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Received Partial Open Nephrectomy 5/23/13 - Recovery Questions

Posts: 1
Joined: May 2013

I am writing to tap into the collective wisdom of fellow survivors and ask for some advice regarding recovery from surgery. I received an open partial nephrectomy on my right side, as well as an appendectomy on 5/23/13.  I was discharged from the hospital after about 3-4 days.

I am currently experiencing a lot of swelling and assymetry with my abdominal muscles on the right side.  I have been walking around, but the swelling has only increased.  In addition, I noticed some bruising on my penis today, which was not caused by getting hit or sexual activity,  I went to follow up, on this basis, with the Doctor and his staff today.  I was told that the patch to my abdominal muscles was created by layering 3 layers of muscle together and stitching through.  It was then suggested that, as a result, it would take some time for my abdominal muscles to function well, and that swelling or even some deformation would persist.

I would like to ask whether anything about my experience, as described above, is similar to any of the other survivors on the board?  I would appreciate any advice that can be offered regarding the swellling and muscle repair problems I am currently having.  I would like to actively aid in my own recovery, so please provide any worthwhile plans that you followed or drew upon.


Thank You,

Galrim's picture
Posts: 305
Joined: Apr 2013

First of all, you are more or less fresh out of the OR. With an open nephrectomy the recovery time can be quite long, 2-3 weeks just for the acute post-op recovery, and several months for the longterm recovery.

Obviously you should pay attention as you already are doing, but have also in mind to take it easy, lie low, give it time.

As for the more longterm abdominal difficulties that can be encountered, as implied by your surgeon, take a look at this thread. Some of the posters in there can shed more light over that part than I can.



Posts: 25
Joined: May 2013

I had an open partial on Feb 12th., I had a 12 day stay due to complications.   However, once I got home I had similar syptoms.   The swelling on your penis could be just swelling from your abdomen area dropping down - its natural, but obviously your docs are checking you out. 

It took me a while to feel normal on my abdomen, its still a bit distended/slightly swollen in the area right to the left of my belly button.   Its wierd, no swelling in the flack but below the incision.  

Today, at 14 weeks out I am running 4-5 miles a day.    So be patient, truely take the next few weeks to truely recover.   You just had a MAJOR surgical procedure.   Give it time to heal.    Don't be surprised if it take several months for everything to "feel" normal.   

icemantoo's picture
Posts: 3227
Joined: Jan 2010



You just had 2 major abdominal surgeries. Give it time. It is going to take a little longer for your recovery than most of us. A week out you are still pretty sore. Gradually each day should get a little better. Do not rush your recovery.



rainsandpours's picture
Posts: 136
Joined: Apr 2013

Being a pro at surgery recovery myself, I'd like to suggest you ice the area (but not directly on your incisions unless you cover with gauze) around your swelling.  Frozen peas work well.  30 minutes x 4 times a day will be helpful.


Having 2 abdominal surgeries at once is freaking painful Frown.  I had  a 2-fer Laparacopic Cholecystectomy and hernia repair on May 7th (MUCH more minor than what you went through) and I'm still in discomfort.  My stomach muscles are still protesting certain movements.  *should have been doing crunches beforehand, but that would require excercise*Tongue Out.


Keep taking your pain meds when needed.  The bruising will probably get really ugly, then sorta fade away.  Rest, rest rest.  Nap a lot. 


Hope you feel better soon.  Best wishes.

Gordon Charles's picture
Gordon Charles
Posts: 91
Joined: Jun 2012

I'm guessing you had a Foley catheter.  Might be the cause of the swelling... if it HAD been due to sexual activity I'm guessing you might be a subject for an AMA article... and a standing ovation.

Texas_wedge's picture
Posts: 2799
Joined: Nov 2011

In case anyone misses it (GC's humor is so sophisticated) - that's an ovation for standing!

MDCinSC's picture
Posts: 574
Joined: Feb 2013

If it ever happens here, I'll share the good news!Tongue Out

It would be a red letter day!


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