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Radical nephrectomy

Posts: 7
Joined: Oct 2012

Hello, everyone.
This is my first post here. I am from the UK.
I had a radical right nephrectomy over a week ago to remove a Kidney carcinoma. It was a large tumour, but the surgeon got it all out laproscopically. Waiting for the histology results to know how malignant it was and what might happen next. Surgeon said there was a good chance l will recover fully as there were no signs of any visible spread or metastasies anywhere.
I find it hard to know how to sleep as every positon l try in bed is painful and uncomfortable. Would appreciate some other folks' experiences on how they managed to sleep after surgery.
Only sign l ever had was a bit of low back pain and then, a week of blood in urine. Following this, one day, I was scraped off the pavement and rushed to hospital in agonising pain. They did a CT scan and told me what it was.
Out of hospital now and feeling OK but a bit weak with a lump over the wound area and some numbness over the right side.
Hoping there will be a recovery from this, but l know that chances of remission are very various and that each person is different.

Texas_wedge's picture
Posts: 2798
Joined: Nov 2011

Welcome from the upper end of the UK.

You don't have your path results yet but you could give some personal info (but only if/when you feel like it) either on a thread like this one or on your profile page. You know - age, gender, general state of health, anything else you care to share, and maybe even a picture. The more you appear as a recognisable person, the more we will be drawn to interact and offer help when you need it.

Just out of curiosity, how did you come to find this excellent resource, where there are quite a few other UK participants?

icemantoo's picture
Posts: 3362
Joined: Jan 2010

Welcome RW,

That surgery is not fun. It is however required to join our club. Hopefully tou will have a full recovery. Your description of the initiation is very typical.


Posts: 18
Joined: Jul 2012

Hi RW - Sorry you had to have the surgery. Mine was almost nine weeks ago. It was a roller coaster ride, but I am feeling good now.

When I came home from the hospital I could not sleep in my bed without pain either. I ended up sleeping in a reclining chair. I don't know if you have access to a recliner, but it did help me a lot.

I pray your recovery will be quick.

Posts: 4
Joined: Aug 2011

Welcome! I slept on an air mattress on the floor so I could "roll" out of bed in the morning. I remember how much it hurt to roll out of a normal sized bed and lift myself out. I had left nephrectomy 4 years ago and I can tell you the weird pains and numbness won't go away for a few months. Hang in there!

toolman1's picture
Posts: 44
Joined: Jul 2012

Don't worry, as the nights do get better. You are fortunate, that your surgery was performed lapriscopically (sp). The recovery will be much faster. I had a left radical kidney nephrectomy performed 11 weeks ago, and have nearly fully recovered. The first 3 weeks were the worst, and I too found relief, sitting and sleeping in a recliner chair. I also found a lot of relief in the bathroom, using a toilet seat riser.
I wasn't able to sleep in my bed, until somewhere around week 3 or 4. From there things got much easier, including putting on shoes and socks. Take it easy, and let your body recover. And if you need support, we are all here, in the same boat. These are some GREAT people!

jennsam's picture
Posts: 14
Joined: Oct 2012

I am 8 weeks post partial on the left. I did not sleep for the first 9 days. I literally dozed off and would jolt awake, it was real rough. The one position I found helpful was laying with 4-5 pillows in a sitting/propped up position. I would take a pain pill right before trying so it would make me more comfortable. The propped up position helped me to roll right out of bed with little pressure on my belly, my husband sometimes helped with grabbing my right arm and me leaning up on him.
I am now able to lay in ANY position. I am a belly sleeper and have been able to sleep on my belly a month now. I get this intense pressure feeling in there and my side gets hard and sticks out a little every now and then but no pain really anymore.
Good luck and cheers to the docs getting it ALL!

Posts: 7
Joined: Oct 2012

Thanks to all you folks out there who were kind enough to repy to my my first entry here.
I am a 66 year old British male - was in excellent health - or so l thought! - up until when my carcinoma was discovered
This form of cancer is so insidious that it had grown large and gave no clear symptoms to indicate the seriousness of this disease.
Some really excellent and helpful replies to my questions - as l am new to all this.
Next Tuesday l get my histology results to see how malignant the cells are. Guess l have to wait and then take it on from there...
Will post again next week after l have seen the Surgeon.

alice124's picture
Posts: 899
Joined: Mar 2012

Yep, it is the sneaky disease. I hope Tuesday's results reflect good news. Keep us spprised.

Good luck!

Posts: 7
Joined: Oct 2012

The surgeon's follow up - got all the cancer out. Histology showsclear cell, no intrusion into the lymph nodes BUT a huge tumour, so grade 3 - with the possible chance of distant metasdtasies - although none showing up at present. Will be under observation by 3-monthly scans with the possibility of a chemotherapy trial. What do folks think of that?

Max Power's picture
Max Power
Posts: 60
Joined: Sep 2012

3-month schedule sounds fine. I had only ultrasound which I found unsatisfactory (almost missed the metastises.) Interested to hear your developments re. chemotherapy - didn't think that was an option. They must have come up with something new.

Have a fine recovery and we'll soon hear you are jumping fences!


Posts: 7
Joined: Oct 2012

Thanks for your reply - yes, l too was surprised to hear about a chemotherapy trial as all my researches also show it never usually helps in kidney carcinoma.

Bit uneasy about it as it is only another trial and l understand there are so many terrifying side effects to most chemotherapy - treatment worse than the disease!

will need to ask a lot of questions before l even think of going ahead with what is only a trial anyway. Don't want to be just another lab-rat...

Hanno's picture
Posts: 45
Joined: Aug 2012

Hi RW, how are you feeling now? I am hoping you have seen some improvement on the sleep front. Like Jenbuffy, I too found it easier to sleep on a low bed following surgery. I set up a trundle with about 65 million pillows stuffed around and under my body. I was able to then roll out of bed rather than use the poor old abs to sit up :) Good luck with the path results. Hang in there - it does get better.


Posts: 7
Joined: Oct 2012

Still quite bit of weakness, pain and discomfort - but was told by the surgeon it takes at least a couple of months to recuperate.
Kind of got used to sleeping sitting up - with the help of some painkillers!
Thanks for your message of hope and good luck to you too.

Posts: 21
Joined: Apr 2012

Hi RW,
It will get lots better. I am almost 3 years out from a Radical Nefrectomy, and 10 months out from a radical prostatectomy. I am 55 yr old now and have always been in pretty good shape, which I guess helps. I lift weights, do tons of sit-ups, quail hunt (lots and lots of walking) and I'm a geologist so I'm out in the field walking in rough terrain, and you would never know I've had any of that stuff. Just hang in there and it will pass.


Posts: 7
Joined: Oct 2012

Thanks for your inspiring words of encouragement and l am heartened to hear that you got over TWO horrendous ops. Extraordinary that you are able to do heavy lifting and hard exercise.
Like you, l was very active and a fresh air lover

foxhd's picture
Posts: 3183
Joined: Oct 2011

RW, now you can change your fitness routine just like you always planned to. Great new motivation. You now have a reason to adjust your goals as your needs have changed.

Posts: 7
Joined: Oct 2012

Hi everyone

Had my op back in October and now l am due for my first post op 6-month scan.

Terrified they might find mets.

Feeling relatively normal now and can do most things. But l do suffer from back and neck pain and a cough with weird feelings in my chest and am just hoping it is nothing more than all the usual symptoms most of us suffer after that op.

icemantoo's picture
Posts: 3362
Joined: Jan 2010



Sounds like you are suffering from scanxiety. Hope all turns out well.



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