droopy01 Member Posts: 3 **

I stumbled upon this site a few weeks ago when doing research after the incidental discovery of a small renal mass during treatment for another condition.  I received encouragement by reading your stories and thought perhaps that I should share my own story in the event that someone else might need similar encouragement.


I am in my late 50s, male, 170 pounds, and just over six feet tall.  I was very surprised at the incidental discovery of the small renal mass because I had no symptoms and had an active lifestyle for my age.



At first I opted for an open partial nephrectomy because robotic procedures are not offered by our local hospital.  However, after researching further, I changed course and was referred to a surgeon at a teaching hospital in a nearby city for a robotic-assisted laparoscopic partial nephrectomy.


I had the surgery last week.  The physicians and staff at the teaching hospital were very professional and efficient.  My surgery lasted about five hours.  I woke with four keyhole incisions of <1" in my abdomen plus another incision for a drain.  I was given one dose of hydrocodone after awakening from surgery but have been on extra strength Tylenol plus a muscle relaxing medication since that time (Flexeril).  The surgery was not nearly as bad as I had feared.  I spent one night in the hospital and was discharged the next day, after having a urinary catheter and the abdominal JP drain removed.


I would estimate the pain at about a 2 on a 10 point scale, except in moments when I cough or sneeze, when it shoots to about a 9 before quickly subsiding.  There is some discomfort when moving from a prone to seated position or when moving from a seated to a standing position, but it's manageable.  It was about 48 hours before my bowels moved again and I found that fasting but drinking hot coffee was very helpful to re-start the digestive process.  (I had another surgery for an unrelated condition several years ago and began eating too soon and later regretted it - I learned the hard way that I needed to get the bowels functioning again before consuming food.)  I began walking the day of the surgery around the hospital, then at home, then in my neighborhood.  I have steadily increased to 1.50 miles/day in the sixth day after surgery.  I have resumed part-time work from home.


The pathology report indicates that the small mass was completely excised and my surgeon said that it is "very unlikely" that I will have a reoccurrence.  That said, my surgeon intends to follow me for about five years and have periodic CT scans, with the first post-surgery CT scan to occur in about three months.


Here are the highlights of the pathology report:


Histologic Type: Papillary renal cell carcinoma, Type 1

Histologic Grade: G2

Tumor Size: Greatest Dimension (Centimeters): 2.7 cm

Margins: Uninvolved by invasive carcinoma

Primary Tumor (pT): pT1a


If your own situation is similar to mine then my advice would be to not lose heart, to at least consult with a physician who offers robotic-assisted surgery to see if it is an option for you (even if you ultimately decide to go about things differently), and keep a positive attitude which is its own good medicine.


And whatever your own situation, I hope that you will do well in your treatment and have a good outcome.



  • Deanie0916
    Deanie0916 Member Posts: 452 **
    Thanks for your story

    I'm glad for the good outcome!

  • icemantoo
    icemantoo Member Posts: 3,358 **
    edited October 2021 #3
    Off to a good start

    My memory is not as fond about the Neph., 19 years ago. Mo robots then.





  • Bay Area Guy
    Bay Area Guy Member Posts: 539 **
    edited October 2021 #4
    Except for having a few years

    Except for having a few years on you with a different subtype of RCC and a slightly smaller mass, that's just about my exact story starting in late 2013.  My primary was associated with a hospital I'd rather not use, so he got me a referral to Stanford, where I had a wonderful urologist and probably the best doc I've ever seen.  We monitored my little sucker for almost 2-1/2 years with alternating CT's and ultrasounds every six months.  In April, 2016, an ultrasound saw a one mm growth, so he got me a surgeon who did robotics (and who looked like he was just out of high school.....young whippersnapper.....LOL) who got it out in June.  I was monitored for four years with no sign of any spread or recurrence.  I have my first appointment with Stanford's Survivorship Program coming up in early December.  Oddly enough, I have that appointment, then the next afternoon, I see an audiologists and a head and neck surgeon because my ENT for hearing loss wants me evaluated for a cochlear implant.

    Getting old sucks, but it's sure better than the alternative.

  • Canadian Sandy
    Canadian Sandy Member Posts: 721 **
    edited October 2021 #5
    Thanks for sharing. I'm sure

    Thanks for sharing. I'm sure lots of people will find it helpful. I had to have open nephrectomy which is much more painful. Three years out now and all is still good.

  • eug91
    eug91 Member Posts: 353 **
    edited October 2021 #6

    Thanks for sharing your story - and congrats on getting through your neph! Hoping for continued healing for you!