new evidence of disease since initial diagnosis first week of August 2011
1/13 Dr. Dutcher confirmed what we thought to be true on 1/10; remaining on Sutent 50 mg 2/1 week cycle
1/14 We have stable disease with less conspicuous liver tumors (3) largest is 1.1 cm. This represents improving metastatic disease. Don’t know why they just don’t say they are shrinking and necrosis is setting in but Dr. Dutcher does not. We are almost to NED and Sutent seems to be working marvelously. Hopefully we will get a long run from it. Cody will be returning to college Monday 1/16 and back to his life.
When he returns in May we have to consider HDIL2 or not, wait for PD1 which has far less side affects and rave response rate, or just remain stable w remission on Sutent.

Jamie1.3cm's picture
Jamie1.3cm
Posts: 188
Joined: Jan 2011

You won't gain weight. It's typical to lose 10 pounds just from surgery. And afterward, pain meds quash your appetite, so you won't want to eat anyway. Drinking is more important than eating after surgery.

Really, you'll just want to sleep -- in spurts. Two hours here, four hours there. You'll move from sleeping on the couch, to the bed, to the recliner, possibly every couple of hours. The body heals itself during sleep, so it's important to sleep as much as you can.

Get used to rolling out of bed, rather than sitting up to get out of bed.

Put stuffed animals around your body to help support your very sore tummy.

I think you'll be surprised, though, at how quickly you'll feel better and be ready to check in at work, at least part-time. No working out at the gym, though, for a few months or until the doc clears you for it. It will depend on what actually gets cut during surgery.

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