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72 hours until partial nephrectomy

robynindc
Posts: 11
Joined: May 2016

Hello everyone -

Seventy two hours and counting!  For those of you who've had the partial neph, please let me know if you have any suggestions for preparing or recovering.  I'd love to lose about 30 pounds and get in shape prior to the surgery, but that's not likely to happen.  They'll do the surgery robotically, which should have an easier recovery than the open option.  

In any event, if you've got any suggestions, I'm all ears.  I'm presently doing laundry and cleaning like the Queen is coming to visit.  I figure it needs to last a few weeks!!

Robyn

Hd67xlch's picture
Hd67xlch
Posts: 148
Joined: Apr 2016

I didnt have a partial I had the whole kidney taken out robotically 5 years ago, I was ready to go home after 2 nights, but they made me stay 3 nights in the hospital. I never had to take a pain pill once I left the hospital, I went the route of medical grade weed once back at home, it really wasnt  that bad, as surgeries go. My biggest issue would be getting up from laying on my back on the couch, just couldnt do it the 1st week, had no strength in my stomach muscles, I just roll off onto the floor and get up from being on my knees. I was back at work on light duty in two weeks and I do manual type work, the biggest complaint I had was Id get worn out  after a half day of work, but after a month I was back to normal. After a few months I completley forgot that I even had surgery, you will be amazed at how fast you get back to normal, good luck.

Footstomper's picture
Footstomper
Posts: 1238
Joined: Dec 2014

Carry on with your nesting behavior. Then your job is to have a nice nap while the surgeons do their thing. Domt worry bout a thing, and always look on the bright side of life

Footstomper's picture
Footstomper
Posts: 1238
Joined: Dec 2014

Have you got anyone to help you when you come home? If not find a friend. it is pretty difficult to do anything the first week back from surgery.

Ana Kitano
Posts: 12
Joined: May 2016

One month ago i had my surgery.…i recovery very well and very quickly .…my advice will be to walk a lot .…when i was in hospital i walked every hour a little .…one month after surgery i do everything.…no restriction, no pain.…after two weeks from surgery i walk twice in a day for 1 hour ..…take care!

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hardo718
Posts: 853
Joined: Jan 2016

Haha.   I also had a partial neph (left) via robotics in 2012.  I was 59 at the time.  Prepping is a good idea since you won't be able to do much lifting, bending, etc for a couple of weeks or so.  Might want to prepare some extra meals that can go from freezer to oven to table for that same time period.  Especially the first week.  I was only hospitalized 2 days and only took pain meds once after getting home.  Uncomfortable?  yes.  Pain? No.  Also, you might want to pick up one of those velcro lumbar supports, it really helps with getting in an upright position from laying down or reclining.  Another poster always suggests ice along with it.  Other than that, follow orders from your doctors, do your breathing exercises to prevent pneumonia and go for walks.  Drink plenty of fluids too, helps keep fevers away.

I made the mistake at about the 2 week mark of doing too much.  Had a day where I was feeling pretty normal and did a couple of loads of laundry.  I had front loaders at the time and didn't think I was over-doing it but my body wasn't ready.  That night I ended up in ER because I almost passed out from severe pain.  Consensus was that I did too much bending.  

Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Donna~

 

sblairc's picture
sblairc
Posts: 586
Joined: Feb 2014

Yes, that's a good one. I don't think they explain that very well in the hospital. They just give you the "thingy" and tell you to "do it" but it's VERY IMPORTANT to avoid pneumonia and get the lungs working after being under anestesia. Especially if surgery goes a long time. My husband ended up with pneumonia from this, after a small surgery one time. BREATH INTO THE THINGY, lol!!!!

sblairc's picture
sblairc
Posts: 586
Joined: Feb 2014

It's a viscious cycle. Swelling causes pain, pain causes swelling. Stay on top of the pain and use the pain meds if you need them.  There is no shame in needing pain meds and there is no raging hurry to get weaned off them in a day or two. That is absurd to try and achieve, unless your body is naturally is telling you you don't need them (which is what it sounds like happened for Donna above, which is great but not the norm from what I understand. ). I always here people post here about how when they "try not to take the pain pills" they regret it later and end up in major pain. And don't forget that your insides have stitches too!! Your kidney will get sewn back together which makes this a very different surgery for you than those of "us' here that had radical nephrectomys, in my opinion (not a medical one, lol). You are healing inside and out and it's ok to rest as much as you need to. Being tired is to be expected. 

hardo718's picture
hardo718
Posts: 853
Joined: Jan 2016

Sblairc (above) is correct.  Listen to your body, by all means, if you have pain, take the meds.  Don't try to be a hero because if you don't take the meds when in pain and decide to later when you're out of your mind hurting, it's hard to play catch-up.  Personally, I didn't have pain, just discomfort.

Also, the "thingy" for breathing exercises.......I'm a former Respiratory Therapist and it's a pet peeve of mine that most hospitals don't give this device to a patient PRE-surgical.  I was lucky in that I was able to get one at work before my surgery so I knew exactly what my target would be to work toward after surgery.  The device is an Incentive Spirometer, and it's purpose is to keep the smaller parts of your lungs from collapsing by doing deep breathing exercises, and avoid infection setting in.  You see, when you're under the affects of anesthesia, in pain, on meds and laying around more than typical, you will naturally breathe more shallow.  The breathing exercises will compensate for that.  It's advisable to do 10 breaths an hour, about 8-10 times a day.  I would usually instruct my patients to do it during a commercial break on tv.  Your initial goal should be approximately 1000cc.  Earlier I mentioned how I thought it would be beneficial to have one pre-surgery so that you would know what you're capable of achieving on a normal day.  For instance, before surgery I was able to do close to 4000cc, after surgery I couldn't even hit 1000cc!!  Had I not had the device before my surgery I would have no clue what I needed to strive toward.  After my surgery I discussed with our Medical Director how I thought it would be beneficial to give the device to EVERY patient when they come in for pre-surgical testing.  I was told "it would be too costly, because most patients will forget to bring it back with them the day of surgery, and then the hospital would have to provide them with another and cannot charge twice for the device".  

Donna~

sblairc's picture
sblairc
Posts: 586
Joined: Feb 2014

This is super helpful. I was always very annoyed that this doesn't get explained. 

Allochka's picture
Allochka
Posts: 905
Joined: Nov 2014

Oh, I fully support breathing exercises! My husband was told to do them, but he didn't (didn't think it was important). Ended up with pneumonia as well...

Good luck with your surgery and speedy recovery!

APny's picture
APny
Posts: 1982
Joined: Mar 2014

I did the breathing exercises with the spirometer thingy religiously. Ten times every hour. I started before I even went into the hosptial and for several weeks after. I also had a respiratory therapist in the hospital who taught me how to do the "smell the flowers, blow the candles" one. You inhale deeply through your nose as if smelling a flower, then exhale through your mouth slowly as though blowing a candle.

Other than that, walk a lot as soon as possible. Mine was an open partial but I was up walking the same night as the surgery and home in 2 days. My recovery was relatively easy; I would compare it to robotic. If robotic is even easier than it'll be very easy. A small pillow will be your best friend for a couple of weeks. You should walk with it hugging it against you, ditto when you laugh or cough.

Bring a large garbage bag for the seat of the car on the way home. This will make it easy to swivel in and out of the car. The bag swivels, not you, sparing you any discomfort or pain. Also have the pillow for way home to put under the seat belt so it doesn't rub against your incision. I was lucky and able to sleep in my own bed upstairs. Many needed to sleep in their recliners. What helped was a long body pillow to suppor the side the incision is on and a wedge pillow on which i piled more pillows.

Make sure they teach you to roll to get out of bed. Initially that's the toughest part as your abdominal muscles heal.

Wish you the best and don't worry too much; the reality of recovery was a lot easier than I feared.

robynindc
Posts: 11
Joined: May 2016

Team Survivors -

Thank you!  All very helpful advice, particularly the parts about the pain meds and breathing.  I am familiar with the pain med protocol from two c-sections, but in neither of those surgeries was I actually out.  Just had a spinal block for one and an epidural for the other.  This will be the first time I'm actually "under."  I am generally a rule-follower, so anticipate that I'll be 100% bought in to the breathing exercises that they tell me to do.  I have a tendency to believe that I am superhuman (despite some compelling evidence to the contrary), so taking it easy for a little bit will no doubt be the hardest part.  I'm also starting to get a bit scared about the surgery; having somewhat disturbing thoughts about recording messages for my kids, making sure my husband knows all my passwords, lining up all the paperwork for him, should anything go south . . . Can't tell if this is part of my normal planning nature, or if it's the manifestation of my inner freaking out.  Maybe a little of both?  Cry

APny's picture
APny
Posts: 1982
Joined: Mar 2014

Robyn, we were typing at the same time. See my post above. Mine was open partial but a lot easier than I dreaded. I'm sure yours will be even easier! My imagination was my worst enemy. Best to you!

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icemantoo
Posts: 3260
Joined: Jan 2010

Robyn,

 

You've got this made.

 

Icemantoo

Footstomper's picture
Footstomper
Posts: 1238
Joined: Dec 2014

But what harm can it do?

hardo718's picture
hardo718
Posts: 853
Joined: Jan 2016

.............to have everything in place anyway, regardless of your upcoming surgery.  But I'm sure you'll be fine.  I think it's natural to freak out a bit, you've got good reason right now, it's not every day we have to go thru something quite so dramatic like surgery.  Most of us tend to think we're "superhuman", until something womps us and we have the rude awakening of "HOLY S**T, I'm not invincable like I thought I was.  

Best wishes sent your way for an uneventful procedure and praying for you and your docs hands to have an expertise & quickness about them to get in, do what they need to, and get the heck out to let you recover.

Donna~

robynindc
Posts: 11
Joined: May 2016

Feeling good and looking forward to waking up in recovery!  Thank you all for everything, and I'll check in again once I'm home.  Onward!

-Robyn

robynindc
Posts: 11
Joined: May 2016

Greetings, everyone!

I'm back home after the partial nephrectomy, and feeling good.  Got the pathology report back today, which confirmed clear cell RCC and clean margins.  So they got it all!  Also doesn't look like it spread anywhere else, so I believe i'm cancer free!  Hurray!

hardo718's picture
hardo718
Posts: 853
Joined: Jan 2016

Congratulations Robyn!!  I'm so happy this is behind you, now take your time to recover and get on with celebrating life.

God Bless.

Donna~

Footstomper's picture
Footstomper
Posts: 1238
Joined: Dec 2014

Sounds like things are going as well as they could be. Well done.

APny's picture
APny
Posts: 1982
Joined: Mar 2014

Wonderful to hear you're doing well. Don't rush things and remember to walk a lot and drink a lot of water. Also keep doing the breathing exercises. Wishing you the best recovery.

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lcsvb
Posts: 41
Joined: Jan 2016

So glad to hear you are cancer free! The next couple months will be slower going than you will like, but the worst is over!

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