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Posts: 75
Joined: Sep 2014

Hi all.  I have a call into my doctor and am waiting to hear back, but I had a question wondering if anyone had a similar experience.  

I am roughly 7 weeks post a robotic radical nephrectomy.  I do not know if the adrenal gland was taken out too.  There was no menion of it on the pathology report and honestly, I never asked my doctor as I didn't think it was relevant.  From researching online, I see that generally it is removed too unless the tumor is not near the gland.  My tumor was pressing on the renal hilum which is why I lost the whole kidney to begin with, so I assume that mine was removed.

Anyway, roughly a week ago I had a really bad night feeling awful.  It came on very suddenly.  I was faint, a little sweaty, and just felt awful.  I went to bed early and felt fine the next day.  At the time I also had some pain near my one incision, but we think that I just overdid it that day.  The pain has since gone away completely.  Last night and again today, I had the same overall bad feeling.  I feel fine one minute and then awful.  I get very hot, faint, jittery, almost like I am getting a mild flu.  After a while it passes.  

Anyone experience anything similar?  I work in healthcare and we have thoughts about wacky electrolytes or possibly my body adjusting to only havine one adrenal gland.  I know this is all speculation and I am waiting to hear from my doctor, but I figured I would ask.  

icemantoo's picture
Posts: 3244
Joined: Jan 2010



Can't say what your pains are from, but I have noticed over the years that many members have suffered a variety of different thing which are mostly minor, but can not be explained easily. That being said you have some good questions for your doctor.




todd121's picture
Posts: 1425
Joined: Dec 2012

I had various bad feelings for weeks, even months. I happen to know my surgeon left my adrenal gland. He told me after the surgery. I never have understood how they can take the kidney and leave the adrenal gland. I thought it was attached to the top of the kidney. Does anybody know?

In any case, of course ask your doctor. I'm not sure if you need medication if they took out your adrenal gland, or if the other makes up for it. That's a good question too. You need adrenal glands. I know that. My aunt has Addisons, a condition where the adrenal glands don't work, and she has trouble keeping her blood pressure up and has to take prednisone and other medications.

Your body went through a big change. The outside heals faster than the inside. It will take awhile to heal and to adjust.

I'm 2 years out, and I was having pain in my incision area last week for several days. Then it went away. I don't know if it was adhesions or sometimes I think I feel pain in that area when the weather has a drastic shift in humidity or temperature (which we had). By the time I got to the doctor, the pain was gone, of course. :)


donna_lee's picture
Posts: 924
Joined: Feb 2009

I, too, assumed the word Radical and the description offered "on the web" meant one of the adrenal glands was to be removed.  Not so!

Ask for a copy of the surgical notes and the pathology report.  It will indicate exactly what the surgeon removed and what the pathologist weighed, measured and examined.  That should have been given to you at your post surgical check-up.  Call Now.

You still have one and probably 2 adrenal glands as they sit atop the kidneys, but aren't attached.  Once you know, then ask your primary care doc how to deal with what the problems could result from 1 adrenal gland

Meanwhile, you're dealing with stange feelings and pains.  The healing process, both inside and out creates weird sensations.  Think of when you've had a bad scab as a kid- it puckered, itched, and pulled.  That's kind of what's happening on the inside on all those sensitive layers of facia, muscle and tissue.

It's been over 8 years, and at times, the incision I have itches like crazy.

If being awakened, certainly check with a doctor. You have a real reason to ask him questions-plus get your reports.

Good Luck.


Posts: 337
Joined: Nov 2014

Radical neph means they take the whole kit and kaboodle including some nearby lymph nodes, simple means they take the kidney while leaving the adrenal gland and most nodes and partial means they resect the tumor and leave as much of the kidney as possible.

You hear the term "radical" thrown around a lot when it's not actually radical.  My doctor left my adrenal gland as well.  Then again, taking the whole thing wasn't necessary from a cancer perspective, just a safety and bleeding one.

I'm 5 weeks removed from surgery today and there will be times when the fatigue just wallops you.  Out of nowhere sometimes.  You can feel great one minute and the next you can't keep your eyes open and you may even lose your appetite.    

foroughsh's picture
Posts: 775
Joined: Oct 2014

I would ask my doctor to make sure everything was OK.

But in the meantime I agree with Todd that the outside heals faster than the inside. I had open radical nephrectomy 3 months ago and the healing process went great. I had no pain after 1 week or maximum 2 so I thought i'm healed. but things changed right after I came back to work. I sometimes have unknown pain here and there. sometimes near the incision, left shoulder, near my heart, left kidney,.... so I asked my doc and he assured me there was no problem, then I thought and found the main reason of the pain. since I've came back to work I didn't care enough for my body, carrying heavy bags, running to arrive on time, not resting enough,..... were the reasons plus my anxiety and fear of possible mets. so take enough rest, drink water, don't carry heavy stuff, eat healthy and walk.

Take care

Ree_Maryland's picture
Posts: 158
Joined: May 2014

I am sorry to hear of your contining discomfort. I had the same feeling about 2 weeks ago . I thought I caught a bug of somekind , felt like the flew . Only lastied several minutes than went away . I told my husband if it was not gone in an hr than I need to go to hopsital . I take pain pretty well, but the feel light headed and nausa got to me . It went away and have not had any problems since than other than Kidney pain every once in awhile. Hope you are feeling better . I had my surgery on April 21st of this year, had scan done on Aug 5th ,so far so good . Nest scan is April 5th 2015 . Praying it goes well .   

APny's picture
Posts: 1972
Joined: Mar 2014

I had a partial nephrectomy in March but experienced the same exact feeling a few weeks after the surgery and just this week. It's a weird feeling of lightheadedness, nausea, feeling like you'll pass out. For me it's more like a spaced out type of feeling. Hard to describe.

foxhd's picture
Posts: 3183
Joined: Oct 2011

Just look at how many people are fearful of having surgery.  For a thousand reasons. Then look at how many are surprised that they aren't perfect when it is over. The physiological changes are numerous. The chemistry of our homeostasis can be significantly affected. But since we don't feel all that great initially, we just deal with it. Then sometimes everything seems to hit us at once and we feel miserable. It is all common. If we had a med-surg nurse on board here, he/she would tell you that this happens after many procedures during the healing process. All pretty normal. This is the kind of thing that freaks us out. So we call the doctor. Then we panic because we don't get called back right away by the doctor because it just isn't a big deal. The most common response will be, "It takes time."

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