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Partial Nephrectomy recovery

Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2013

Hello everyone.  I saw a post asking about recovery from Partial Nephrectomy and thought I'd post about mine.

Mentally, not doing so well (posted about that).


I'm about 6 weeks post op.  The first couple of weeks the pain was awful in the abdomen (where the incisions were).  Couldn't bend, sit up from lying down position, sleep on side, etc.

Ended up sleeping in the recliner for about 3 weeks.

After that, I still have very minor pain in abdomen, only hurts when I bend sometimes.  Sometimes have pain in kidney area when I bend over.  Other than that, all is well.

I would recomend that if you are having this surgery, be prepared for at least 3 weeks of taking it easy, and not working. 

I went back to work at 4 weeks (part time) and was exhausted.

You are still recovering, you had major surgery.  Pamper yourself, take it easy if you can.  Have your spouse do the laundry, cooking, driving the kids, etc.  for at least a couple of weeks.

Hope this helps some people.


icemantoo's picture
Posts: 2955
Joined: Jan 2010


The recovery you describe is very typical. Much like I went thru 10 and 1/2 years ago. The only thing I did not have to do was drive the kids. They (Jill and Howie) were 36 and 34 at the time.

Do what you can do, when you can do it. Full recovery can take up to a year. I went water skiing the following summer after surgery. You may have to wait until next year summer to do that.



NomadicMike's picture
Posts: 32
Joined: Feb 2013

Another aspect of recovery is getting back to work (for those of us that still do).  For my scenario, the Family Medical Leave Act started right when I went in for surgery.  If you're not familiar with FMLA, it basically entitles you to take unpaid, job protected leave for 12 work weeks in a 12-month period. 

I had my surgery exactly 3 weeks ago today.  I'm feeling pretty good and thought I could get back to work (I'm a computer programmer), but as part of FMLA, an employer can require you to have your doctor's permission to return to work.  My doctor said I can return in 8 weeks, but I plan on asking him to allow me to go back sooner - maybe next week or the week after.

I had a slow start on my recovery and the first week was really rough, but the second week was much better.  Now I'm finally able to sleep on my surgery side - which is a great relief because that's what I was used to.

alice124's picture
Posts: 897
Joined: Mar 2012

Great news Mike. If you're feeling up to it, I think it's great to get back to work for a variety of reasons. It will redirect your mind's focus to work issues rather than health issues; it will increase your social interaction; and it will give you the peace of mind knowing a big chunk of those 12 weeks are still out there should you need them down the line. Keeping my fingers crossed that the doc gives you the green light!



roaddr23's picture
Posts: 77
Joined: Jan 2013

I remember I posted to you before...I was in the same boat pain wise etc and being me I of course thought I could do everything right away..butttt.....that didn't work out so well,,,this past week or so I have been extremely weak and exhausted...I would never ask anyone else their age but I am 62...I believe the culprit may be the increase dose of my blood pressure meds several weeks ago..my pressure was up pretty high for me and I was on a very minimal dose of meds..the increase was not much per se but I am thinking that as my kidney is healing my natural pressure is also starting to go down towards it's norm...so 2 days ago  I started monitoring my BP lying down first and then standing...definite big difference so as a retired medic I am pretty sure that is the problem...Today I only took my normal dose but am a good girl and did make appt Dr for tomorrow morning...the other thing is that the problems with my back that I had the scan for when we found the tumors are still there and pain can make you tired plus symptoms from my back include leg and foot cramps esp. during the night...which I am having regularly and so my sleep is interrupted on a regular basis...I have pain meds for it from the pain management Dr. but I don't want to take Oxycodone on a regular basis and that would just make me more tired...My pain Dr jokes that she has to explain to her other patients why she can't give them more and she has to beg me just to get the prescription filled...I am in a catch 22 here....I have to get healthy from this surgery so that I can have surgery on my spine...hopefully, tomorrow I can at least know for sure about the BP meds...I mean I almost passed out a few times...in the past few days...stopped taking them until today because this AM the SYS (top) was fine but the Dia(bottom) was too high for my liking so I took 10 mg, my normal dose instead of new dose of 20mgs...feeling a little better now so I am hoping that is all it is...I think I remember you sayingyou lived near Hopkins...I will work toward getting better soon and maybe we can meet between Calvert Co and your area for Lunch...I'll buy..LOL

roaddr23's picture
Posts: 77
Joined: Jan 2013

I also need to well soon so I can play with my 4 beautiful grandsons...and I know my poor daughter Meghan can use the help...These 4 little guys are all under 4...Meg is my HERO, LOL!!!


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