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Well stalling and denial did not work...who wants to help me prep for a full nephrectomy?

CCope81's picture
CCope81
Posts: 21
Joined: Jul 2016

I've spent the last few months in denial about the mass growing on my left kidney. Since it's grown over a CM in less than 6 months it has to go. Unfortunately Herbert the kidney mass is too close to the main blood supply to the kidney and there are too many risks associated with a partial. Anyone want to help me prepare for this? I bought a new recliner to sleep/live in for a couple days. Whats the pain like? How long? What works? What doesn't? Tips? Do's and Don'ts? 

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 3218
Joined: Jan 2010

Ccope81,

 

Unfortunately denial does not work. Think of how much better you will feel without Herbert.     I wish I could tell you it was painless, but I would be laughed off these posts. Sorry can not help you with the Prep.

 

Icemantoo

Steve.Adam's picture
Steve.Adam
Posts: 460
Joined: Oct 2016

I can't help either. I'm in a similar situation expecting to be scheduled for an operation in a month or two.

So please tell us all about your prep, op, and recovery.

I have recently become extremely curious about these things.

Steve.

dhs1963's picture
dhs1963
Posts: 510
Joined: May 2012

But, they are dysfunctional friends.  They seem good.  But, they keep you from doing much.

Plan on beeing out 5-6 weeks.  DO NOT LIFT.  NO LONG TRIPS.  This is a MAJOR surgery.

Good luck...

stub1969's picture
stub1969
Posts: 797
Joined: Jul 2016

I can tell you to take recovery serious.  Don't overdo it (I did and experienced a sharp pain at my surgery site for a few days).  Other than your nerves getting the best of you pre-op is a breeze.  These are professionals and they know what they are doing.  Scans, blood work, questions, and evaluations are part of this.  Surgery itself wasn't too bad.  I appreciated our doctor keeping my wife and parents updated in the waiting room.  I'm sure most hospitals follow this procedure--if not, ask about it.  The first night and first week after surgery is pretty tough.  Take your time and keep up on your pain meds.  Each day gets better.  I encourage you to walk as much as you can.  There is a balance to walking too much and not enough--you'll know the difference.  One of the worst pains was in my shoulder.  The gas they used to "fill" me up causes this.  Walking and rotating your arm is the only remedy.

You'll get some great post-surgery advice from this team/club of experts.  Take care and you'll be in my prayers.

Stub

lobbyist0724's picture
lobbyist0724
Posts: 388
Joined: Sep 2016

It is something that is hard to believe and accept as it is more a shock to us when we hear the news from the doctor. To me, the most important thing is to walk as soon as the nurse ask you to, it helps to speed up the healing, the pain, remove the gas from the body, improve bowel movement and etc... I didn't even need the tylenol after I returned home (except I took one before bed just in case, since resting is very importance for recovery). Don't overdo it, just 5 to 10 minutes, do it more often is more important than a longer duration.

My tumor was located on the upper pole abutting the vein too, my doctor said there was a 15% chance he might need to convert to a radical (he said that's just by the book). The risk is mainly because there is a chance that they cannot stop the bleeding within the given time. But my doctor ensured me that it would be very unlikely. They mention it just because they can't wake you up from the surgery to ask you for a consent if a conversion is needed :) So I had a successful surgery that my doctor had to cut along the capsule of the tumor to avoid the vein. So I would say don't worry about it, it is very routine and I am sure your doctor has done at least dozens of this same surgery (likely more) and they all know how to avoid the vein when it is needed.

YOU WILL BE FINE!!

P.S. I was able to sleep on my side and I had never used my recliner, but a couple more pillows will be helpful!

I wrote a long story about my experience, here is the link: http://csn.cancer.org/node/306100

Jan4you's picture
Jan4you
Posts: 1320
Joined: Oct 2013

Hi! Have you ever had any abdominal surgeries? I have had several, last  2 were robatic laproscopic so just some discomfort in comparison. Those smaller laproscopic incisions are less invasive, so hurt less.

What HURT was the trapped gas in my shoulder! They pump up your abdomen with this gas so surgeon can SEE around other organs and such. It doesn't come out like tummy gas does. It gets trapped for several days. I simply moved my arms in circles and got up and gravity seem to eventually move it out.

You can walk, but no exercise for at least 30 days. Listen to your surgeon's instructions and follow them, even when you feel better.

Now yes, there is tenderness, esp, around the incisions. So I wore a lumbar, velcro wrap and put dry ice blocks over the incisions (the largest one where the kidney is removed from) and THAT helped reduce the tender swolleness. Drug stores sell these wraps. They are for bad backs, but supported my aching, sore muscles.

I didn't have a recliner, but many use it. I used a grab bar that slides betweeen the mattress and box spring and used that to pullpush myself up. Also you need to roll gently to your side and push yourself up.

Take a deep, full breath, then as you move, let this breath out slowly, with teeth apart, blowing slowing through your mouth. I use it for ANY kind of intrusive movement or procedure where PAIN is anticipated. THIS is probably why I can say I only had discomfort, and not excruciating pain.

As a result of using ICE, I was able to stop opiates in less than 5 days and move to tylenol and Tramadol ( a narcotic, but its not an opiate). Because you only will have 1 kidney, you can no longer tax your remaining kidney with NSAIDS (like advil, ibruprofin).

You'll make it, we all do. You'll get your energy back but you cannot RUSH this healing time. You don't want to cause anything inside to rupture or not heal well.

Keep a list of questions and we'll be here to help you in any way we can.

Sending you calming thoughts, ...so.. do your breathing exercises to keep yourself relaxed.

Warmly, Jan

 

myoung790
Posts: 75
Joined: Sep 2014

I lost my right kidney 2 years ago.  I was 41 at the time.  Had a robotic surgery.  I actually didn't feel all that horrible.  I was tired for a bit, but was able to go back to work after a couple of weeks.  Honestly, I was more uncomfortable from all the gas.  

You will be fine and your will feel so much better once this is past you.  I'm scheduled for my CT scan in December.  Here's hoping there are no issues.

donna_lee's picture
donna_lee
Posts: 900
Joined: Feb 2009

Make sure you have all affairs and papers in order; and I don't mean you should have another affair at this time or put paper on the floor for the dog.

Bowel prep the night prior is a necessary evil.  Depending upon what they have you use, some can be more irritating to the exterior posterior than you would wish for.  Have Desitin or diaper rash ointment close at hand for after the baby wipes.

Get your house ready to return to: light juices, yougurt, bananas, soups.  Carbonated beverages aren't recommended since the adage is bubbles in/bubbles out.  And extra gas in the digestive tract is something you don't need at this time.  Have friends, family, etc. lined up to bring in a meal, do the laundry or dishes, bring in the mail, run errands, etc. Have extra throws, blankets or pillows near where you will be roosting during the first few days and within easy reach for you.  Cell phone, new batteries in the remote, a couple of new magazines won't hurt, either.

Sleep is your best friend, and it will help you in recovery.  If you have a shower with a hand wand and a stool or seat, so much the better.  It will feel good just to sit under the warm rain and get the hospital betadine, smells, sweat, Foley cath bag and drain tube messes off your body. 

Clothing comfort is what you want. Long T's, Nighties, or really loose PJ's. Then loose sweats.  Unds, if you can wear them will help you feel like you're getting better.

The pain meds you will be given have codeine, which is constipating.  Continue to eat and drink plenty of fluid.  Metamucil or a similar product can help during this stage.  Nausea and vomiting is not normal.  Call the doc if this develops.

Get outside as soon as you can.  Smell the fall air, watch the birds, or watch people.  Have someone take you to a coffee shop and enjoy being in public so you don't get cabin fever.

Be alive, be hopeful, Survive!!!  That way we can all be happy.

Love and hugs and all best wishes,

donna_lee

It's been 10 years, but who's counting?

CCope81's picture
CCope81
Posts: 21
Joined: Jul 2016

So many things I didn't think of! I was wondering if I should get a band like I did after having csections. I remember the support being helpful. I didn't even think to stock up before surgery. 

Jan4you's picture
Jan4you
Posts: 1320
Joined: Oct 2013

Remember, I just suggested you use a lumbar support around your abdomen. It is velcro and has an extra strap. I used it for both my surgeries, even to bed, and it helped me get uP as its truly supports those tender muscles.

You can get them at drug stores. I also put dry ice packet inside it, near the larger of the little incisions and it truly reduced the swelling naturally, cutting down the need for pain meds. Dry ice less messy,stays colder longer.

When I was in the hospital i BEGGED for ice bag and RN kept offering Opiates instead. finally the PT gal went and took a plastic glove, filled with ice cubes and brought it back to me. It helped!

Jan

todd121's picture
todd121
Posts: 1425
Joined: Dec 2012

You sure don't want that in direct or even close contact with your skin (if you like your skin and want to keep it)... :)

Todd

Jan4you's picture
Jan4you
Posts: 1320
Joined: Oct 2013

No, i don't place in on direct skin. Its in a case and goes over your underwear.

Jan

rhominator's picture
rhominator
Posts: 232
Joined: Nov 2015

I was hit with the hiccups and nausea after my full neph. [brutal]  I don't know how you can prepare for that, 'cept to have an advocate in your camp to get you the meds you need right away.  My wife made sure I got everything I needed from the doctors and nurses in a timely fashion.  And my church's support network was there for my wife while I was in the OR for five hours.  So, I guess it comes down to having people around that you can count on to help you out.

CCope81's picture
CCope81
Posts: 21
Joined: Jul 2016

I hate hiccups on a normal day!

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

Take a minute to imagine how bad you think this is going to be.

Its going to be a whole lot better than that. So relax. Nothing in all this is as bad as we think its going to be.

You're going to have major surgery. Thats easy: You sleep and then a professional does all the work.

Do you have a partner or friend to support you in the first weeks after? You will need help. There will be some pain, but its manageable (nowhere near as you are imagining) and there are painkillers.

The first week is the most difficult but it will soon pass.

I was prescribed physical therapy and it helped incredibly. If its not offered I would suggest you ask for it.

You will be given a blow-into-thing-ammygig to excersize your lungs. Use it!

I wont offer much advice, Donna and Jan have got that covered, all I would say is Good Luck

and above all DONT PANIC! You'll be fine. Promise.

duster10's picture
duster10
Posts: 29
Joined: Sep 2016

My only experience is with open surgery, and while the first 4 days were rather brutal, it got noticably better every day after that.  Rhominator said he got hit with the hiccups.....I cant imagine anything more painful.  Hiccups/coughing/sneezing, were all agonizing due to the open surgery.  Outside of that, it was simply a scenario of being able to not move much at all for a week.  After one day, all I took was extra strenght tylenol.  I did take a little hydrocodine to help me sleep, but you will find what works for you.  I DID NOT take Jan's advice about some type of stomach wrap.  That would have been a VERY good idea, I think it will really help out on the soreness.  

I am 2 months post-op....I played in a golf tournament (54 holes in 3 days), 2 weeks ago.  The week after surgery I thought I might never golf again, and yet 42 days later, I am swinging a golf club as hard as I can......thats seems crazy.  You will do fine, I am sure of it!

Bay Area Guy's picture
Bay Area Guy
Posts: 385
Joined: Jun 2016

Do you know if the procedure will be one or the other.  Lap surgery should entail a little less pain and a shorter recovery time than the open.  If you do have an open and the surgeon goes in through the abdomen, have a pillow with you when you're sitting in a chair or lying in bed.  If you cough, sneeze or just try to get up, hold the pillow nice and tight against your abdomen for support.  While my kidney surgery was a robotic assisted laparoscopic partial, I have had experience with open abdominal surgery.  The pillow was my saving grace while the major muscles of my abdomen were trying to knit back together.

CCope81's picture
CCope81
Posts: 21
Joined: Jul 2016

I got a call today to pre-register which is stupid because they will still register me when I get there. But he said a robotic nephrectomy was what I was having. 

Jan4you's picture
Jan4you
Posts: 1320
Joined: Oct 2013

You need to be preregistered so the pharmacy and staff have all your medications available for you, ( I take a lot) and they are ready for medical history.

Robatic arms that actually go into the abdomen and conduct the surgery, but the surgeon is across the room, running those robatic arms. Little incisions, inch lnog at most, while the larger one about 3-4  inches is the one where surgeon pulls out the kidney. I have had 2 laproscopic/robatic surgeries and recovered MUCH quicker with less pain. Its less intrusive. BUT remember that gas they use hurts when trapped. THAT was my only pain. Honest.

There is amazing video of this surgery. Show how the surgeon "bags" the kidney inside and pulls it out w/o the "cancer cells" touching other areas. Amazing!

Jan

CCope81's picture
CCope81
Posts: 21
Joined: Jul 2016

I didn't even know what that meant! They plan on trying the robot first I guess. 

Jan4you's picture
Jan4you
Posts: 1320
Joined: Oct 2013

The surgeon has to prepare you in case necessary, to do an OPEN incision, vs laproscopic.

I was dreading an open one, but at time of pre-surgery, he said,, "of course I'll be doing a laproscopic/robotic."

Jan

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

My surgeon wanted to try lapriscopic surgery, but then everything was too big and complicated they went open. I dont know that it makes much difference towards you, the patient apart from maybe a slightly longer recovery time.

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

In case you have sleep issues (hospitals suck) and earplugs to help you get a good night sleep if you are particularly restless. My husband was the acdtual patient, but I was grateful for the earplugs, lol!!! 

It can truly be the little things that make the BIG differences. Like soft ice packs for back pain (or any muscle pain/gas shoulder pain)

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

Leave it on while you sleep. It blocks out all the background clutter and is guarunteed to lull you into unconsciousness

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

Just be careful around your kids. Don't lift them if they are that age. Make sure if you have young kids, they know to not run or jump on you. Make sure you really watch that. 

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

Buy a sturdy tennis raquet?

CCope81's picture
CCope81
Posts: 21
Joined: Jul 2016

a husband and a partridge in a pear Tree. I think I am less concerned about the actual surgery then I am about having to manage my life while trying to recover. I'm hoping to have my 4 new clients out of the hospital and settled into adult family homes or nursing homes before I go in. Difficult but not impossible. My kids range from 17 to 2 and 4 of the 5 are total a$$holes. I'm worried about the two youngest who are boys and want to crawl on me like I'm a jungle gym. My husbands taking 12 days off but he's a train conductor and will be gone again for 2-3 days at  a time by day 13. So I need to be better by then. I wonder if I can put this off a bit longer. 

Jan4you's picture
Jan4you
Posts: 1320
Joined: Oct 2013

Have meals prepared so your hubby can just heat it up.

ASK and plan for what you need post-surgery. Discuss this with your hubby, kids.

Ask neighbors, friends, folks from church to help out (laundry, babysitting, cleaning).

BUT you HAVE TO REST!! Many of us feel good enough to take a walk, and end up doing too much, too soon, which can hurt you in ternally. So tell your family what this healing entails!

Hugs, Jan

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 3218
Joined: Jan 2010

Herbert is big enough already. You are not going to be better in 12 days so line up some more help. The longer you allow yourself to recover, the better you will be in the long run. Do NOT try and go back to work for a month or 6 weeks and part time at first. and get your husband to take some more time off to help with the kids so that you can rest and recover.

 

 

Icemantoo

foroughsh's picture
foroughsh
Posts: 775
Joined: Oct 2014

Sorry you had to join. The surgery is not a walk in the park but yet quite better that what it seems. Mine was open radical, I had one though night but thing got better since that day after.  Walk a lot, drink loads of water, do breathing exercises, use your recliner, don't hesitate to get in touch with your surgeon if it's something which makes you worried, have a list of questions and ask your surgeon before the surgery to be more emotionally ready for it, stay hopeful. 

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

It will be worse if you re-lapse. That will be a longer recovery. My husband had the robotic surgery. He's a big strong fit dude. It still knocked him on his *** and was a huge wake up call for him to take it slow when in recovery. See what you can do to line up some help with the family. Netflix is a good babysitter too. No shame in that!!

Allochka's picture
Allochka
Posts: 870
Joined: Nov 2014

Good luck with your surgery, and please do not ignore recommended breathing exercises afterwards. My husband did ignore and ended up with pneumonia

todd121's picture
todd121
Posts: 1425
Joined: Dec 2012

Like you, my tumor was too close/involved with the blood supply for a partial, so I had to have a radical. My tumor was in the middle of my kidney. Because of that, they wanted to take the kidney out whole for pathology and not cut it up. So even though I had a robotic laparascopic surgery, I ended up with a 6" scar, plus the other 1" ones scattered from sternum to lower abdomen.

Narcotics make me nauseous, so I got off them very quickly. My doctor let me take tramadol (some docs don't like it as it can be hard on kidneys), but it worked for me. I was off it within 1-2 days of leaving the hospital and on just normal tylenol.

You should know that you will not really know what this is until you get the pathology report back. I thought they could tell from the images and I was completely wrong. Whatever they told you about staging, etc. are guesses. Don't assume. I was very unhappy when I got mine back because when they told me if it was RCC it was Stage 1. Wrong. Even though my tumor was smaller than 7 cm, it had grown into some of the blood vessels and that made it Stage 3. I had been hoping it wouldn't even be cancer (they said there was a 5% chance of it being something benign), then I got this news and I was just shocked. I wish I'd been told that the pathology is what decides what it is. It seems obvious now, but it wasn't to me then.

They are going to want you walking right away. Do it. It'll hurt, but you will be able to do it.

I live alone and my bedroom is upstairs. I have a large bathroom, so I got a small fridge, microwave, and stocked up on all the stuff I'd need before my surgery so I wouldn't have to do stairs every day. It turns out, I would've been ok with stairs. Still, I was glad the first few days to stay in my room.

They encourage walking and drinking lots of water and doing your breathing exercises. Do that.

For me, standing or laying down were the most comfortable positions. Sitting put pressure on the incision. I spent a lot of time watching tv and pacing.

If you can get away from opiods, do it. They are constipating and you may not have a bowel movement for several days following the surgery. Lots of people have strong opinions on this. I'm glad I can't take opiods. They are not only addictive, but constipating.

Get a mild stool softener with a mild laxative. My doctor recommended Senna Plus. Drinking plenty of water and walking will help get your bowels working normally. I started to get concerned by Friday when I still hadn't had a bowel movement (my surgery was Monday). The nurse told me if I wasn't nauseous or vomiting not to worry about it. She said it has to go somewhere, and if it can't go down, it'll come up. Odd, but that made me feel better since I wasn't nauseous. The next day things started to work. Stay away from harsh laxatives. You can end up with the opposite problem.

Of course don't lift anything. Don't drive for a couple of weeks till your doctor clears you to do it. It's not that driving normally is a problem, it's more about if you get in an emergency situation and need to react quickly you might hurt yourself.

Stock up on healthy, bland, non-binding foods for that first week until your stomach recovers.

There will be pain, but you'll do fine. It's not going to be as bad as you think.

Take care of yourself. Keep your stress low. Let others help you. Ask for help when you need it.

Hope it all goes very smoothly.

Best wishes,

Todd

P.S. Recovery takes a long time. Your outsides will heal before your insides. I took 6 weeks off work and I'm absolutely glad I did. Even when I went back, I was dead tired by 4-5pm and it was like that for a couple of months. It took a year or more for me to feel normal. I think it takes the body awhile to get used to not having that kidney. Be sure to monitor your blood pressure after your nephrectomy. Mine went up after my nephrectomy and I ended up needing BP meds where I never needed them before. Might want to follow up with a nephrologist (I still see one) and an oncologist if it turns out to be needed (I hope you don't need it). I felt more comfortable being followed by an oncologist with RCC experience rather than a urologist (who probably won't be treating it if it comes back).

foxhd's picture
foxhd
Posts: 3183
Joined: Oct 2011

concern yourself with which procedure is used. It is ridiculus that people worry about a scar or a week or 2 longer recovery from total nephrectomy when the only concern should be, get it out, get it out now. Even if you get carved up like a jack o lantern.

mrou50
Posts: 389
Joined: Mar 2013

I am sorry you have to go through this but you need to get that out.  I had a radical neprectomy thrust upon me, I had two tumors one fairly large and one medium and my kidney shut down.  So denial and waiting are not an option, my doctor told me when I went to the hospital in exteme pain my kidney was 24 hours from bursting so have it removed.  There was very little pain for me most came after being home for a few days and quitting the pain pills. Your team will make sure you are completley out and then they will give you pills for the pain.  You will be fine.

 

Mark

Iggyrip
Posts: 43
Joined: Sep 2016

Welcome to the club. There are a lot of great people here with a lot of experience. I was in your shoes not too long ago; however, I did not want to delay my surgery. I wanted my tumor out as soon as possible.

On 10/12/16, I had a radical nephrectomy. I was in the hospital for two days and spent three weeks at home. I too was worried about the pain and what position to sleep. I had lapriscopic surgery,and had little pain. For me, the first week was the hardest, especially sleep. I slept propped up on pillows for the first couple of nights, then I slept on my left side. It would have been nice to have a recliner, but you can do without it.  You will get stronger  each week and your movement will improve. Make sure you walk and do the breathing exercises they give you.

Everyone reacts differently to the operation. I have not had much pain, but cannot sleep on my right side (they took out my right kidney). I am now back at work and feeling pretty good.  I did go through a depression after the operation that still lingers, but I feel lucky my cancer was found early. My tumor was Stage One and had not spread. I will need future CT scans to make sure things are good, but I am ok with it. I hope things turn out well for you too.

I wish you well on your operation and recovery.

 

Iggyrip

 

 

CCope81's picture
CCope81
Posts: 21
Joined: Jul 2016

You all have been a huge help. I feel ready. Did anyone pack a bag for the hospital stay? I'm going in Thursday and Im not sure when they will release me. My hopes are that they do it quickly.  Herbert is about 7cm at this point and has to come out while still enclosed in the kidney capsule. I have always had a pain under my ribs on the left side. Did anyone else have pain with their growths? Or is it all in my head?

todd121's picture
todd121
Posts: 1425
Joined: Dec 2012

I didn't even take clothes to go home in. As soon as you get there, you'll be changing out of whatever you came in anyway. I'd suggest something with a stretchy wasteband like sweats.

All I packed was my cell phone and the charger. I wouldn't even take anything to read if I were you. You aren't going to feel like doing anything for a day or two but resting, eating (as soon as you can) and visiting the bathroom.

Somebody mentioned earplugs/headphones. Probably a good idea. Maybe one of those things to cover your eyes. They are AWFUL about noise and light during the night in the hospital. I wanted to shoot someone by my second night there. I get the feeling the nurses think "If I have to be awake, then you have to be awake." I sent my son home the second night. He couldn't sleep. I told him to go home. One of us might as well get some sleep...

Good luck to you. You'll be fine. Let us know please.

Todd

P.S. I'm wondering if I missed you already and you've already checked in...Either way, I hope it goes well/went well. Get well soon.

todd121's picture
todd121
Posts: 1425
Joined: Dec 2012

I had two bleeding episodes (red urine) and the second one came with intense pain. It was blood clots passing so the pain was similar to kidney stones. After I found out what it was and the bleeding stopped and before I had it removed, I thought I felt pain. Others have reported flank pain as a symptom.

Pain is always in your head, btw. :) If you feel it, you feel it. You may be more sensitive right now to your body. That's ok. It'll be over soon.

Todd

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

Was a copy of Dante's inferno and some loose clothes for going home in. Good luck, enjoy the nap.

 

PS. Dante's Inferno was a terrible idea!

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

my own robe, because I didn't want any "southern exposure" when roaming the halls and hate the hospital provided ones and my toothbrush.  Can't be without my SonicCare. 

Best wishes and God Bless.  Soon Herbert will be out and just a bad memory.  I didn't have pain, but I did experience a pressure and that's what sent me to the doctor.  Every night when I slept if I rolled to my left side it felt like I was rolling over a tennis ball and it would wake me.  Glad I listened to my body.  "Bob the Blob" was introducing himself.  Post surgery: make sure you do those breathing exercises, that's key in avoiding the complication of pneumonia.

Donna~

Deanie0916
Posts: 259
Joined: Nov 2016

I hope your surgery went well, I sent up a prayer for you. I had to laugh that you named yout tumor...I did too, mine was Hubert the Evil Mass! He was removed by open radical nephrectomy on the left side. All of the suggestions and tips above will help you very much. I find walking as soon as possible helped me a lot with feeling better and with bowel movements. Rest as much as you can, you need it. God belss you.

JerzyGrrl's picture
JerzyGrrl
Posts: 760
Joined: Jun 2016

As they say, enjoy the sleep.  The hospital has gowns. Request, no, DEMAND you get two if they're the flash kind... The first one goes on with the slit in the back, the second with the slit in the front. Also, they generally have no-slip footie-socks.

If you're going to take reading material, make sure it's something that's not a first-edition signed-by-the-author book. Nix the library books, too. Something that's an easy read.  The phone and charger, BOTH LABELED with your name.  A comb and/or brush, hair ties / scrunchies, toothbrush and paste. Bills in various denominations for bribing the staff (Just kidding)! But a notebook and attached pen / pencil would be nice for writing down the names of those staff and support people who were especially nice and you might just want to send a note to later). I've seen adults of all ages lately, bringing coloring books and colored pencils along with them (Coloring is a great stress / tension reliever).  If you pray and use prayer beads, bring a set that's not an heirloom (Ditto for any kind of prayer book -- You may have to ask for a bible, if you want one; due to infection control precautions they generally aren't just left in the drawers anymore). For sleep, the eye-shade, ear plugs.

If there's ANY chance your "friend" might visit while you're in the hospital (OK, I'm dating myself here -- is that phrase still even used?), bring a small box of generous-size peel-and-stick pads along with some super stretchy undies.  If you forget undies, hospitals generally have those mesh undergarments provided for women, post-partum (The mesh ones are great fun, but you may not be up to hysterical laughter just yet, which is why you really need to bring your own). 

That's my list, sort of.  I'm considering adding a sewn-at-home gown to my stuff. One patient I visited before she had heart surgery knit to de-stress and she was hooked up to all her IVs and monitors, tucked into bed in the ICU, knitting (fairly) happily away. 

Thuvia
Posts: 7
Joined: Nov 2016

I had radical left nephrectomy October 27th, Stage 1, RCC, very slow growing, all contained. Laparoscopic. 3 small incisions and a 5" incision from my belly button down. Was released after 2 days. I hope you're home, all went well, and you're recovering nicely. My recovery is going well... take it VERY SLOW! This is major stuff. Everything in your gut has been violently moved around to get that kidney out and it will take a lot of time for normalcy to return. 3 weeks out I'm still gassy from my bowels trying to get back to normal.

Have a rolled up towel that you use to splint your tummy with to get up and down and walk with. It just feels better! I also use it when sleeping to support my tummy as I lay a bit onto my side. This was no possible until about 10 days post op.

Nightgowns at home. Nothing around belly... just more comfortable! (I would do this if a man too!!!) When going out sweats about 2 sizes larger than you'd normally wear are most comfortable.

Not sure when you will be back here but will post this anyway and for anyone checking out the thread for their own surgery. There are some great suggestions here. I won't suguar coat it. I had 4 babies with no anestesia and this was right up there. Pain meds are your friend. One thing I didn't see suggested here is DEMAND Simethicone!!!!!!! GAS - X. I used it much more than the Oxycodone. It helped get that gas out and dissipate it.  and that was more painful for me than anything at first. I took it for a good week after coming home. They did not have this on physicians orders. As a nurse I knew what I needed and got my husband to get with my nurse who got the order from my Dr... had it after that every 4 hours.

Hoping they used the Exparel with you... it's a numbing medication they shoot directly into the incisions. I didn't really have incisional pain until day 4 post op because of the this amazing stuff. Woke up in recovery with an extra arm band on... this stuff cannot be mixed with some other meds.

Appetite: At first it was very low. Now It's up but I can only eat a bit at a time and I'm eating every few hours. Staying away from gas producing foods. Dr is sending me to a Nephrologist now for medical side of this... medication restrictions, diet. I will also a a Registered Dietician. I lost 48 pounds after going off all sugar last year before this was found completely by accident. Need to lose the last 15 and not by high protein low carb as I was.... makes me wonder if that accellerated this.

It does very slowly get easier with each passing day. You'll wake up one day and go "wow, I think I've turned a corner." Don't over do it!!!! Cannot stress this enough! Holidays are coming and yes we have so much to do. It with either get done or not. I only want to do this recovery one time.

Shower chair and grab bars. Make sure you have them! Nurses always think safety!!!

Good luck in your recovery! I hope you come back to let us know how you are!  Lucinda

 

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