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Pain after nephrectomy

Robin 1348
Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2017

Had nephrectomy on July 19, 2017 on right kidney. Partial in 2012, cancer returned, T3 diagnosis Rcc as tumor was spreading into vein, but no cells found in any fatty tissue, praise the Lord. I was initially having moderate pain beneath front incision area that would spread to back (where kidney was) in a flashing, burning type of pain upon standing. I could only stand for a few minutes as the pain would continue to increase until I would sit down. Today the pain has changed so that I cannot stand up straight at all. As soon as I stand up there is a sharp shooting pain that is underneath my right rib cage that gravitates towards my back and I have to walk completely hunched over. I am not on any pain meds other than Tylenol but this is becoming unbearable. Has anyone else experienced this kind of pain? I saw an oncologist at MGH yesterday and was told that I do not need the adjuvant therapy, thank God. He did say that I had swelling in the area since it was a second surgery, and that after a complete nephrectomy your intestines shift ,but I'm supposed to go back to work in another three weeks and if this doesn't stop I am not going to be able to work because I can't stand up. Any suggestions from anyone? I really appreciate it

Posts: 14
Joined: Jul 2017

My hubby is 2 weeks post total nephrectomy and his surgeon told him he could go back to work in the mine in 2 more weeks :/ he had the same unbearable unable to stand up straight pain up until just a few days ago. You are about a week ahead of him recovery wise. I could see there being more pain associated with a second surgery but just Tylenol!? My gosh!! I couldn't imagine him just having Tylenol. He could not even get himself in and out of bed for over a week. I hope that you start to feel better soon!!! Did you have a drain placed! he did not and is seeping from his incision and on his latest Scan shows lots of fluid in his side where they operated. Maybe this causes pain too?? i will be thinking about you and saying a little prayer for you!

APny's picture
Posts: 1956
Joined: Mar 2014

I had an open partial and did not experience that type of pain thank God. And I was able to get in and out of bed two days after. Definitely have your surgeon look at it. It could be stitches pulling or something. I don't think you should live with such pain, especially not after almost a month.

JerzyGrrl's picture
Posts: 760
Joined: Jun 2016

I found that I had that sort of pain after my surgery, especially if I was sitting in a curved or hunched position for any length of time at all. What really helped the most was to straighten myself up using my back muscles (You can try this - contract the long muscles between your shoulder blades so they shorten - your shoulders will come up and back just a bit). It's way better than trying to get the WAIT-WAIT-WE'RE-STILL-HEALING abdominal muscles to stretch out so you're standing up straight. 

I also gently stretched my abdominals every so often by stretching with my elbows up and my back slightly arched or (this was WONDERFUL) putting my big exercise ball on the sofa as a back rest, leaning against it, and getting a wee bit of a supported back arch / stretch. Small movements at first... Let them get a little bigger each day. 

Oh, and the bottom line was, I didn't sit in any arm chairs or on the sofa where I slouched or slumped. A recliner would've been out of the question. 

Jan4you's picture
Posts: 1322
Joined: Oct 2013

So sorry for all you are going through! But please, call your doctor! Pain is their priority. Insist they see you or go to ER. 

Yes, it could be part of your recovery, but best to be certain. 

Let us know when you can, and know we're here for you.

Sending a gentle hug,


Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2017

I was really skeptical if this but it's helped me I believe. Even walking around the house was helpful. It helps to increase blood flow and is aids in recovery. If you can walk a little that's better than nothing. I'm less than two weeks out and that first week and a half was terrible. It gets better. I would also advise calling the doctor just in case too though. Better to be safe than sorry. That's what he/she are there for. Good luck! 

Jan4you's picture
Posts: 1322
Joined: Oct 2013

I always wore a lumbar velcro wrap, used to bad backs. I would place dry ice packs inside by the largest incision. It reduced the swelling while the wrap supported your healing abdomen. ICE reduced need to opiates too. 

Good luck again,


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