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Who had robotic partial nephrectomy?

HeatherHa
Posts: 22
Joined: May 2011

I am finding it hard to receive a recommendation of doctors that did robotic partial nephrectomy. Did any of you undergo this procedure? where and by which doctor? how was it?

BG
Posts: 85
Joined: Jun 2011

Hi Heather,

I had the davinci robot laproscopic partial nephrectomy slightly over 2 weeks ago. My small incision sites are a little sore, but I am off the pain pills and getting around pretty well. My medical doctor referred me to a urologist who does this procedure and I am very happy he did.

I wish you the best, prayers are with you.

BG

Katielynn
Posts: 61
Joined: Apr 2011

I had the Davinci robotic surgery performed June 2nd this yr. I was supposed to have a partial neph., but due to some complications and the way the tumor (3.4cm) was situated in my left kidney, my urologist was forced to take my entire kidney. I did recover quite quickly from the laporoscopic surgery. The four little entry incisions and a 3 inch scar from where the kidney was removed are healing nicely. I was pretty sore for two weeks, but luckily I needed about 3 or 4 pain pills. It was mostly awkward trying to get up and down from a sitting position..Right now I feel I'm pretty much back to normal. I still don't lift anything heavy, but prior lumbar disc herniation mainly prevents me from feeling totally back to normal...The only change I notice, is I get tired a little easier than I used to....All in all, I'd totally recommend the Davinci surgery. I was lucky enough to be referred to a urologist who had trained at Cedars Sinai in this type of surgery before coming to our area.( NE Pa.) The very best of luck to you

Sara123's picture
Sara123
Posts: 6
Joined: Aug 2011

I had the robotic procedure done this past Friday - partial nephrectomy and gallbladder removal at the same time. I was home by Monday. Up and walking (a SHORT distance on Saturday), longer on Sunday, longer still on Monday. Fought a bit of fever while in the hospital but once the drainage tube was removed (on Monday), I was able to breathe deeper and walk further with little to no pain.

My last pain medication was last night (almost 24 hours ago) and am very pleased with how quickly I've been recovering.

I was very fortunate - my urologist is an expert in this surgical procedure and was quick to encourage me to do this. I would have been in surgery weeks earlier but it was difficult to find someone to do the gallbladder surgery this way as well and we only wanted to do one surgery.

I believe the DaVinci website (you'll have to google it) can give you some names of surgeons who use this method. Again, I'd HIGHLY recommend it. I have 6 small incisions that should heal quickly.

The biggest post op problem I had was excess bloating and gas which settled in my shoulder which really really hurt. The more I walked, the quicker it subsided.

Good luck!!!!

kjwarner
Posts: 7
Joined: Jul 2011

My Dad who is 85 is scheduled to have the robtic surgery next week. We do not know if it will be a partial or not until the surgeon is in there. What can we expect after surgery? ICU, will there be a catherter or drain tubes. He is positive and in good shape. Do you think it is possible for him to handle this type of surgery??

I can't help but worry. Thanks in advance.

ams123
Posts: 71
Joined: Aug 2011

Kathy - I posted on the other thread about the drain, and I also had a catheter and an iv. I was not in ICU, I spent a couple of hours in the recovery room, then went to a regular room. My surgeon also did not know if he could do a partial until he was inside, but it turned out he could. It's great that your dad is in good shape. I am younger than your dad, 51 years old, and I was training for a half marathon at the time I was diagnosed, so I was in pretty good shape. I tried to eat really well and I ran up until the day before surgery. Taking care of oneself before and after the surgery is the only thing we can do, the rest is up to the surgeon and the hospital. Of course you worry, it is major surgery despite it being robotic. But coming here to hear other people's stories really helped me. I hope it helps you too.

Linda

BG
Posts: 85
Joined: Jun 2011

I woke up in my room, and my wife was there. I don't remember a recovery room. I had a catheter and drain tube, and also the inflatable pants to prevent blood clots.

They manage the pain very well, morphine for me to start, then tapered off to lower strength. I also had 2 IV's in which was good for giving the pain meds and ati nausea meds.

The most difficult part I remember, was when they wanted me to walk the morning after surgery, I sat up and thats all I could do because of pain, but by the days end I was walking all over. The 2nd most difficult was when they "yanked" the drain tube, then catheter out. Wish I had more pain meds before that.

Each day (total 3) I was there I walked more, and to be discharged I think you need to be getting around, urinating on your own, and not have nausea (nausea kept me over an extra day).

The pain meds make you constipated, so have the doctor prescribe (or over counter, clear with your doctor) stool softener meds.

They told me I may have a swollen face in recovery, since they slight invert you during the operation, so do not be alarmed by this.

When I first woke up, I admit I was feeling fine, thats what morphine will do to you. The hydrocodone pain meds were needed for 3 weeks, maybe less. I am 8 weeks post op, 49 years old on saturday, and the 5 little incisions are a little sore, and I have some back pain, a little kidney pain, but healing will take another 2 months, no pain meds so that is good.

Be sure your father rests when he needs to, and you as well. I wish you the very best, my thoughts and prayers are with you,

Brent

Sara123's picture
Sara123
Posts: 6
Joined: Aug 2011

It's 4 weeks post surgery for me and I've been back to work for 2 weeks. Amazing how quickly you can recover! I will say that I agree with so much that's written. I remember the first time sitting/walking being torture but part of healing. The pulling of the drainage tube hurt more than I was prepared for but almost instantly afterwards, I felt a lot better.

It was a little discouraging to wear clothes to the hospital that were extra roomy - only to discover that after not eating anything for 6 days except jello, I was bloated to a point where things hardly fit.

After surgery I felt ugly, discouraged, fat, and overall sad/scared. A lot of it has to do with the medicine and the procedure. Things do get better and quickly. Even the bloating goes away.

As everyone else has said in a variety of places - it's an odd feeling to get super excited about "making a poopy" as I used to say to my kids when they were little. It's a little damaging to your ego - especially when the reality of the situation and the effect of the drugs are still heavy in your system.

I'm happy to report that life does get back to normal quickly after the robotic surgery. Much quicker than I expected! I have to admit - I'm lucky and happy and glad that the horror stories are starting to fade into the past. I promise this will happen to you and your father too!

Hope his surgery goes great!

Basslady78's picture
Basslady78
Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2017

Sara 123...thank you for commenting on the bloating. I am 4 weeks out from a total nephrectomy and my belly is pouched out. I had a flat abdomen prior to surgery and I am feeling lumpy, disfigured and weepy. My skin is hypersensitive. I've lived in yoga pants because of the non binding waist band and elasticity of the material. I feel physically well in the mornings, but within 2 hours I lay down. Two hour naps in the afternoon are a must.

 

I'm amazed you are back to work in 2 weeks!! I am restricted for 6 weeks, no lifting anything larger than a gallon of milk, (thus excluding my grandson) no yoga, which is what I miss the most. Then cystoscopy every 3 months to check for lesions. I had a metastasis to the bladder.

Angie1496's picture
Angie1496
Posts: 80
Joined: Sep 2017

I am two weeks 2 days post Davinci Neph.  4.5 cm clear cell RCC. no signs of mets.  The pain was not as bad as I expected when I woke up.  I stayed in the hospital 2 days.  Had a cath the first day but no drains. Riding in the car, sitting up, laying down and moving were the hardest.  I am just now able to lay on my side without feeling like my insides are falling out.  I have 5 incisions.  4 small ones and 1 larger one.  My belly is still a little puffy.  I started working from home on the Monday following surgery so I only missed 3 days of work.  I am fortunate to work a job that can be done off site and they allowed me to work this way instead of burning up all my leave. 

Stay ahead of the pain by taking the meds before it gets bad.  Hug a pillow to cough, sneeze, laugh and even riding in the car.  if you have a recliner I would sleep in that.  I didn't but I did have a wedge pillow I slept on for the first 5 or so days at home.  Use Colace or whatever laxative they give you when going home.  The pain meds will stop you up and you do not want that pain on top of everything else.  The gas they put in your belly for the surgery will be coming out for several days.  Small children and immature adults may find this funny Laughing.  Walk as much as you can tolerate and use the spirometer they give you even after you go home to help expand your lungs.  It will be hard to use at first but it helps alot.  Deep breathing is difficult at first and the more you do the breathing exercises the better it will be.  

 

Sorry I got long winded.  I was trying to cover everything I just went through.  If you have any more questions please feel free to ask. 

 

Angie.

DreamOnDeb
Posts: 83
Joined: May 2017

My husband had the Davinci Robotic Surgery and he stayed in the hospital one night.  Where are you from?

DreamOnDeb
Posts: 83
Joined: May 2017

I just realized this original post was from 2011.

JerzyGrrl's picture
JerzyGrrl
Posts: 637
Joined: Jun 2016

It's amazing how many medical centers have gotten the DaVinci systems in the last five, ten years (as well as trained AND EXPERIENCED surgeons on their teams). Good stuff, good staff. Woot!

Angie1496's picture
Angie1496
Posts: 80
Joined: Sep 2017

I am from Mississippi.  I was being released when I had sudden severe stomach pain and nausea.  THey decided to keep me overnight because I had an hour ride home.  I also had a pretty bad corneal abrasion from surgery.  they say I did it in recovery.  My eye was actually worse pain than my stomach.  THey wanted to get the opthamologist looking at that too.  I almost couldnt see out of it! 

Rockspin
Posts: 27
Joined: Aug 2017

I had a total kidney removed  by robotic on Tuesday. I'm am off all pain meds and walking around. I'm not eating normal yet and haven't had a bowel movement. However I'm pretty happy with my recovery and I'm not a spring chicken. Dr felt all cancer was removed  will have a scan in theee months. 

Jparra48
Posts: 6
Joined: Sep 2017

i have clear renal cell in both my kidneys and am scheduled for a partial nephrectomy on Monday for my left kidney. Doc doesn’t know if he’ll be able to save it since the mass is literally resting near my renal vein and artery area. Thank you everyone for posting all your experiences it helps me understand exactly what I’m walking into. My second surgery for my right kidney will be sometime in November hopefully by then I’ll be a pro, :)

stub1969's picture
stub1969
Posts: 367
Joined: Jul 2016

Hoping all is well and your surgery was uneventful.

Stub

Jparra48
Posts: 6
Joined: Sep 2017

hi stub. I’m 6 Days Post op. i didn’t realize how much pain I would be in. I have 6 incisions and I was in tears today just thinking about how I have to do this all over again in 6 more weeks. 

stub1969's picture
stub1969
Posts: 367
Joined: Jul 2016

Take this process one step at a time.  You've made it over the first hurdle; now heal and get ready for the second.  Believe in your strength and rally your support system.  You can do this!!

Stub

Tesla1
Posts: 45
Joined: Mar 2017

Did they take the whole kidney?

Jparra48
Posts: 6
Joined: Sep 2017

No my doctor thought he would have to but thankfully he cut up my kidney since my tumor was located near my renal vein and artery area. Instead he cut me up along with my vein and took the tumor out. Which was a stage 2 so I literally have stitches in the artery which he told me to be very careful with. I’m two weeks post op and feeling much better just have sorenes. Once I heal from this I’ll start on my second surgery which will be to get rid of the tumor  have on my right side. 

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