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Bloating/gas pain at right partial nephrectomy site

Posts: 17
Joined: Jul 2014


I am new to this forum and am looking for advice.

I had a partial nephrectomy performed on July 8th. I am having lots of pain (likely gas) at the surgical site and was wondering if others have had this problem as well? I have been walking as much as I can manage as the pain is worse when walking.

Well, I must've done something wrong as only part of my post posted! 

The missing part is me asking for suggestions on what others have done to ease the gas pain?


db8ne1's picture
Posts: 142
Joined: Feb 2013


Sorry you are not doing well.  Did you have an open nephrectomy?  I had a robotic assisted partial nephrectomy on 7/8, as well.  Pain is gone, just feel bruised.  I know that they pump you up with gas to inflate the abdomen and it can stick around for a while - although 9 days seems a lot.  Is the incision warm to the touch and red? Are you running a fever?  I'd suggest checking in with your surgeon and let them know what is going on.  Moving around will help dissipate the gas.  Unfortunately, it can be uncomfortable to get up and walk...

Again, I'd check in with the doc as this seems to be taking longer than I normally think it would.

Best of luck,


APny's picture
Posts: 1987
Joined: Mar 2014

I had an open partial and did have bloating/gas pains for maybe a day or two, until I managed to pass the gas, which may be TMI ;) I would also mention it to my surgeon as 9 - 10 days does sound a bit long for gas pains unless with robotic surgery they fill you up much more. I don't know.

icemantoo's picture
Posts: 3280
Joined: Jan 2010



The worst is over. Having a bit of extra gas and pain at the incision site 9 days out is normal. We have all been through it some worse and some easier than others. Do raise any concerns to your surgeon.



donna_lee's picture
Posts: 963
Joined: Feb 2009

here are a few of the things you've been through:

A general anesthesia, which makes your entire alimentary canal -mouth to the whole other end- go to sleep.  That's why they listen to bowel sounds while you are in the hospital, to make sure the intestines have awakened.

Incision(s) through multiple layers of muscle, fascia (sheath on the muscle), peritoneal sack (surrounds the organs in your abdomen). Inflation with gas to make the scene more visible, for muscle tissue pulled and clamped back in an open surgery.  And usually they tilt the table so you are in a flank position to allow other organs to let gravity "drop" them away from the surgical site.

Then they cut/snip, cauterize, clip vessels, poke, prod, and examine.  And then do it again for good measure, just to ensure they "got" whatever they were looking for. They put you back together, with staples (67 on my first surgery), dissolving sutures (#2), and steri strips (#3).  

Remember, you don't feel a thing at this stage....but, oh wait a while.  The hang-over is coming.  Wake up.  Focus your eyes.  What hit me?  You want me to help lift my butt from the table to my bed?...but my belly hurts!  Inhale deeply into the inspirometer....that's hard to do!  You want me to pass gass?.....gladly!   You expect me to have a bowel movement? ....and how should I do that when I haven't eaten for 3 days?  Yeah, sure, I'll get up and walk; but who's going to scrape me off the floor?  Oh, look, they accidentally got a noodle in my chicken broth-hooray for solid food.  And when you can eat, pee and poop in a reasonable manner, you are allowed to depart to another place, where you are allowed to fend for yourself.

Welcome home!  Hopefully you can at least sleep in a recliner, or get into bed with a booster step and a pillow under your legs.  Your remaining kidney functions...even though getting up to get to the bathroom is a chore.  Your're supposed to cough and use that inspirometer so you don't get pneumonia.....but it still hurts; and sometimes makes you wet your pants.

You're on the road to recovery, but bloated.  Here are some helpful tricks.

Alternate warm with cool packs over the abdomen (not HOT-COLD).  Gentle self massage in a a clockwise motion as you look at your abdomen.  Start at the lower right just above your right leg and gently move your hands up toward the ribs, across to the left side and down toward your left leg, then across to the right hip.  Use light, steady pressure.  This stimulates the colon in the same direction you want it to work to have a bowel movement. (Remember it went to sleep, and may not be back to full speed.)  And you could always add a mild stool softener

Gentle stretching by lying crossways on your back on the bed and with your arms outstretched over your head, let your arms drop slowly toward the floor.  Don't bounce and don't allow jerking on the incision.  Don't do this more than 3-5 times to start.  This may help your back muscles to relax, begin to allow muscles in the abdomen to get out of that bent-over position, and encourage you to have full inflation of the lungs.

Drink adequate amounts of plain water,  eat several smaller meals a day, and take short walks.

Question?  Has any doctor, mainly your PC, reviewed any medications you are on post surgery to make sure that nothing is contra-indicated?   And if these answers aren't adequate, the nex step would be to contact the surgeon.


Good Luck.


Posts: 17
Joined: Jul 2014

Thanks everyone for your feedback.

i am now 3.5 weeks post op. The gas and bloating has subsided but I still have pain on my right side, some abdominal, some on the backside where my healing kidney is.

i saw my surgeon last week and he assured me this is normal and I can expect another 4 weeks of the healing process until I start to feel "normal". I am not pleased that the pain is still there but I guess I have to be patient. (Not my best quality it seems!!!)

by the way, the great news is I'm cancer free with a 95% chance of NO recurrence!

tjspeeder's picture
Posts: 11
Joined: Jul 2014

Congrats, good to be cancer free.

I had the full robotic and felt gas bloating for first 9-10 days, better now.

Still have some pain in the stomach area were my mucles are healing, my blood pressure, heart rate havent fully been totally normal yet, but its only been two week, I guess I just impatient. Hope you heal well.



GSRon's picture
Posts: 1304
Joined: Jan 2013

Susan... you may not want to hear this.. but some pain may be there forever..  They cut nerves and muscle.. sometimes everything never reconnects properly.. hopefully you heal OK..


Posts: 17
Joined: Jul 2014

Hi Ron,

You're right, I don't want to hear that some "stuff" may not go away. My surgeon said the same thing but I choose to think positive and believe all will improve. Of course being forewarned will at least not make me freak out If some "stuff" remains.

Posts: 17
Joined: Jul 2014

Hi TJ,

thanks for your response. My incision is on my right side. My surgery was an open partial no robots involved! However our recoveries sound similar.

good luck to you as well.

Posts: 284
Joined: Apr 2014

I am 5 months out now from an open partial an I still have "pain" at the incision site.  Also, sometimes on says that I train my back aches on both sides

I talked to a PT and they gave me some easy exercises to restrength the muscles back there and some stretches as well.  After doing both of them for a couple weeks now, the aches have almost gone away. 

You maybe a bit "fresh" for them, but maybe you could ask? 

Posts: 17
Joined: Jul 2014

Hi aamdsi,

i will talk to a PT once I'm passed the 6 week no exercise ( other than walking ) rule. 

Thanks and I hope your exercises are still working!

nsb748's picture
Posts: 90
Joined: Feb 2014

I am 5 months out from my open partial and I also still get some aches every once in a while.  I think a lot of it, is that I need to stretch more to loosen up the newly healed muscle.  I also get the bloating/cramping pain in a vertical line next to my belly button on the surgery side. 

Most of my aching is still around the "stump" of my rib that they removed to get to the kidney. 

Every day, it feels a little better.

My surgeon says that this is normal.  Your mileage may vary

donna_lee's picture
Posts: 963
Joined: Feb 2009

and it's now 8 years since the 14 inch incision that began 2" below my navel and ends on my right side below the arm pit.  Ribs were separated to access the kidney, liver, gall bladder and nodes.  Subsequent surgeries were done next to the existing incisions.

The pain is gone.  But there is still some backache due to adhesions.  The most annoying after effect has been the itchy skin over the incision.  Hot/cold/perspiration/some fabrics.

But I always look at the fact that I'm alive and can live with what bothers me.


Posts: 17
Joined: Jul 2014

Thanks everyone for all your comments and support. They have been very helpful to me.

i am 4 weeks/2 days post op and I FINALLY feel like I'm getting better. Woo hoo! Things are starting to ease up and just feel like forward or is it upward?? progress.

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