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Survey: Partial Laporscopic Nephrectomey for small Tumor

CommuterMom's picture
CommuterMom
Posts: 120
Joined: Jan 2014

Hi,

How long do you think it will be before I could return to work? If anyone had a simillar procedure and would care to share their recovery experience, I would really appreciate it.

Thanks!

Diana

GSRon's picture
GSRon
Posts: 1306
Joined: Jan 2013

Generally at about 6weeks.

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 2639
Joined: Jan 2010

Diana,

 

I had a laproscopic neph. at age 59. They were not doing partials then. The recovery for a partial is a little harder because they do more cutting. You being 10 years younger makes it easier. I am self employed and started worling a few hours a day at 2 and 1.2 weeks. Your commute alone would have exhausted me in the begining. When you first get back to work you will be physically exhausted after a couple of hours.

 

That being said given your age, otherwise good health and no expected complications I would suggest about 4 weeks.  Do not assume that just because a doctor says you are ready to go back to work that you will be ready. This is not a Marathon. Some people take longer than others. Your difficult commute will exhaust you at first. There may be some trial and error at first. The most important thing is that you fully recover.

 

 

Icemantoo

CommuterMom's picture
CommuterMom
Posts: 120
Joined: Jan 2014

Holy Cow!

The nurse told me she thought I would be back to work in about 2 weeks with less than a 24 hour stay in the hospital.  Were they kidding me?

I was planning on only asking for a week off and then trying to get back in the groove, driving into work if necessary.  If the tumor is on the outside of the kidney rather than in it do you think it makes it easier? I got the impression they were just going to "shave" it off and he mentioned buring the end off rather than a resection. I need more feedback from the peanut gallery.   Please tell me your recovery stories.....I planned the surgery to coinside with my son's break from school.  Maybe that was a mistake.  I also tried to plan around major busy times at the office.

GSRon's picture
GSRon
Posts: 1306
Joined: Jan 2013

It also depends on what you do for work.  If you sit at a desk all day Vs someone that has to lift heavy items, or walk a lot.  2 weeks is very ambitious.  The surgery will be a body invasion of sorts, and the body will need to heal, regardless of how you feel.  It also depends on how the surgery goes.  Some go easy and some have minor complications.  Everyone's story is different.  BUT if you do not let the body heal, you will regret it...

Ron

jknorth's picture
jknorth
Posts: 44
Joined: May 2013

I'm older than you I think. Had the same thing last May, the bottom of left kidney and robotic removal. and 2 weeks is an easy return to work. I was back riding the motorcycle within 2 weeks and took maybe 2 pain killers right after surgery. thats it. You can milk it though, its a pretty good excuse. The waiting for those 6 month followup confirmations is the hardest part,

Skagway Jack's picture
Skagway Jack
Posts: 205
Joined: Oct 2013

I had a radical nephrectomy...at age 53.  Big incision from 2 inches below sternum to my right side.  I was out 4 weeks,  I could have worked part time at week three but I had enough leave to give it an extra week.  I was glad that I did.  I work at flying a desk but spend much of my time attending meetings  etc.. My experience listening to the folks on this forum indicates that healing rates vary.  Take your time dont over do it, you wont regret taking too much time....but too little can cause cause delays in being 100 percent.  Good luck!

DSFrey
Posts: 69
Joined: Jan 2014

I too have a laproscopic partial planned and was told to expect to be off for 2 weeks and 4 weeks at light duty. Told my employer that and they told me to take 6 weeks off instead using up all my sick time, personal time, and vacation time in the process.

CommuterMom's picture
CommuterMom
Posts: 120
Joined: Jan 2014

Thanks Boys for the feedback. :) I'm constantly surprised how many bikers are here. My father is a biker and kidney cancer survivor too. My husband is just a biker. I'm not the type to milk anything, and I don't get too much time off from work either but I am at a desk most of the day. I'm going to try not to overdo do it but I think at home I may be compelled to constantly pick up after everyone. That could be worse. The majority of my company was just bought and the last thing I want is to look like a slacker. I'm a producer and have been for almost 9 years.  I'm a producer, provider, care giver, mother, pet lover, homemaker...I can't afford downtime. I go to work when I'm not feeling great. I showed up the day after Hurricane Sandy. I'm praying this doesn't kick my ***.  My doctors nurse told me to get on the treadmill and the elliptical as soon as I get home. If I can do that I should be able to sit at my desk right? OMG I hope.  Time will tell I guess.

 

Jojo61's picture
Jojo61
Posts: 1278
Joined: Oct 2013

My surgeon said 4-6 weeks. I thought I could manage it, and was prepared to do so. I work in an office but it is more like an ER triage. I was worried about not being able to manage it.  I had my surgery December 2 and have been back for 3 weeks at only 3 mornings a week.  And I am EXHAUSTED. I am 52. I had some surgery last May and only had a long weekend off when I should have taken a week and I was fine. But I have been through a very draining year - I was workng 2 jobs, my husband had been unemployed for 2 years, then a week after getting a job, he fell off the roof and broke his arm, nose and ribs - but he still went to work the next day!! - then I had a terrible fall and still am in a bit of pain from it. Shortly after my fall, my mom died of lung cancer (we buried her on our first wedding anniversary). Our best man died of neck cancer just after I found out I had a tumor. And my son is enduring some terrible life challenges (which I find the MOST painful of anything). And on top of that my husband is still going through gruelling legal battles with his ex (hoping that is over very shortly). I am finding that now that things have culminated and are starting to "slow down", I am physically exhausted and overwhelmed and I find that I am struggling with my own mental state. But I follow Fox's advice and when people ask how I am, I tell them "I am great!" It keeps me afloat and keeps me from delving into that depression that I see lurking about. I still count my blessings, and am very thankful for being with a very loving, kind, gentle man and also for having a great family and wonderful friends.

Wow....sounds like a country song! LOL Sorry to ramble. The point I wanted to make is that everybody has different circumstances and scenarios. Listen to your body about what it can handle. Give yourself the rest and time to recuperate. You deserve that and you need to get well for the sake of your loved ones.

Hugs

Jojo

CommuterMom's picture
CommuterMom
Posts: 120
Joined: Jan 2014

Hi Jojo,

It sounds like you had a tough year but you mentioned a loving husband which should help you pull through the crap that comes your way. We need to be strong and overcome our hardships because what else is there?  I have a lot on my plate. I'm the one everyone goes to for help. I'm not used to being the weak one or one needing assistance. I'm not sure if there is anyone I can count on. I hope to be back working in 11 days. That is my goal. I haven't even told my mother what I'm facing because I don't think she will handle it well.  My doctor told me he's pretty sure this surgery will be curative because my tumor is small but who knows with this disease? I pray for a quick recovery from surgery and positive pathology. I also feel very thankful for the kind and supportive people on this forum!

Diana

Jojo61's picture
Jojo61
Posts: 1278
Joined: Oct 2013

Hi Diana,

I know that you are the strong one but maybe you will be surprised at how the people in your life will come to your aid when the chips are down. It sounds like you are setting a wonderful example for everyone. I have read everyone's post here and am amazed at how everyone differs in their recovery - just like how RCC has effected every individual in its own unique form. I know you will do what you have to do. I wish you strength and a speedy recovery - and positive pathology report, of course!

You go, girl! You have all of us backing you!

Hugs,

Jojo

todd121's picture
todd121
Posts: 1261
Joined: Dec 2012

I had a laporoscopic, but it was a radical (removed the entire right kidney). I was glad I had 6 weeks off. Sitting was the hardest position for me, because that caused pressure/crease right where the longest incision was, and my work requires sitting all day. I had 5 incisions and the longest was about 6 inches. The others were about 1 inch. I was glad to be at home where I could stand, lie down, go for walks.

At 6 weeks I thought I wasn't ready to go back to work, but I was.

The other issue is the fatigue. That continued for a couple of months. I don't know if that would be as bad with a partial as a radical, but the fatigue went on for 2-3 months. I just got tired out mid day and needed a break/nap. If I didn't, I was really bushed by the end of the day. I was 50 when I got my surgery done.

I don't think the size of the tumor matters much. How much of your kidney are they going to remove? They will want to get good margins. Do you even know if it's RCC yet? Or what it is? If they didn't biopsy it, you may not know for a week or two when you get the pathology report back. Waiting on the pathology was a bit anxiety inducing for me.

My doc approved 6 weeks off from the beginning. He said I might be able to go back at 2 weeks, but at 2 weeks I did not feel up to it. Heck, it was about 4 days before I was even having bowel movements, and I don't think that is that uncommon. It was a good week before my bowel movements were somewhat normal. I was glad to stay home, rest, walk, drink water, eat well, just take care of myself and not worry about work. Stress reduction is good when you're recovering. This is a big deal. Take good care of yourself.

Like you, I under estimated the time because my surgeon had painted a rosey picture of how great a job he was going to do. He did a great job, btw. It just took awhile to recover. I had no complications.

Todd

 

sewmommy's picture
sewmommy
Posts: 14
Joined: Jan 2014

im now three weeks out from my robotic lap partial nephrectomy... at 33yrs old. i came home on day 3 and could have gone to work at a desk job at 2 wks. i still cant lift my little kid (35lb)without feeling a "scary" internal pulling, but im fairly comfortable.

CommuterMom's picture
CommuterMom
Posts: 120
Joined: Jan 2014

SewMommy,

How are you feeling now?

When was your surgery?

Champers's picture
Champers
Posts: 12
Joined: Jan 2014

Hi Diana,

I had a laproscopic partial nephrectomy out of state and flew home 1 week post-op with absolutely no problems.  Although I went home with a prescription for pain meds, I really felt no pain and didn't need anything after a couple days post-op. The surgeon told me no lifting anything over 10 lbs for 2 weeks and no driving for 2 weeks. He said my body would tell me if I was pushing it too hard. I am self-employed, so I was working a week after the surgery (computer/phone), but I definitely needed a 2hr nap each day. Four weeks later I was playing golf (but I would be wiped out after walking 18 holes). Frankly, I think the cognitive detoxing from the anesthesia was more a big deal for me than the physical recovery, which was surprisingly easy.

Looking at the responses, it seems like everyone experiences recovery a little differently, but overall it's easier than you'd expect.

Best wishes to you and your recovery!

Champers

CommuterMom's picture
CommuterMom
Posts: 120
Joined: Jan 2014

11 days until surgery.  I haven't told my mom or my 9 year old son yet. I don't need them worrying for days. From everything I have read I think I am really lucky with only a 1.6 cm mass extending from the lower pole of my right kidney. I'm hoping the size and location should make this an easier procedure.  If there are no positive nodes or mets I should be cautiously optimistic I think. Given the size I'm hoping that is the case.  My son needs his mommy.  He is a very sensitive boy.  If surgery is 2/13 I'm hoping to feel OK by my birthday 2/25. Am I overly optimistic? I guess I'll be doped up on Valentine's day, but I haven't had a nice Valentine's Day in a long time so that will be OK.  I still keep worrying about the 2.6 cm Bosnicak II cyst in the other kidney.  If the doctors aren't concerned should I be?  I have been feeling really depressed but I know my situation seems less serious as some of you here, and I don't want to be a cry baby. I'm not even sure my cyst/tumor is malignant.  I finally called my best friend and found out her dad died of kidney cancer.  

Just feeling Blue,

DianaCry

NewDay's picture
NewDay
Posts: 267
Joined: May 2012

Hi CommuterMom,

I did some reading on Bosniak II renal cysts.  I found some discrepancies in the chances of malignancy in Bosniak II, ftom 5% and 14% as well as on whether follow up is needed.  This article is from KidneyCancerInstitute.com.

"Bosniak category I complex kidney cysts have a less than 2% chance of being associated with a kidney cancer. Bosniak category II complex kidney cysts have an approximately 14% chance of being associated with kidney cancer.  Bosniak category IIF lesions are complex kidney cysts that have more irregularities and are typically larger than category II cysts.  Also, category IIF cysts do not have measurable enhancement on imaging and therefore do not qualify as category III complex kidney cysts.  The “F” in the IIF designation is meant to suggest “Follow” or observe this cyst rather than perform a procedure such as partial nephrectomy or kidney cryoablation to treat the cyst.  However, the category IIF cysts have a higher rate of malignancy which is up to 24%, and therefore it is important to discuss the merits of treatment versus observation with your urologist. "

I guess you are just going to have to trust your doctor knows best, unless they say no future scans are needed.  Then you might want a second opinion.  I think you are rightt that your 1.6cm tumor is small so I wouldn't worry too much.  I know I wasn't much help.  I hope all goes well.

Kathy

CommuterMom's picture
CommuterMom
Posts: 120
Joined: Jan 2014

Thanks Kathy..

Jojo61's picture
Jojo61
Posts: 1278
Joined: Oct 2013

I understand your emotional roller coaster right now...especially when you have a child to think about. All us newly diagnosed turned to google to get as much information as we could. (that is how we came to CSN). I think by your birthday (which is my oldest son's birthday as well!) you will be feeling well enough to celebrate. And don't worry about Valentine's Day - I always feel it is just a day that is designed to boost the econcomy!

I am glad you talked to your best friend....although it wasn't too encouraging. But you need to build up some support around you.

I went to a naturopathic doctor the other day. She told me that the kidney is the organ that is affected by stress and worry. It sounds like you are under a lot of stress. I hope you can find a way to help alleviate that. It isn't easy, I kmow.

Try to be good to yourself...surround yourself in as many good things as you can. Watch a comedy show, or a funny movie, read an uplifting book. Have some fun! Laughter is ALWAYS good!

Big Hugs,

Jojo

 

 

CommuterMom's picture
CommuterMom
Posts: 120
Joined: Jan 2014

Thanks Jojo

sewmommy's picture
sewmommy
Posts: 14
Joined: Jan 2014

diana, i dont know what your relationship is like with your mom... i'd talk to her. yes she will worry, but perhaps she can help comfort you and shoulder some of your burden. As far as valentines day goes, it's likely to be a pretty hazy one! just my experience, but the sooner you can drink water and swallow pills the better - the morphine iv made me stupid and still in pain, the oral hydrocodone helped much more with pain. 

CommuterMom's picture
CommuterMom
Posts: 120
Joined: Jan 2014

Sewmommy,

My relationship with my mother is fine. The problem is she is a total alarmist.  She is frazzled by little things.  I don't need her freaking me out either. I just figure I'll tell her a few days before I go in for surgery and not let her have to deal with this for too long beforehand.  I have had some time to let this all sink in for a while and I think I am in good hands and feel hopeful that I caught this early. I have the support of my father who has recently undergone treatment for TCC in the kidney and had a nephrectomy last year. (He and my mother are not together.) I'm lucky for his support because my husband is acting like that this is going to be a trip to the dentist.

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