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Dad is recovering from kidney cancer surgery and needs advice on recovery

Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2010

My dad had a partial kidney removed just before Christmas, 2009. The cancer was contained in the kidney and the surgery was a success; however, he is still having difficulty recovering. He is 72 years old, but in great shape. It has been 4 months now and he still has an intense burning around the incision, with swelling and tightness. He also complains of a salty taste in his mouth and sometimes it is a metallic taste in his mouth. He just had another series of tests run including CT Scan and the report indicated that everything looks good. Can anyone provide any advice on things he might can try to help with his symptoms? Thanks in advance for any guidance you can provide.

Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2010

While I can't really offer too much advice, my father recovered last spring from having one kidney removed. It is a long process and having the support from all his family was crucial. I wish you and your family the best.

icemantoo's picture
Posts: 3334
Joined: Jan 2010

There was a post a few weeks ago about a 40 year old back on his tractor within a few days of surgery. I was 59 when I went under the knife and it was 10 days before I participated in any activities and 6 weeks before I started to feel normal. At 72 it is going to take a bit longer. Hang in there. It may be a year before the swelling goes down where the incision is. Mine took that long. It also took me over 5 years to come out of my cacoon and start writing on chst bosrds. Things do get better,

Posts: 11
Joined: May 2010

Read your letter & felt for your DAD & you. If he is on medication this could be a side effect of that. I research all my medications on the net. I have found that side effects can be from meds. As well as the foods we eat & drink. I have a family member that has Kidney Cancer. He is going to have to have treatment they are thinking he may be a canidate for the CYRO Proceedure. So I'm new to this my self. But I have a metalic taste in my mouth & I'm trying to figure out what is causing these symptoms with me. I plan to see my doctor this week. I'm allmost sure it is my medication or combination of the meds I'm on. Good luck & the best to you & your Dad.

Posts: 30
Joined: Sep 2009

I am 65 and also had a partial nephrectomy in Dec (21) 2009. I also have the welling on my right side where the surgery was performed, and both my Urologist and Primary care Doctors say this is normal as there is some muscle that had to be cut into to get to the Kidney. It could take as much as a year to go down. Although not constant I also get a burning sensation every so often and again the Dr says that is nothing to worry about, as long as the wound looks good it is healing ok. As for the salty and metallic taste in his mouth, that is something I haven't experienced, buty is he on any medication or has he changed is eating habits?

Good Luck to your Dad

Posts: 11
Joined: Aug 2010

I had a grapefruit sized cancer removed from my right kidney almost a year and a half ago. Although only a very small portion of the kidney had to be removed, the first CT scan (almost a year later) revealed that the kidney died anyway. I have had the same swelling and hardness that others are mentioning here, ever since I had the surgery . . . it's so big that I call it my "baby" (I literally look pregnant on my right side) . . . I can't wear even slightly snug clothing because that would make it even more noticeable than it already is. The hardness and swelling rarely ever goes down, although it does go down a little bit sometimes--but I can't pinpoint why. I was told the same thing, that the hardness and swelling is due to the muscle not healing back together. It's always tender/sore deep inside my body--not closer to the surface where the muscle is! Also, my doctor doesn't believe that I could feel the cancer before it was found. I have also felt weird feelings in my right kidney ever since the surgery and my surgeon tells me I'm imagining it because no one can feel it. And now I'm feeling the same feelings in my left kidney =/ Has anyone else lost the healthy part of the kidney that was left behind? Why did mine die? My surgeon is baffled. Is anyone else still tender and sore deep inside--deeper than the incision and deeper than the muscle? Does anyone else feel the weird feelings in the kidney like I do? Please write to me at LisaRenee7610@gmail.com.

Posts: 12
Joined: Sep 2010

My husband just had surgery a week ago for RCC. He has commented that food does not taste good. He also had surgery a year ago for bypass graft surgery on his heart and also complained of the same thing. I think that will get better with time. We found out today that it was clear cell and confined to the kidney. The tumor was 13 cm by 12 cm so I think I was prepared for the worst and totally heaved a sigh of relief when we heard it was confined to the kidney. He goes in tomorrow to have his staples removed by a nurse. He doesn't see the urologist again until the end of October. This site has helped me realize I have to be more of advocate for my husband. His doctor offers no information except the basics. I wish all doctors had a great bedside demeanor but, alas, that isn't so. If we want information, we have to know the questions to ask. We didn't know he was going to have a rib removed until the day of surgery, and I was only able to ask that question because of what I had read on this site and a few other sites concerning renal cell carcinoma. I worked in the medical field for many years as a medical transcriptionist so I think I am better able to understand what is being said regarding RCC. It is still extremely scary to think of RCC.

lbinmsp's picture
Posts: 266
Joined: Jun 2006

It takes time - lots of time - to fully recover from surgery. The tightness and swelling and burning around incision is healing. I had swelling for months after. Just watch for redness or pulling of the actual incision - then have it checked. The wierd taste is most probably due to meds. I had no taste for anything for a long time - food just tasted strange until I got off all the meds. Some people bounce back quickly - some take longer. I was back at work 6 weeks after the surgery but my body didn't 'recover' for almost a year (energy level, sleeping). This is a huge shock to the system and really - it just takes time.

blackbelt's picture
Posts: 32
Joined: Apr 2006

Your dad is going to have pain around his scar area for a long time, that is normal with any surgery, it's been four years since I had a open partial nephrectomy and I still have pain around my scar area, I would suggest putting an ice pack on that area for 1 to 2 minutes each day good luck!

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