Apr 23, 2014 - 5:54 pm
I'm about 16 months post nephrectomy. Starting about 1 year out after my nephrectomy, I started experiencing swollen hands off and on. I used to have it when I'd be out walking around for like an entire day, but never had a problem with that just sitting around working or during a normal day. Today I had lunch with a friend of mine I met at a cancer support group who is about 1 year out from his nephrectomy (also RCC). He's 10 years younger than me (42) and said he's been experiencing this too. Just sometimes his hands swell for a day or two or for a few hours for no reason. He never had it before either. He has good kidney function even with his one remaining kidney (creatinine like 1.1). My kidney function is not great (my creatinine was 1.7 the last time it was measured in early February). My other kidney was smaller than the one with the tumor, so I think that's why my kidney function isn't great in the remaining kidney.
I've asked my doctors about it, but nobody seems to know what that is.
Has anybody else noticed this symptom post nephrectomy? Does anybody have an explanation for it? Is it a sign of poor kidney function? I try and drink extra water when I have this symptom, but it doesn't seem to help. It seems to clear up on its own. I haven't noticed anything trigger it (like alcohol or extra salt), but perhaps I'm not paying close enough attention. I just thought to ask after having lunch with him.
I have slightly elevated BP, and take a beta blocker. I thought it might be that, but I was having this problem a couple of months before that and my friend doesn't have high BP and has good kidney function, so now I'm thinking it's something related to the single kidney. We've also noticed that it's worse in the left hand than in the right hand. It swells enough that it's painful to close the hands (the joints ache when I close my hands or push between my knuckles with my fist closed). We've both had our right kidneys removed.
Thanks for any insight.