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Who had robotic partial nephrectomy?

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?

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.


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
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!!!!

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.

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.


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,


Sara123's picture
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!

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