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Sleeping after opp,

Posts: 25
Joined: Jan 2012

I posted yesterday under (surgery tomorrow)kidney section,I was told 5 days ago I have a problem,Im going in Saturday 7th , for key hole removel of a tumor and my left kidney, Im just getting over the shock at the moment, am I wrong in thinking I will be out in 2 days?,also how did most of you sleep after the opperation sitting up or what Im feeling extra tired the last few days is that normal,I look forward to any comments you can give me, Im 61 yrs old

icemantoo's picture
Posts: 3330
Joined: Jan 2010


I assume that by keyhole surgery, you mean laproscopic.
I was 59 when I had my left kidney removed laproscopcally 9 and 1/2 years ago. While you may be out of the hospital in 2 days you will not feel like doing much for a few weeks, You will probably sleep because of the medication, but you will still be sore. Hang in there, if they get everything you stand a high percentage chance of no further problems. Sorry I can not sugar coat the surgery or recovery, They both hurt. Things do get better. I have been there and done that. I went water skiing 11 months after my surgery. I expect nothing less from you.

Best wishes,


MikeK703's picture
Posts: 235
Joined: Sep 2010

Hi Boomersdad,
I had a laproscopic radical nephrectomy last year when I was 63 and ended up after surgery sleeping on my couch for about a week. I did that because I wanted to keep as still as possible to avoid the inevitable pain caused by any tossing and turning. The pain wasn't excruciating but it hurt enough for me to want to remain still while sleeping. I slept pretty well on the couch. The pain killers helped a lot! Tiredness and fatigue can be a symptom of kidney cancer, but I doubt if that is the cause of your problem now if you have been experiencing it only during the past few days. You may just be extra tired because of the stress you're under due to the upcoming surgery. Perfectly understandable. But it will all turn out okay.
Best of luck and get back to us after surgery to let us know how you're doing.

garym's picture
Posts: 1651
Joined: Nov 2009


Sorry you were forced to join our little club, but now that you are here you'll find a gang of very supportive people, welcome aboard. The flood of emotions you are experiencing are normal and the likely cause of your tiredness. I had my left kidney and the leach attached to it removed just over 2 years ago laproscopically, I was 58 at the time. A 3 to 5 day hospital stay is the norm, many of us here found a good recliner to be beneficial concerning sleep, they are a bit easier to get in and out of with a sore belly, so you might give it a try. You may find that you feel better post-op than you anticipated, don't let that fool you into over doing things, take it slow for at least 2 weeks with leisurely daily walks as the most strenuous thing you do. Very soon this will all be behind you and life will return to "normal" for the next 30 years or so. Keep us posted and we'll help you through it.

Good luck and Godspeed,


Posts: 25
Joined: Jan 2012

boomersdad, on 12/20/11 I lost 1/3 of my right kidney via traditional surgery - my 11th rib was taken as well for access. Sleep has not been my pleasure - pain meds & sleeping pills b/4 bed help. I can get 2-3 hrs in bed and then have to move to a recliner we purchased for just such an emergency. Bed is 'too flat' I can't get comfortable once I wake. BTW - I was in the hospital for 4 days w/ the traditional surgery (cut from belly to back) I hope your laproscopic (sp?) goes well. Good luck, I tried to view it as the biggest tooth they ever pulled - minimized it in my mind. B. P. was 112/75 minutes before they rolled me down the hall for surgery, I was pretty pleased with that.
This is crazy, I'll be 50 in 3 weeks, never thought this would happen to me - be strong!!!

Posts: 61
Joined: Apr 2011

Hi Tom,
I don't know what I would have done without my recliner. I slept in it a good week. Lying flat was NOT an option. I had a radical left neph, laporoscopically on 6-2-11. I just started to sleep on my side about a month ago. LOL, the big tooth extraction made me laugh...It all gets better, it takes some time, take lots of short walks. DON'T over exert or push yourself. Rest when you feel tired. I was 55, and I still can't believe it happened to me. Thank God it was found (accidentally) and removed. Welcome to our little club, everyone here is awesome, and you get a lot of answers to all your concerns. Keep positive....

Posts: 25
Joined: Jan 2012

Hi Guys thanks for your replies ,today Thursday is the first day I have felt able to sit on my pc,I had the opp last Saturday, 11-30 till 4-00pm,came around Sun Morning, the nurses were great, They removed the kidney and the growth and had to make the large cut from 3ins to 5ins, something about getting it all out,Stomach is still all knumb and have not used my bowls but did have to pass water before they let me out of hospital which was Monday 4-00 pm, I have started to take a product called Senokcot which I hope will work in the next 24 hrs,I also have aching shoulders were they have pumped in the air to open my abdomem up, I have sleeped for 5/6 hours per day in daylight hours since the opp, but Im going to fight it today so I can sleep well during the night, Im sleeping in bed with 3 large pillows, By the way my name is Errol (white)thanks for your help,

Vagusto's picture
Posts: 86
Joined: Aug 2011

Glad to hear that you're recovery is moving along. I also took Senokot, and also Miralax.
I'm a bit over two years post open left radical. Sleeping for me was odd at first, i did sleep in my bed. I didn't want to lay on the side where my lovely cut is. That being said, I'm a side sleeper and so eventually I didn't get back to that side. At first my husband would help we out of bed. Then I got to the point where I could roll out of bed. I remember when I started feeling better.....my husband commented that I was walking down the stairs at a faster pace. :) I have a spot on my tummy, about the size of a grapefruit that is permanently numb because of nerve damage. Be kind to yourself, rest up, and don't over eat at one sitting. You will get there!
Take Care

Posts: 25
Joined: Jan 2012

Thank you all so much for the support... I believe I would be lost without the words of my new friends "I have never met" but, have something in common that others may not understand. I was reading Katielynn's reply to my post and burst into tears... Has anyone else had any experiences such as this? I am generally OK w/ emotions and able to show them as they come & go. I was watching an old B&W movie yesterday, something tragic occurred and I wasn't able to continue watching. Is this a mourning of some kind? It sort of weirds me out that it just takes over so quickly - This was the first surgery ever in my life, is this a part of recovery? Physically I feel good, emotionally I dunno.(???)
Any wise words are appreciated.


foxhd's picture
Posts: 3183
Joined: Oct 2011

Another vote for the recliner. Mine was set up in my room when I came home. I had found out the hard way a few years back after I had my gall bladder removed. I got home and layed down on my waterbed and got stuck. (Yes I do still have a waterbed). This time I just got comfy with my remote and dozed in and out on my recliner for a week or so. Diagnosis and surgery was traumatic but I'll admit I milked it abit. I kept no schedule. Slept when I wanted, watched tv when I wanted. Lived like a bum. Got alot of sleep in. No pressure to return to normal activity too fast. When it was time, I got moving....also...I could not wait to stop taking senakot. I also needed it but hated the way it worked.

garym's picture
Posts: 1651
Joined: Nov 2009


I have had similar experiences and believe it to be just a normal part of the process of healing both physically and mentally following a journey such as this. When I first returned to work, everything was normal, drove up and parked, felt really good about being back, walked up, grabbed the door handle and burst into tears out of nowhere, I didn't understand it then and I don't now. Maybe it is mourning or perhaps just a deep realization that we really are okay and going to be around for awhile longer, but in a "new normal" way. It is very powerful whatever the reason. FYI, you may experience something like it again, though not as strong, at the time of your first follow-up tests.

Hang in there,


Posts: 25
Joined: Jan 2012

Thank you Gary;

I was wondering if it was just me or had others had this type of reaction after surgery. When this whole ball 1st dropped, I was at work and my GP called my cellphone - I was in a meeting but walked out to take the call. She told me the CT scan had confirmed my 'mass' was not a cyst and most likely cancerous. I had to go back into that meeting so, I swallowed my emotions and returned. Maybe holding back for the past 3 months is now catching up to me.

Thanks again - Be Good


Texas_wedge's picture
Posts: 2798
Joined: Nov 2011

Tom, I agree with the general consensus that this is to be expected. My guess is that you bottling things up is neither here nor there and the real explanation for this common reaction is to be found in our brain chemistry. The massive insult to the body by kidney surgery has many knock-on effects and these might include impact on the limbic system in the brain, particularly the amygdala and hippocampus.

So perhaps we're looking in the wrong direction in trying to find rational explanations. The remarkable neuroscientist Candace Pert has said:
"Emotions are neuropeptides attaching to receptors and stimulating an electrical change on neurons. The mind exists not only in the brain. Neuropeptides are also produced by the spleen, thymus, bone marrow, lymph glands, and the dorsal horn of the spine. Neuropeptides produced by the brain, arriving to open receptors in the intestines, are the root of the expression 'gut feeling'."

So, don't worry about it and when the tears come just 'go with the flow'!

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