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"Surgical Material" noted in findings of a recent CT Scan 2 1/2 years after partial nephrectomy

cralleycat's picture
Posts: 10
Joined: Mar 2013

I had robotic partial nephrectomy of the right kidney in 7/2013.. So I had an unrelated abdominal CT scan a couple of weeks ago (gastro ordered) that showed surgical material at the nephrectomy site. I was just wondering if anybody else has had this on a scan? It has been 2 and a half years since my surgery. I have had on and off dull flank pain since then (the surgeon is aware of the pain as I have reported it at each check up) and said it probably was not related to the kidney. The surgical material wasn't mentioned in any of my prior kidney scans. Should I be concerned?

Positive_Mental_Attitude's picture
Posts: 454
Joined: Jul 2014

Have not had this on a scan, but I have the same symptoms that you do (1. 5 years post surgery from a partial OPEN nephrectomy).  My urologist-oncologist said not to worry, it could be a variety of things, but they are confident it is not recurrence.  The way one doctor explained it is that when they close up the wound, there is some material left over.  Would definitely get a copy of the scans/report and send it to your urologist/surgeon's office.

hardo718's picture
Posts: 853
Joined: Jan 2016

Did you get any kind of clarification as to the specifics of that "material"?  That could have many different meanings, anything from a gauze pad to mesh to clips used to reattach the kidney, etc.

I too had a partial of my left kidney via robot and the only thing left in me is a couple of plastic clips.  I got clarification from my surgeon that he did not use mesh or things of that nature.  I do have symptoms of discomfort occasionally but I'm told it's of no concern, so I try not to worry about it.  I'm told it could be scar tissue or something like that.


Jojo61's picture
Posts: 1310
Joined: Oct 2013

Surgical material? Sounds suspicious. Keep us posted!



todd121's picture
Posts: 1427
Joined: Dec 2012

I sure hope it was only stuff they planned to leave behind! Have you had a chance to ask your doctor?

Make sure he's not missing a text book (surgical reading material), for example...

Seriously, I hope it's routine and nothing.

Best wishes,


donna_lee's picture
Posts: 966
Joined: Feb 2009

In this case, find out what they mean!!  Is a really fiber-as in a gauze pad, is it a lump of tissue that has herniated beyond it's bounday, a growth, or a piece of metal or 2.

Three weeks post open surgery, and having to separated ribs to access the upper abdomen, I developed pancreatitis.  Nothing like sitting on the john for one end, and trying to throw up in the bathtub, with a 14 inch incision running up and across your belly and side.

Had my hubby take me to ER and they x-rayed to see if there was a blocked bowel.  When the tech asked, "do you have any metal in there?", my response was, "I don't think so."

Lo and behold, the titanium plate to pull my ribs into place had 2 little screws on both ends.  Two of them had backed out and dropped around the urinary bladder.  I pushed my surgeon for a conclusive answer.  He said it wouldn't cause harm, and he consulted a trauma surgeon, who agreed.  I guess that means I was screwed by the surgeon....briefly.  ;}

All metal parts are still there 9 1/2 years later.

Once you get a grasp of what is in there, then deal with the "do I or don't I" questions.

Good luck and hugs,


Posts: 65
Joined: May 2015

I had an open surgery for my left kidney.  Scans show a clip of some kind left behind.  Somebody told me it was there and would not present a problem.

What I like about the thing being there is I can set off security scans that are to sensitive.  Electronics stores.  TSA.  A real conversation starter.

Ask the right people the questions you need to ask.  I doubt you have anything to worry about.


Posts: 123
Joined: Jun 2014

No. I have never had that show up on any scan. They definately need to clarify what they mean by "material"!!

marosa's picture
Posts: 333
Joined: Feb 2015

You should ask exactly what it is they are seeing.  For example I have surgical material that shows very much up on my scans and they are metal or plastic (don't remember) grafs that were inserted thru a tube in one of my arteries to stop the bleeding from complications after my partial neph.  So they are there and they have an explanation.  You should have an explanation on what material is this and why its there.

cralleycat's picture
Posts: 10
Joined: Mar 2013

Thank you . I had planned on asking my gastro who ordered the test at my appointment that was supposed to be this morning but it had to be rescheduled and now its another 10 days away.. I guess I'll have to call the surgeons office... Undecided

foxhd's picture
Posts: 3183
Joined: Oct 2011

I'd ask the doc to pull up the scan so you can see it. He might say it is just a necessary clip they had to use. Then it turns out to be rusty vice grips.

hardo718's picture
Posts: 853
Joined: Jan 2016

......used to replace the "pipes"?  haha   (you're so funny)


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