Recovering after open radical nephrectomy

Phroggy6019 Member Posts: 2 Member
edited May 1 in Kidney Cancer #1

Tomorrow will be 3 weeks since I had my right kidney removed due to RCC. Pre-surgery I considered myself to be in relatively great physical shape. Now I’m tired after walking a short distance or even having a long conversation. If I bend over to pick something up I get light headed and I keep having this strange feeling like someone is squeezing my kidney even though it’s not there anymore. Am I falling behind the recovery curve here or is this normal?


  • eug91
    eug91 Member Posts: 412 Member

    Hi Phroggy-

    First off, congrats on getting through your surgery! Well done!

    As for your question, it really depends - everyone is different and everyone heals at a different rate, plus factoring in your age and whether you had open or laparoscopic.

    In my experience, I healed quickly in terms of being able to go to work and walk - but anything more strenuous I just COULDN'T do it. My doctor told me with my age/relative health, I could get back to working out eight weeks after my neph, but I couldn't do it. At eight weeks, I could barely get to a light jog on the treadmill before I was exhausted and drained. It took me a full twelve weeks post-surgery before I felt strong enough to run and play ice hockey again.

    Everyone heals at a different rate. You're only three weeks into it, so you're definitely not falling behind the recovery curve. But if you're concerned that it feels like it's taking too long, don't be afraid to bring it up with your doctor.

    Hope this helps!

  • Phroggy6019
    Phroggy6019 Member Posts: 2 Member

    Thank you for your response and encouragement. I guess I felt like I should be able to do more by now. I had an open radical neph and spent 5 days in the hospital because I had such a rough time managing the pain. I saw my urologist a week later to examine the incision and remove the staples. I asked if there was anything I had to change as far a diet or exercise and he said I didn’t have to change my diet and I could resume my workouts in 6 weeks. I felt this was strange because of what I had read online about reducing or eliminating a lot of foods and drinks that could have a negative impact on my remaining kidney (mostly the caffeine, sodium , and alcohol). I still have 3 more weeks to go before I go back to work so guess I will just take each day in stride and continue to get my steps in.

  • eug91
    eug91 Member Posts: 412 Member

    Try not to kick yourself over this - everyone's process is different and everyone's healing process is unique. And yes to getting your steps in. Walking should help the healing process.

    As for diet, my doctor told me that it wouldn't change for me - I should still try my best to eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch my weight. I didn't have to cut anything out of my diet except to moderate the stuff that's not good for me. The key is to monitor my GFR, then consult with a nephrologist if it ever starts to drop. But don't be afraid to ask your doctor next time you see them.

  • tonmonte
    tonmonte Member Posts: 6 Member

    All the best we had the same surgery about the same time ! Your doing fine it's major surgery. I can feel my insides healing hurting whatever it is . Any change with having the one kidney only? Diet wise....Surgeon said same to me...anything that is good remains good food...just do it all in moderation. We need to give it time....good luck