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signs after radical nefrectomy

Posts: 32
Joined: Jul 2015

Hello to you all,

With interest I read some of the info on this website....unfortunately google brought me to this website because I searched for "kidney cancer", bad words...

My partner had a radical nefrectomy 3 weeks ago.....43y old, fit as a fiddle, never smoked, never obese, lots of sport etc.....out of a blue sky he had a renal crisis, peeing blood, terrible pain....tumor of 9cm large, out of the renal capsule, local lymph node and blood vessels also enlarged by cancercells. No distant metastases discovered in the lungs, one cyst-like lesion in the liver for which he is undergoing an ultrasound later this week. The kidney and surrounding 'bad' tissue was removed by robot-assisted laparascopy, he had horrible pain, was under morfine etc.... Now home and it seems to improve. At least the pain. Next week we will have a talk with the urologist to discuss the outcome of the pathology and ultrasounds.

Since soon after the operation he had numbness in the upper leg on the side where the kidney was removed, and now it's more stinging, like electricity. This is on the inside of his upper thigh. Additionally since this week he feels some strange feeling in his testicles, like they are more 'heavy'?

Does anyone recognise any of this?

I read some of the very positive attitudes here and I admire them, my partner is also very positive, I'm not, maybe because I'm medically schooled, that definitely doesn't help, so whereas he is still thinking touched nerve from the surgery, I'm thinking metastasis in the pelvis or something..... No no, I don't tell him! I keep these little bad thoughts for myself, just sharing them with you.

The time until the appointment to discuss the malignancy etc seems eternal......

All info welcome, and good luck to you all!


icemantoo's picture
Posts: 3328
Joined: Jan 2010



We have all had different aches and pains following our neph. Definately check them out with the docto(s). A neph is major surgery and pain(s) 3 weeks out are not unusual. If there were mets they typically appear in the lungs first, not the pelvis. That being said any further answers are above my pay grade as an attorney.




APny's picture
Posts: 1998
Joined: Mar 2014

Demi, when they do surgery they cut through muscle and nerves to get to the kidneys. Those take a long time to recover. I also had numbness on my hip and down my thigh on the nephrectmy side. The tingling is the nerves starting to recover. Obviously no testicle pain since I'm a woman, but the numbness and tingling, yes. Since I'm not a physician, still contact his doctor to see if what he is experiencing is normal but I wuold think yes. Surgery is trauma to the body and it takes a while to recover. WIshing you both the best.

Positive_Mental_Attitude's picture
Posts: 454
Joined: Jul 2014

Call your doctor and let them know what is going on!  I did not have any of the issues in your post, but several months after the surgery, I had terrible back pain--the worst back pain I had ever experienced.  Was it because of the surgery?  I don't know, but there was nothing else I could think of that would have caused the back pain.  As APny said, the surgery involves cutting through muscle and other tissue in the abdomen.  I have been working on strengthening my core muscles, and I have noted how that the site around my incision does not feel the same as the rest of my abdomen--with good reason.  I will never have 6 pack abs! Cry

Posts: 114
Joined: Apr 2015

Hi.  I had my partial via robotic 18 days ago.  I experienced some shooting nerve pain down my leg a few times.  Seemed like electricity too.  It hurt. I took some tylenol and it made it better. I also made myself walk everyday for a few miles and that helped tremendously.  I am sure your partner had scans before the surgery so hopefully it would have detected anything else, so it most likely is nerves from the surgery.  Mine is totally gone but I hope you find comfort that I experienced it too. 


In the meantime, it is always good to call your doctor for reassurance as well.

Allochka's picture
Posts: 947
Joined: Nov 2014

Dembel, I know you are very scared. Please stick to these boards, you will find out that even later stages do not mean worst prognosis in kidney cancer.

Fear is terrible and devastating. I wish I could give more specific advise how to conquer it, but I don't know. Just believe that outcomes could be positive, read posts by those who had advanced disease and are still enjouying life after years post-diagnosis!


btw, your husband can have sciatica, totally unrelated to kidney cancer. My partner had it, went away after excercising and some time

Jojo61's picture
Posts: 1310
Joined: Oct 2013

Welcome Demi!

As others have said, call the doctor to be sure. It most likely is part of the healing process but put your mind to rest.

Also you mentioned going to the urologist for the path report. Is the urologist also an oncologist? If not, please consider finding an oncologist that specializes in kidney cancer. If you don't know a good one, mention the city/state you live in and some here can chime in with a possible recommendation - it would be really good to have a name in mind when you go back to the urologist.

Good luck - and keep us posted!



cheatinlil's picture
Posts: 202
Joined: Jun 2014


Definately talk to the dr. about it.  My husband described that kind of pain and the things the dr. said it "could" be was a blood clot or scar tissue.  They determined it wasn't a blood clot.  My husband did end up having a UTI, I don't know if that was the cause of any of it but he has been on antibiotics since then.  The Dr. also prescribed anti-inflammatory in case it is arthritis.  Husband is feeling better now.  I do feel like a lot of times, they just throw pills at us and don't get to the root of the problem. Don't be afraid to call the dr and not wait till the next appoitment if need be.

Your bad thoughts are safe with us!  I have a lot too that I don't dare share with hubby!

Posts: 32
Joined: Jul 2015

Thanks to all of you for the messages and support.

Because I pushed, he did go and see the doctor again, there is now water around his left testicle, which is on the side of the nefrectomy, and on the side of the numb/electric leg. The doctor wasn't completely sure where it came from but probably a complication of the surgery. He needs to go into the hospital this Friday for an additional ultrasound, and then next Wednesday there is anyway the big checkup with the urologist.

And yes, for now he is only seeing a urologist, no oncologist (yet?), I had the impression that the would only refer to an oncologist when mets would occur.... We'll check that next week.

thanks & good luck to you all


NewDay's picture
Posts: 273
Joined: May 2012


This is my opinion.  There are urologists that are experts at removing kidney tumors, but they are not experts in kidney cancer.  I recommend seeing an oncologist, preferrably an expert in RCC because it is not lke other cancers.  It behaves dfferently and s treated dfferently.  You want an oncologist to make sure he receives proper long-term follow up.  The importance of an RCC expert can depend on the pathology.  Ask for a copy and share that with us and we may be of more help.

Take care,


foxhd's picture
Posts: 3183
Joined: Oct 2011

There is a relationship between the left kidney venous system and the testicals. Some develope pain due to a varicosity that developes in the scrotum. A clue that can be overlooked prior to diagnosis.

Galrim's picture
Posts: 305
Joined: Apr 2013

...ligament pains in the abdominal area down to the scrotum for several weeks following RN. I was told it was quite common if that can relieve you a bit (the OP that is). 


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