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Adhesions, neuropathy or is it just anxiety

Posts: 69
Joined: Jan 2014

Its been nearly 3 months since my partial nephrectomy and I find myself experiencing more pain in my torso than I ever did before I had the nephrectomy. These pains really only started to become bothersome over the past few weeks. Right after the surgery I didn't really hurt at all for several weeks. My brother thinks its adhesions. I can see how that might be the case to some degree, but doesn't explain why my right side hurts, where the surgery wasn't, in addition to my left side where the surgery was. Also I thought one of the points to laproscopic surgery was to minimize this kind of thing. An aunt suggested it could be neuropathy but I see no reason for that. I'm not diabetic and I haven't done anything to traumatize my nerves. Tends to make me think this is really mostly all in my head. Even starting to think this persistent cough I have that hasn't been rememied by antibiotics or time is all psychological as well. Hoping I get my follow up scan in a couple weeks, get told all is fine just so I can feel better and stop worrying myself sick.

Skagway Jack's picture
Skagway Jack
Posts: 224
Joined: Oct 2013

I had a full nephrectomy back in Oct.  They unzipped me from below the sternum to below my right lower rib. Pretty big gnash...anyway I started swimming about a month after surgery, and have continued roughly 3 times a week since.  I still have some numbness and stiffness around some of the suture scars, but overall I barely notice it unless i look in the mirror or notice someone stairing at me at the pool. If you dont have an excersize routine you might consider it.  Swimming is lower impact, but not for everyone.

Posts: 482
Joined: Dec 2013

is there any way that you could have your scans done sooner than scheduled? This would probably relieve your anxiety.

Our oncologist is every 3 months UNLESS there are symptoms of any type..


Posts: 64
Joined: Apr 2014

I have only been on this not so nice journey for a month but I have learned that I have to do all the calling and being a pain to drs and nurses myself. I have had to get out of my comfort zone and be assertive. If you think there is something wrong or to help put your mind to rest get on the phone today And ask to be scanned ASAP. We can do this.


foxhd's picture
Posts: 3183
Joined: Oct 2011

it could be anything. Get your tests before you panic. If something is wrong, they will find it. On the other hand, I agree with Jack. I'll bet 10 to 1 you are not a regular exerciser. After surgery there is scarring and adhesions can develope. They can bother you permanantly as they age because they thicken and remain tight. Thus, chronic discomfort. However, stretching, range of motion and strengthening can influence tissue to increase mobility. It can also decrease pain because with time and "new" experiences of activity, everything learns a new normal. That is the goal. I think you would find that those of us who regularly exercise don't have the same complaints. I'm not talking about walking around the block. Or doing 5 situps. I'm saying the more athletic the individual, the less long term issues we have with surgery, and adhesions. The fact that it was kidney surgery is unimportant. I base my advice on working with patients of every diagnosis and procedure for the last 35 years. Put me in a room with 10 post op patients and I will pick out the ones who will do well and those that will not.  Add depression or anxiety into the equation and it is even easier to pick them. You've got to get those endorphins pumping.

nsb748's picture
Posts: 90
Joined: Feb 2014

One reason for your pains could be your posture.  Before I started excercising again, I found that I was favoring my "good side" due to the slight pains at my surgery site.  This caused me to have some back pain and to have some aches and pains on my "good side"  Once I figured this out, and started making an effort to maintain good posture a lot of those pains dissapeared. 

I also agree with Fox.  Other than a little walking and stretching I didn't really excercise for nearly two months after my partial.  After a week or two of going to the gym 3-4 times a week, I feel great.  99% of the minor nagging aches and pains are gone, and my endurance is coming back pretty fast. 

Posts: 567
Joined: Nov 2013

Hey Frey!   I believe it's possible that post-op pain can be worse than pre-op pain, but 3 months out, one would think that it should be improving.  When I first read your post I was thinking about all the coughing you have been doing.  That can certainly give you sore muscles and tendons.  However, I definitely agree with Fox that you should get your scans done and get the results.  Talk with your doctor.  Figure things out from there.  Then you are going to have to come up with a plan to try to alleviate the anxiety and stress.  The professionals can help you with that too. 


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