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Incision Area

Southwest966's picture
Posts: 18
Joined: Jun 2013

Hi Everybody:

My question is just a curious one.  It has been 7 weeks since my laproscopic radical nephrectomy.  I am a small person...109lbs, yet my incision from naval down is still very puffy which prevents me from wearing my regular clothes.  Does any one know if this will eventually go away, must I exercise that area which I can't do too strenuously now, or is this just lumps of organs and parts that were pushed around to remove kidney ??

Thanks...Be well and God Bless.

Eims's picture
Posts: 423
Joined: Feb 2013

hi southwest66,  the scar will settle down in time....my doc said it could take up to a year to get back to normal again....it just takes time....

eims x

Galrim's picture
Posts: 305
Joined: Apr 2013

Its probably nothing to be alarmed about since some puffing post-surgery, plus the fact that your abdominal muscles in that area was severed, is quite normal. But I woul get a checkup nonetheless, as there is a small risk of developing a hernia post-surgery. just to be on the safe side.



Southwest966's picture
Posts: 18
Joined: Jun 2013

Yes, you are right.  I saw the doctor about 10 days ago because my incision is leaking.  Took antibiotics for a week....still not quite healed but he did warn me that if I developed a hardness the size of a golf ball to see him right away.  It hasn't gotten that bad and it spans my lower abdomen.  I'm keeping a close eye on it.  Thanks for your comments.



donna_lee's picture
Posts: 759
Joined: Feb 2009

You must be the one in pink...I don't think that guy has seen 109 # since he was in the 7th grade.  I think we (females) are more sensitive to the saggy or bulging belly problem.

Anesthesia, inflating the abdomen with "Gas" to get a better look at the organs, shuffling them around (like pawing thru the bin of CD's on sale at Walmart), constipation from pain meds, fluid retention from trying to flush out the one kidney, lying and sitting for longer periods of time...and the list goes on.

I had a chance to be really stressed at the first diagnosis and dropped down a size before the surgery; and was able to wear my same clothesafter Surgery #1.  I would suggest going to an inexpensive store and picking up a couple of pair of pants you can wear for now and wait till the puffiness goes away.

Regretfully, I had recurrences in single nodes that they could remove surgically.  First big surgery only went 2" below the navel, second one went on the same line to about 4" below navel, and 3rd one went almost to the hysterectomy bikini line incision.  Now you can't tell if it's my butt showing from the back or it's my front from the waist down.  And I'm not complaining because those surgeries were in 2006-07-08, and I'm now 4 years cancer free.

Once you are released, water exercise/aerobics is good for toning, especially simple flutter kicks on front and back while holding to the wall.  Walking, both in or out of a pool is easy on the body.  And yes, I had an incision pull open.  Had the surgeon look at it and he just shrugged and said it will eventually grow together.  It did, but took several weeks.

Seven years later, I still have mildly itchy incision lines, especially over the rib area.  Hot shower water can aggravate the sensation so I try to turn the water to cool while still standing in the shower.  Then apply a favorite body lotion or moisturizer.  Sometimes baby powder can be used during the day when you get warm and sweaty.  Of course don't use either if you have an open incision.

I hope this answers some of you questions and gives a few solutions that might work for you.  The physical health and well being will come in it's own time.  Be aware that you will need to work on your emotional well being continuously.  Join a local support group, post on this board, keep your family in the loop, lean on your friends.

Keep on keeping on.


Southwest966's picture
Posts: 18
Joined: Jun 2013

Hi Donna:


I haven't been on for awhile.  Thanks for all your info and input.  I think I really need to exercise some more.  It's so hot where I live (AZ) so I have to go to a Mall to take nice long walk.  

No, my husband was probably 109 in the 5th grade!

Thanks and good luck to you.



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