Faced with surgery...and a bunch of questions

NomadicMike
NomadicMike Member Posts: 32
edited February 2013 in Kidney Cancer #1

The first week of January, I had blood in my urine.  I went to a local urologist hoping that it was just kidney stones...but since I'm here...well you know what they found.  7.5cm x 7.5cm mass in my left kidney on the lower side.

The urologist wanted to do a non robotic laproscopic full nephrectomy the following week.  When he told me, it floored me - as it does all of us.  I had forgotten to mention frequent headaches I've been having for the last several months (3-5 times per week).

So with this additional information, I wanted to get a second opinion, but from a Urologic Oncologist (plus my original dr was out of town when I remembered).  The second doctor ordered cat scans w/contrast of my abdomen and head along with a bone scan.  They came back as neg for metastatic and he said it was still contained.

So today he calls and says it's likely RCC and he wants to do a partial, open, but can't do it until 3 weeks.  Ugghhh!!!  I was hoping to have it done sooner and now I'm freaking out thinking that I'm on the verge of metastasizing and of course waiting for 3 weeks is going be when that happens.

So I have several questions:

1.  Urologist vs a Urologic Oncologist?  My urologist is a board certified surgon, but my orologic oncologist seems to have better credentials and is associated with a teaching hospital.  Should I go with someone that is a little more specialized?  Would a urologist be skilled enough for this scenario?
 
2.  The waiting game.  7.5cm x 7.5cm.  Does the bigger size mass indicate that it's more likely to be on the verge of metastasizing?  Is 3 weeks too long to wait for this size?

3.  Open vs Laproscopic.  Is it worth an open to get a partial vs a laproscopic to get a full? Are open partial nephrectomoy surgeries still common? 
He said it was up to me, but he seemed to prefer open for this size of a partial and I'm leaning on letting him decide this.  I believe he would attempt a partial with robotic laproscopy if I insisted, are they both equally effective?  How often do people need to go back for additional surgery after partials?

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Comments

  • JackieP125
    JackieP125 Member Posts: 56
    Hi Mike

    I was diagnosed with a 3cm tumor in my right kidney (I believe it was in October 2011) and my surgery was postponed until January 5, 2012 - almost 3 months.  I was worried same as you. I was suppose to recieve a partial using the robotic surgery but complications caused the surgeon to open me up at the last minute. As a result I lost my entire right kidney.  I was told that he was glad he took the whole kidney because I had a Grade 3 tumor. Maybe this will help you make your decision. You won't know what Grade your tumor is until you get the path report. 

  • garym
    garym Member Posts: 1,647
    Welcome to the club...

    Hi Mike,

    I'm sorry life brought you here, but there are alot of worse things that could have happened to you.  The surgery is not fun either way, but it may be the only treatment you ever need.  I'll give you my take on your questions.

    "1.  Urologist vs a Urologic Oncologist?  My urologist is a board certified surgon, but my orologic oncologist seems to have better credentials and is associated with a teaching hospital.  Should I go with someone that is a little more specialized?  Would a urologist be skilled enough for this scenario?"  Either doc should be skilled enough to do tyhe job right, go with your gut (no pun intended) and pick the one you are most comfortable with.

    "2.  The waiting game.  7.5cm x 7.5cm.  Does the bigger size mass indicate that it's more likely to be on the verge of metastasizing?  Is 3 weeks too long to wait for this size?"  While there are extremely rare case where certain types of RCC have advanced in a short time (read Texas Wedge's story) it is far more likely that 3 weeks won't make any difference.  Clear cell is the most likely diagnosis and it is very slow growing and your tumor is small in comparison to many of the members here.  We just heard from a member who had a 22cm tumor removed about a year ago and he is doing fine.  The hardest part about waiting is keeping your mind occupied, I promise the whole ordeal will not be as bad as you imagine it to be.

    "3.  Open vs Laproscopic.  Is it worth an open to get a partial vs a laproscopic to get a full? Are open partial nephrectomoy surgeries still common?"  No easy choice here, recovery and healing time are about 1/2 as long for a lap, but keeping part of the kidney might certainly outway that.  Life with one is not much different than life with two, but no longer having a spare is a concern.  Mine was a full lap (partial was not an option), knowing what I know today, if I had been given a choice I think I would have opted for the partial.  You get cooler body art from an open, but you will be fine either way.

    Bottom line, make the decision you are most comfortable with and don't look back.  If you haven't already, you should be preparing yourself for surgery now, start exercising and drinking plenty of water now and continue to do so post surgery, it will pay off in a shorter and easier recovery.  Keep us posted and we'll help you through it.

    Good luck and Godspeed,

    Gary

     

  • therapture
    therapture Member Posts: 25
    Been there 9 weeks ago, almost exactly like you!

    I started with (massive) urine in my blood, to massive pain in the kidney area just 2 hours later. I'll just link to my original story since it's so long...but to make a long story short, orginal doc wanted to wait 2 weeks for surgery, but complications forced the issue, found a new doc, and I had the kidney out just 6 days after being diagnosed with a 7.1cm tumor of the right kidney. Ended up with a "hand assisted" laporoscopic surgery. Meaning there was one larger (2.5" to 3") incision that he used to pull the kidney out, intact in one large mass, along with the three smaller cuts for the tools and camera.  I too was majorly concerened about the time frame for surgery, but all the docs assured me that 2-3 weeks was "nothing" on the timeline of this cancer, that the tumor had been growing for years. Still, I had doubts and wanted that damn thing out of me as fast as possible. At 7.5cm x 7.5cm, I doubt keeping any part of your kidney is possible unless it is growing on the outside surface, mine had tried to split my kidney in two and was the reason for the massive bleeding since it trespassed into the main duct in the kidney.

     

    I HIGHLY recommend laporoscopic, if you can find a doc to do it that way. Recovery is faster, less scars, out of hospital sooner, etc. It's no easy surgery by any means, but as many here can attest, it's just the price of admission to this somewhat special club. Be forward thinking, be positive. To paraphrase a famous movie, "I came here to chew bubblegum and kick cancer's a55, and I'm all out of bubblegum."

     

    My original story in full, at the end of a LONG thread, with TONS of great info, I think you should read this one, it was the first I found after a google search. 

     

    The post is titled "well on my way to recovery"  http://csn.cancer.org/node/170619#comment-1314645 my post is almost to the very bottom.

  • therapture
    therapture Member Posts: 25
    Been there 9 weeks ago, almost exactly like you!

    holy double post batman!

  • todd121
    todd121 Member Posts: 1,448
    Welcome

    Hi Mike,

    I'm pretty new here. I had the same symptoms as you late November and had my right kidney removed December 10th. Like you, I wanted it out ASAP. My tumor was 6.8 cm. On the original CT scan (no contrast) they said it was in the lower pole, but on the second one with contrast it was actually in the lower pole but also up into the middle of the kidney. Because mine had grown into the center of the kidney where all the blood supply comes in, there was no way to get it out and save any part of the kidney. I had what they call a combination laprascopy. It was a lap, but I needed a really large incision to get the kidney out. They wanted it out whole so it had clean margins and to maintain the tumor for pathology.

    With regards to your questions. I had a urologic oncologist at a teaching hospital also. I think he did a great job. He'd done lots of them. I didn't much care for the hospital as far as the nursing and support staff goes (it's associated with a university), but my surgeon was excellent.

    You can read up on staging information on a website like the kidney cancer association. Size is one of the criteria for the stage. However, even a small tumor in the wrong place can turn a stage 1 tumor into a stage 3, because stage 3 has to do with whether or not the tumor invaded the veins or not and how far it got into the vein. I wouldn't worry aobut 3 week waiting time. I read that these tumors grow between 0.1 and 0.8 cm per year, so it's been there like at least 7 years. 3 weeks isn't going to matter. You'll have to wait for the pathology report to find out your prognosis. With me, they thought it was a stage 1 going into the surgery, but my tumor had started to grow into the veins both macroscopically and microscopically, and that made me a stage 3. Also, there's something called Fuhrman grade which they won't know until you have your path report. This is basically how abnormal the cells are, which translates to how aggressive the cancer might be at spreading. It's a number from 1-4, where 1 is more normal and 4 is the most abnormal and most aggressive. Also, they usually can't tell what kind of cancer it is until they get it out. There are different types, even though clear cell RCC is the most common and that's what most of us have. That's what I have.

    I don't understand why you have to have an open surgery to get a partial. I thought they did partials laprascopically also. If you can save part of your kidney, it'd be great to do it. I haven't heard of anybody having a partial with that large of a tumor. You want to make sure they get it all and have good margins. When I found out I had that large of a tumor in my kidney, I wanted that kidney gone. I didn't push on the partial idea,

    With regards to the full nephrectomy, my surgeon indicated that the studies showed that a lap was as good or better an outcome as an open. We didn't talk about partials, so I don't know about that.

    Wish you the best of luck. Write all your questions down and take somebody with you to all the meetings with the doctor so you make sure you get all the information you need to make a decision.

    Todd

     

  • KJones1969
    KJones1969 Member Posts: 158
    Answers that will hopefully help

    1 ~ When my husband was diagnosed he was immediately referred to a Renal Concologist which is what I would recommend because they specialize in Kidney Cancer even when it was metastasized.

    2 ~ He had his taken out a month after his dx and I asked the same question you are. His Renal Oncologist at Duke said that would not make a difference in it spreading more. I have a little on his history below because his had already metastasized.

    3 ~ His recommended taking the entire kidney while he was in there and his was done laproscopic.

     

    I hope this helps a little and good luck on your journey. I'll be praying for you.

    Karen

    2/18/12-DX with Stage IV RCC that had Metastacized to his Lungs

    3/15/12- Husband had left radical nephroectomy

    5/3/12- Started Votrient

    8/5/12- Scans showed a reduction in size of lung nodules

    10/19/12-Scans showed reduction in lung nodules had doubled in size and he had new spots as well

    10/27/12-Started on Afinitor (he had his worst side effects on this)

    1/10/13-Hospitalized due to Malignant Pleural Effusion. Came off of Afinitor and 2 spots on his right lung had doubled in size. Had a pleurax catheter put in for drainage at home.

    1/19/13-Started Inlyta (he goes back to the doctor this week for blood work but won't have scans for at least another month, the only side effect he has had is extremely tired. Let's hope it stays that way).

    2/8/13-He has an appointment with his Renal Oncologist and Pulmonary about the pleural effusion. He really wants the pleurax out so I am praying they get it out. J

  • NomadicMike
    NomadicMike Member Posts: 32

    Answers that will hopefully help

    1 ~ When my husband was diagnosed he was immediately referred to a Renal Concologist which is what I would recommend because they specialize in Kidney Cancer even when it was metastasized.

    2 ~ He had his taken out a month after his dx and I asked the same question you are. His Renal Oncologist at Duke said that would not make a difference in it spreading more. I have a little on his history below because his had already metastasized.

    3 ~ His recommended taking the entire kidney while he was in there and his was done laproscopic.

     

    I hope this helps a little and good luck on your journey. I'll be praying for you.

    Karen

    2/18/12-DX with Stage IV RCC that had Metastacized to his Lungs

    3/15/12- Husband had left radical nephroectomy

    5/3/12- Started Votrient

    8/5/12- Scans showed a reduction in size of lung nodules

    10/19/12-Scans showed reduction in lung nodules had doubled in size and he had new spots as well

    10/27/12-Started on Afinitor (he had his worst side effects on this)

    1/10/13-Hospitalized due to Malignant Pleural Effusion. Came off of Afinitor and 2 spots on his right lung had doubled in size. Had a pleurax catheter put in for drainage at home.

    1/19/13-Started Inlyta (he goes back to the doctor this week for blood work but won't have scans for at least another month, the only side effect he has had is extremely tired. Let's hope it stays that way).

    2/8/13-He has an appointment with his Renal Oncologist and Pulmonary about the pleural effusion. He really wants the pleurax out so I am praying they get it out. J

    Thank you all!

    I really appreciate the information and support from everyone. I'm feeling a lot better about not worrying about the 3 week delay and it turns out that may be better for me because now I'm coming down with a cold!  I think my cold is from not sleeping because I'm a bit of an emotional wreck.

    I go in today for a pre-op visit.  Maybe the dr there can give me something to help with that.  Is that a common experience too?

  • garym
    garym Member Posts: 1,647

    Thank you all!

    I really appreciate the information and support from everyone. I'm feeling a lot better about not worrying about the 3 week delay and it turns out that may be better for me because now I'm coming down with a cold!  I think my cold is from not sleeping because I'm a bit of an emotional wreck.

    I go in today for a pre-op visit.  Maybe the dr there can give me something to help with that.  Is that a common experience too?

    YES!!!

    The emotional roller coaster is completely normal and will likely last until well past the surgery.  The words "You have cancer and you need surgery." take awhile to sink in and once they do it takes awhile longer to come to terms with it.  By all means ask your doc, they can help.

  • DonMiller
    DonMiller Member Posts: 109
    Faced with surgery...and a bunch of questions

    Hi. This is my first time posting. I am 57 years old had been diagnosed with a herniated disk many years ago.  This past summer it really started to hurt and the orthopedist sent me for an MRI which discovered a 11CM tumor on my left kidney   I had laproscoptic surgery a month later. The tumor was 11CM T3a Grade 3.  Apparently it had been there for 6-8 years.  I had no symtoms.  The surgery wasn't that bad.  I felt like crap but about a week but was back at work in three weeks.  It was clear that the wait wasn't going to increase the risk of metasis  I think the most important thing is to feel confortable for your surgeon. You dont get your prognosis for about a week after the surgery.

     

  • NomadicMike
    NomadicMike Member Posts: 32
    garym said:

    YES!!!

    The emotional roller coaster is completely normal and will likely last until well past the surgery.  The words "You have cancer and you need surgery." take awhile to sink in and once they do it takes awhile longer to come to terms with it.  By all means ask your doc, they can help.

    Finally - a good nights sleep!

    I did get a script for xanax and lunesta yesterday and had the best night of sleep in a while.

  • NomadicMike
    NomadicMike Member Posts: 32
    Now my cold is worse

    But the doc said they normally wouldn't normally delay surgery for a cold.  I'm worried because I'm coughing and I've read that coughing/sneezing can be painful with our types of surgery - and I would assume worse with an open vs lap surgery.  Any thoughts?

     

    Also, that leads me to questions about pain management.  What do they normally perscribe for pain once you're home?  I've read several different types of drugs, but wasn't sure if there was a preferred one or what the advantages/disadvantages are.  I do not have an addictive personality, so I'm not afraid of anything in that regard.

  • garym
    garym Member Posts: 1,647

    Now my cold is worse

    But the doc said they normally wouldn't normally delay surgery for a cold.  I'm worried because I'm coughing and I've read that coughing/sneezing can be painful with our types of surgery - and I would assume worse with an open vs lap surgery.  Any thoughts?

     

    Also, that leads me to questions about pain management.  What do they normally perscribe for pain once you're home?  I've read several different types of drugs, but wasn't sure if there was a preferred one or what the advantages/disadvantages are.  I do not have an addictive personality, so I'm not afraid of anything in that regard.

    Pain...

    Yeah...coughing and sneezing suck, squeezing a pillow tightly over the area does help.

    They will be working on pain management while you are in the hospital and its important for you to communicate how you feel, you don't want them to assume what you are getting is working.  Pain seems to be an individual thing, some need hardly anything while for others the pain lingers for several weeks.  You will probably have a morphine pump to start out and then be switched to oral meds after a day or so, stay proactive until you find something that works, for me it was percocet.  One more thing, don't be macho and try to tuff it out, that just slows done the recovery process you'll want to stay in front of it and take your meds on time.  Again, walking early and often and drinking plenty of water will serve you well in getting past it.  GOOD LUCK!!

  • NomadicMike
    NomadicMike Member Posts: 32

    Answers that will hopefully help

    1 ~ When my husband was diagnosed he was immediately referred to a Renal Concologist which is what I would recommend because they specialize in Kidney Cancer even when it was metastasized.

    2 ~ He had his taken out a month after his dx and I asked the same question you are. His Renal Oncologist at Duke said that would not make a difference in it spreading more. I have a little on his history below because his had already metastasized.

    3 ~ His recommended taking the entire kidney while he was in there and his was done laproscopic.

     

    I hope this helps a little and good luck on your journey. I'll be praying for you.

    Karen

    2/18/12-DX with Stage IV RCC that had Metastacized to his Lungs

    3/15/12- Husband had left radical nephroectomy

    5/3/12- Started Votrient

    8/5/12- Scans showed a reduction in size of lung nodules

    10/19/12-Scans showed reduction in lung nodules had doubled in size and he had new spots as well

    10/27/12-Started on Afinitor (he had his worst side effects on this)

    1/10/13-Hospitalized due to Malignant Pleural Effusion. Came off of Afinitor and 2 spots on his right lung had doubled in size. Had a pleurax catheter put in for drainage at home.

    1/19/13-Started Inlyta (he goes back to the doctor this week for blood work but won't have scans for at least another month, the only side effect he has had is extremely tired. Let's hope it stays that way).

    2/8/13-He has an appointment with his Renal Oncologist and Pulmonary about the pleural effusion. He really wants the pleurax out so I am praying they get it out. J

    KJones: I'm sending positive and healing thoughts to you both

    For tomorrow's appointment!

  • todd121
    todd121 Member Posts: 1,448

    Now my cold is worse

    But the doc said they normally wouldn't normally delay surgery for a cold.  I'm worried because I'm coughing and I've read that coughing/sneezing can be painful with our types of surgery - and I would assume worse with an open vs lap surgery.  Any thoughts?

     

    Also, that leads me to questions about pain management.  What do they normally perscribe for pain once you're home?  I've read several different types of drugs, but wasn't sure if there was a preferred one or what the advantages/disadvantages are.  I do not have an addictive personality, so I'm not afraid of anything in that regard.

    Post Surgery

    You actually want to cough. Well, you want your lungs clear. It's important after surgery to do the deep breathing exercises they suggest and to cough good when you need it. You don't want fluid in your lungs and you want to cough it out and keep the lungs inflated all the way down so no bugs start to grow. It's tempting to not cough because of the pain, but do it anyway.

    For me, pain meds are a big problem because I get nauseous on morphine and similar drugs and the anti-nausea medication doesn't help a bit. Because of that, they gave me tramadol in the hospital (after they gave me morphine the first night, ignoring my note about being sensitive to it, which caused me to have a lot of vomiting following my surgery). Tramadol worked well for me. I went home with it, but probably only took it 2-3 days. I was off all pain meds by day 4 or 5.

    Xanax can be addictive and even in a short time you can develop a tolerance to it. For me, I noticed that when I take it for anxiety, when it wears off my anxiety feels a bit worse, so I've been trying to avoid it. I do take it from time to time when I'm too anxious to sleep.

    I had 2 post-surgery issues that really bothered me. One was about 2-3 days after surgery I was urinating and air started coming out. What a weird sensation. I got panicky thinking the doc forgot to tie off my ureter and the air they pumped in my belly was coming out through my bladder. (For the laprascopy they use a machine that inflates your abdomen). It turned out that some air got in my bladder probably from the catheter they inserted prior to the surgery. This situation did clear up after a few days. I think this is very uncommon, so I wouldn't worry about that.

    The second issue had to do with bowel movements. The stuff they use to put you to sleep evidently knocks your intestines out for a few days and it takes quite a few days for them to wake up. This is very common. In fact, I think everybody experiences this. My surgery was Monday at noon and I didn't have a bowel movement of any kind until Friday night. My surgeon sent me home before I was even having any bowel sounds, and I guess this is the norm now. Eating and not having BMs for 4-5 days made me pretty nervous. You don't want to use harsh laxatives because then you'll get the opposite problem. Use a stool softener with a very mild laxative and drinks lots of water and walk a lot after your surgery. This is good for that. I was walking Tuesday morning just to the door, and in the afternoon I was walking down the hall. By the next day I spent most of my day walking gently around as much as I could, even though I had to push myself. I think it's very good for you to do that.

    Todd

  • NanoSecond
    NanoSecond Member Posts: 653
    todd121 said:

    Post Surgery

    You actually want to cough. Well, you want your lungs clear. It's important after surgery to do the deep breathing exercises they suggest and to cough good when you need it. You don't want fluid in your lungs and you want to cough it out and keep the lungs inflated all the way down so no bugs start to grow. It's tempting to not cough because of the pain, but do it anyway.

    For me, pain meds are a big problem because I get nauseous on morphine and similar drugs and the anti-nausea medication doesn't help a bit. Because of that, they gave me tramadol in the hospital (after they gave me morphine the first night, ignoring my note about being sensitive to it, which caused me to have a lot of vomiting following my surgery). Tramadol worked well for me. I went home with it, but probably only took it 2-3 days. I was off all pain meds by day 4 or 5.

    Xanax can be addictive and even in a short time you can develop a tolerance to it. For me, I noticed that when I take it for anxiety, when it wears off my anxiety feels a bit worse, so I've been trying to avoid it. I do take it from time to time when I'm too anxious to sleep.

    I had 2 post-surgery issues that really bothered me. One was about 2-3 days after surgery I was urinating and air started coming out. What a weird sensation. I got panicky thinking the doc forgot to tie off my ureter and the air they pumped in my belly was coming out through my bladder. (For the laprascopy they use a machine that inflates your abdomen). It turned out that some air got in my bladder probably from the catheter they inserted prior to the surgery. This situation did clear up after a few days. I think this is very uncommon, so I wouldn't worry about that.

    The second issue had to do with bowel movements. The stuff they use to put you to sleep evidently knocks your intestines out for a few days and it takes quite a few days for them to wake up. This is very common. In fact, I think everybody experiences this. My surgery was Monday at noon and I didn't have a bowel movement of any kind until Friday night. My surgeon sent me home before I was even having any bowel sounds, and I guess this is the norm now. Eating and not having BMs for 4-5 days made me pretty nervous. You don't want to use harsh laxatives because then you'll get the opposite problem. Use a stool softener with a very mild laxative and drinks lots of water and walk a lot after your surgery. This is good for that. I was walking Tuesday morning just to the door, and in the afternoon I was walking down the hall. By the next day I spent most of my day walking gently around as much as I could, even though I had to push myself. I think it's very good for you to do that.

    Todd

    Post surgery pain killers

    Another very important thing to keep in mind if or while you are taking major pain killers such as Oxycodone, Percocet (Oxycodone plus Acetaminophen), Vicodin, or Tramadol, etc.

    All of them will cause constipation.  So it is very important that you simulatneously take a laxative (such as Mirolax) to counteract this side effect.  Discuss this with your doctor or a good gastrointerologist to decide what the best strategy is to deal with this issue.

  • GSRon
    GSRon Member Posts: 1,303

    Post surgery pain killers

    Another very important thing to keep in mind if or while you are taking major pain killers such as Oxycodone, Percocet (Oxycodone plus Acetaminophen), Vicodin, or Tramadol, etc.

    All of them will cause constipation.  So it is very important that you simulatneously take a laxative (such as Mirolax) to counteract this side effect.  Discuss this with your doctor or a good gastrointerologist to decide what the best strategy is to deal with this issue.

    I think everyone will have a

    I think everyone will have a slightly different issues, post surgery...  I had a lot of pain, but found out I could get it adjusted... that worked.. As far as body functions go, I had a lot of gas the next day, and asked for a bed pan... only gas, but the second day, I asked to go to the bathroom, and they brought me a porta potty... success...!!  All was fine after that... well not all.. but I was regular...

    The staff will let you know when it is time to get up and walk... DO IT..!  The sooner you get mobile the sooner you likely get to go home.

    Oh yes, depending on how big the incision, I had major pain when they moved the bed back up or down.. SLOW was the key... but then I had a very large opening...

    Give us an update when you get out...

    Ron

  • Eliezer2
    Eliezer2 Member Posts: 85
    A post-surgery story

    This may be a bit more relevant to you, cause you seem young.   But I guess all guys who have the surgery (mine was 13 years back) come out sore and are concerned about "the functioning" of the "apparatus" down there.

     

    Well, about 2 weeks or so after my surgery, I was spending a lot of time watching old movies on TCN.  One of these was "Nanootchka," with Greta Garbo.  It is from the 30s I think.  Anyhow there is a kissing scene in it which is pretty "hot" by the 1930s standards.  I was watching it and suddenly, and I put this in clean terms, the "soldier" saluted.  It was a great moment!   The long dead Greta Garbo had saved my post-surgery sex life!

  • HPRonhovde
    HPRonhovde Member Posts: 22
    Hi Mike,
    I was diagnosed with

    Hi Mike,

    I was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer last Christmas eve and the next available surgery date was 2 weeks away.  My surgeon wanted to do an open partial on me to attempt to save the top half of the kidney but had to take the whole kidney after he saw how large the tumor really was. Then he found another cancer under the kidney in the fatty tissue so to me it is good he had good visibility of the area. 

    I have thought about the difference between laproscopic and open surgery and have concluded that in my case I am glad my surgery was open.  Now, again, this is my personal opinion not based on any research or facts, but have you ever tried to pull a dirty rag through a pipe and not have some of the dirt fall off outside the pipe.  That is my concept of taking a cancer tumor out with a small vacuum pipe.  I know that the open surgery is harder on you and takes longer to heal but knowing that the tumor came out in one piece gives me solace that there was no part of the tumor accidentally left inside me.  I now feel much better that my chance of recurrance or having the cancer move to anther location is diminished significantly. I will take the additional time to heal and the nausea I am experiencing for the added peace of mind. 

    I wish you the best in your surgery it is not fun and learning how much you use your abdominal muscles after the fact is an interesting surprise.  

    Ron

     

  • NomadicMike
    NomadicMike Member Posts: 32
    Eliezer2 said:

    A post-surgery story

    This may be a bit more relevant to you, cause you seem young.   But I guess all guys who have the surgery (mine was 13 years back) come out sore and are concerned about "the functioning" of the "apparatus" down there.

     

    Well, about 2 weeks or so after my surgery, I was spending a lot of time watching old movies on TCN.  One of these was "Nanootchka," with Greta Garbo.  It is from the 30s I think.  Anyhow there is a kissing scene in it which is pretty "hot" by the 1930s standards.  I was watching it and suddenly, and I put this in clean terms, the "soldier" saluted.  It was a great moment!   The long dead Greta Garbo had saved my post-surgery sex life!

    One less thing to worry about!

    Thanks for sharing your story!

  • NomadicMike
    NomadicMike Member Posts: 32

    Hi Mike,
    I was diagnosed with

    Hi Mike,

    I was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer last Christmas eve and the next available surgery date was 2 weeks away.  My surgeon wanted to do an open partial on me to attempt to save the top half of the kidney but had to take the whole kidney after he saw how large the tumor really was. Then he found another cancer under the kidney in the fatty tissue so to me it is good he had good visibility of the area. 

    I have thought about the difference between laproscopic and open surgery and have concluded that in my case I am glad my surgery was open.  Now, again, this is my personal opinion not based on any research or facts, but have you ever tried to pull a dirty rag through a pipe and not have some of the dirt fall off outside the pipe.  That is my concept of taking a cancer tumor out with a small vacuum pipe.  I know that the open surgery is harder on you and takes longer to heal but knowing that the tumor came out in one piece gives me solace that there was no part of the tumor accidentally left inside me.  I now feel much better that my chance of recurrance or having the cancer move to anther location is diminished significantly. I will take the additional time to heal and the nausea I am experiencing for the added peace of mind. 

    I wish you the best in your surgery it is not fun and learning how much you use your abdominal muscles after the fact is an interesting surprise.  

    Ron

     

    I'm going with open and I'm comfortable with it now

    I'm feeling more and more confident and comfortable in my doctor's abilities and I've decided to go with his recommendation.  What a huge relief that was!