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What Am I in For???

AnnissaP's picture
AnnissaP
Posts: 632
Joined: Sep 2017

Partial nephrectomy (laparascopic) is booked for Nov. 7th. I know it is a long surgery and am wondering what to expect upon waking up. How are the first few days? I am thinking it will be very painful even with meds. How was the removal of the drainage tube? How many incisions for ports did you have? When did you return to work fully (outside of the house with physical job)? I know everyone is different, but I am interested in reading responses. Thank you!!

AnnissaP's picture
AnnissaP
Posts: 632
Joined: Sep 2017

Also, how long before you got the results? Thanks again!

love_of_my_life
Posts: 77
Joined: Jul 2012

My wife had a full nephrectomy 5 years ago.  They were able to manage her pain pretty well and she was up and about within a few days.  

She is very healthy so her recovery was very fast.  If I remember she had one3-4 inch incision and two 1/4 inch incisions which are barely noticable today.

Test results came back in around 2-3 weeks if I remember right.

Good luck.  You are in our prayers.

AnnissaP's picture
AnnissaP
Posts: 632
Joined: Sep 2017

Thank you!!!

donna_lee's picture
donna_lee
Posts: 963
Joined: Feb 2009

A partial Lap is a short surgery if all goes right.  Mine was a full total with mets to find and resect-that lasted 11 1/2 hours. And my subsequest surgeries for recurrent mets were each 3-4 hours.

Drainage tubes are just a part of the package.  You don't even know they are there while they do their job and the brief twinge when they are pulled out soon goes away.  You probably will also have a Foley Catheter into your urinary bladder; and an IV with piggy back lines for pain meds, along with compression boots that will help prevent clots in your legs.

You will probably be sore.  And please remember, the surgeons have had to cut through several layers of muscle, peritoneal sac, and move other organs aside to get to the kidney.  That all has to heal and it takes at least 6 weeks.  Don't attempt too much too soon, although you may feel like you want to.

The path results will be ready by the time you see your surgeon or oncologist for a follow-up.  They have already indicate there is cancer, but they want to know exactly what kind. And there are a number of types, grades etc. that help indicate the next steps in monitoring you.

Answers to your questions prior to the surgery are sort of nebulous, as every case is different.

Good luck and hugs,

donna_lee

AnnissaP's picture
AnnissaP
Posts: 632
Joined: Sep 2017

Thanks for the info!

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 3279
Joined: Jan 2010

Annissa,

 

At 6 weeks I was back to a slow normal At 11 months for my 60th birthday I went water skiing dropping 1 ski at the end.

 

 

Icemantoo

Angie1496's picture
Angie1496
Posts: 154
Joined: Sep 2017

My right kidney partial had 5 incisions.  3 along the right side of my abdomen and one at the these 4 are about an inch or so in length. There is one between 2 or 3 inches just below the breastbone that the tumor was removed from my body through.  My tumor was on the upper pole of the kidney.  My doctor said it was a relatively easy surgery because it was not very deep in the kidney. It lasted about 2 hours.  My first few days were painful but not as painful as I was expecting. I had a TAP block as part of my anesthesia and they say that is why I had less severe pain upon waking. I recommend a recliner ar home for sleeping if you have one.  I didn’t have one. Getting up from the best was difficult. I had an incline wedge pillow but a recliner to assist with sitting up would have made it so much easier.

 

I got my path results about a week later but got the actual path report at my 2 week follow up. I went back to work at work 3.5 weeks later but I dont have a physically demanding job. I worked from home 3 weeks. Or the Monday following my Wednesday surgery. 

 

5 weeks out today and I am still having some sensitivity around two of my incisions. My doc told me I could start back at the gym two weeks ago but I haven’t yet. I’m still tiring easily and trying to listen to my body better than I used to do. 

 

If if I could post a pic here I would show you my abdomen and my tumor. I asked for pics of if because I needed to see that evil mass!

AnnissaP's picture
AnnissaP
Posts: 632
Joined: Sep 2017

I would love to have pics too and see yours!

Angie1496's picture
Angie1496
Posts: 154
Joined: Sep 2017

I can make it my profile pic :)

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

I got the long incision below my belly button. My surgeon cheerfully told me, "I did that so you can wear a bikini." Considering the last time I wore a two-piece bathing suit was around SuperBowl I or II, I really hadn't given any thought to that, but you never know Cool .

Angie1496's picture
Angie1496
Posts: 154
Joined: Sep 2017

I did not have a drainage tube. I had a catheter over night and spent two nights in the hospital 

Jan4you's picture
Jan4you
Posts: 1326
Joined: Oct 2013

Good questions, concerns, good responses! Glad you found us!

i have had 4 abdominal surgerieis, all unrelated.

Two were laperscopic/robatic with those little (1 inch or less) incisions. My recovery was unremarkable. Maybe I am different, but I could literally push on my abdomen and it didn't hurt. What DOES hurt for a few days is the GAS they use to pump up my abdomen so the surgeon could see inside. It gets trapped, esp around the shoulder. So just expect it and move around by walking, waving your arms in circles. Pain meds really cannot touch it because its trapped.

I also wore a lumbar wrap that supported my sore, healing abdominal muscles. Your insides are heaing, so remember that even when you start to feel better. 

Have you ever had a surgery before? You'll have the effects of General anesthesia, then the IV pain pump, where you can push the button for extra dose. You also are under the influence 1st day of VERSED which is used for pain and has amnesiac effects. So let your family know in case you keep asking the same thing over and over. My sister has been with me and has funny stories to tell. You get this drug whenever you have Colonscopy or other procedures. 

I also placed ICE (natural numbing agent) over incision. i used those packets you use in a cooler, over my underwear. It brings down the edema, and soreness. That way I used less opiates. Wearing that lumbar wrap helped me get UP and out of bed. I even wore it to bed for a few days. Wore it when I took my walks. Makes a huge difference. 

Keep us informed as to how you are doing and if you have further questions. We're here for you all the way!

Who will be with you at home after surgery?

Sending you calm, healing hugs, 

Jan

Rockspin
Posts: 77
Joined: Aug 2017

I had laparoscopic total removal of my right kidney. I spent one night in the hospital and my surgery was uneventful for which I'm grateful.  I had the pain meds for three days then just Tylenol. I was able to get up the second day and take steps. It has been 3 weeks and I'm walking a mile a day or more. I'm close to being back to normal but don't pick up anything heavy. My pathology report came back stage 1 my tumor was clear cell 3.5 cm. The first week I did not have much of an appetite but drank lots of water and getting off pain meds allowed my body to return to normal faster. Also ice packs help (thanks Jan) with swelling.

stub1969's picture
stub1969
Posts: 864
Joined: Jul 2016

I had a partial on a Friday and was discharged on Saturday late morning.  Catheter and drain tube were pulled (you guessed it--this is not too fun) Saturday morning.  I was sent home with some pretty powerful pain meds, but didn't use them after Sunday.  Tylenol did the trick.  Pain got better every day so did my strength.    I suggest getting up to walk as soon as your able to.  Once you get home, continue to walk then rest, then walk some more.  You look like a healthy lady.  You'll do great! 

Stub

AnnissaP's picture
AnnissaP
Posts: 632
Joined: Sep 2017

I want to thank you all from my heart!!! I appreciate the well wishes and all the personal info you shared. I have had many surgeries, but always studied everything about them beforehand.  I like to know what to expect. My significant other and son will be with me through all of this so I will be well taken care of!! I also appreciate all of the tips and tricks that helped you all. Once again......Thank you!!!!!!

lobbyist0724's picture
lobbyist0724
Posts: 418
Joined: Sep 2016

I am the same type too, always try to prepare for whatever it might happen. Others have already provide you with a list of things to prep. One more suggestion is to keep yourself as healthy as possible before the surgery, that itself ensures you have a strong body to face the surgery! I was suggested by a friend and was wearing a mask a week before to ensure that I won't catch a cold or flu from my kids. Take care!

Angie1496's picture
Angie1496
Posts: 154
Joined: Sep 2017

I also have the need to know everything that is going to happen before it does.  I have had about 9 surgeries in the past but this was by far the most important and scary IMO.  But educating myself eases my mind and by the day surgery came I was almost serene.  I was ready and knew almost step by step what was going to happen.  I was however upset they made me put on ugly socks before surgery.  I had had my toes done the day before because I thought "if I have to be naked in front of God and everyone at least my toes can look good!" :)  I even watched a few video's of the surgery a few days before had.  Those really helped ease my mind.  Although some people thought it was weird for me to do that.  I also opted for a TAP block for the surgery. its like a nerve block.  They said my pain after waking up was much less than it would have been without the block. So ask about that if you talk to the anesthesiologist ahead of time.  Mine came to see me as well as the Doc prior too.  My Doctor looked at me funny when I said please take pics of it for me.  

AnnissaP's picture
AnnissaP
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Joined: Sep 2017

That is funny about the socks lol!!! I am glad it all went well for you!

Angie1496's picture
Angie1496
Posts: 154
Joined: Sep 2017

I was pretty upset about them.  They came off right after the air socks came off the next morning after surgery and I used my own.  THey said my feet would get cold.  I was like "dude I am naked!"

DreamOnDeb
Posts: 112
Joined: May 2017

Hi Annissa,

My husband had a full nephrectomy (robotic, laparoscopic) on August 21st, and he was home the next day.  Since his was a "full" nephrectomy, the surgery lasted about 2-1/2 hours.  Yours may last a little longer because you are having a partial.  He didn't have a drainage tube.  He has six laparoscopic incisions, and one larger one below his belly button (about 3 inches) because that's where they pulled the kidney out.  You won't have that larger incision.  The incisions are barely noticeable today.  His pain was well managed with the pain meds, which he was only on for about a week.  He was out of work for one month because he has a strenuous job.  We met with the surgeon one month after his surgery and we got the results then (but the results were on his patient portal sooner than that).  Good luck!  This will all be behind you soon!

 

AnnissaP's picture
AnnissaP
Posts: 632
Joined: Sep 2017

DreamOnDeb, thank you for taking the time to write!!!!! I appreciate the info.

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

Five incisions (I always say I have 5 belly buttons now), the largest was about 3 inches long (where Bob the Blob made his exit), the others much smaller.  My doc used glue & steri-strips for closure so no stitches to remove.  As a sidenote, for some reason he chose NOT to make my incisions all horizontal, or all vertical, haha so they each go their own special direction.  I had one drain.  It's kind of a creepy feeling coming out, wasn't really painful, a little sting.  Typically, whatever you see of the tube hanging out is about equal to what is inside, so it's long.  But it's out in a flash.  Didn't really have a lot of pain post-op, only took pain meds once after I got home.  I was sore and weaker than weak.  My family says the surgery was the better part of the day, but I have no recollection....thank God.  :-)  I went back to work after 2 weeks, as ordered by my doc, wish I'd have pushed harder to stay home another week.  That first week back I only did half days and I was still wiped out!!  I was blessed with great co-workers, and they did the physical parts of my job that I couldn't. I got my pathology results at my first follow-up appt which was at 1-1/2 weeks out.  Overall, wasn't nearly as bad as I had imagined.  Wouldn't want to go thru it again, but it I imagined it to be much more torturous.  The unknown can be really scary.

Hope this helps.  Great questions!!

Donna~

Wehavenotimeatall
Posts: 489
Joined: Aug 2017

Dont do what I did and SPEND three weeks reading up on every single possible complication known to man and scared myself witless

in uk so sounds like some things are slightly different

Attended and passed all the pre assessment tests

Didnt have to have any  internal cleaning processes  prior.  Just turned up on day with nil by month from midnight 

Didn’t get a pre med.  was very very  ready for the surgery but I admit I did panic a little when they were giving me the anaesthetic. my eldest son was outside and I was panicking in case he never saw me again

 

Surgery went very smooth and no complications  

i did struggle with pain the first three days   I am overweight and I think that made it harder for movement etc... You sure don’t have that problem  However when I asked pain relief was always quick to come  There WILL be pain but it is easily managed and after 48 hours the worst is over

I spent six days  in hospital due to a slight chest infection but I am so glad I did because I only have my sons at home and so when I did get home I was up and walking everything was back on track

i spent days worrying about the catheter and drain but both were removed with no pain at all

Also spent days worrying about if I had to have a BM would I make it to the toilet in time and in great pain

in the end it was five days and everything was fine

 

by far the worst thing is the sheer exhaustion  The first week you will be fit for nothing and then it gets slowly better

 

My surgeon told me six weeks recovery so I hope to be back at work part time around the five week mark

just don’t lift anything and drink as much as you can.   walk as much as you can and rest as much as you can

Honestly afterwards you will wonder why you got so worked up

I will be praying and thinking of you

 

Annie

AnnissaP's picture
AnnissaP
Posts: 632
Joined: Sep 2017

Once again, thanks to all for sharing!!! You are all very brave!!

donna_lee's picture
donna_lee
Posts: 963
Joined: Feb 2009

For surgery, they need to see the coloration on the nail bed to ensure full circulation to the feet and hands.

Save the mani-pedi for a spa day when you can walk in on you own power.

donna_lee

Angie1496's picture
Angie1496
Posts: 154
Joined: Sep 2017

They told me just my fingers needed to be bare.  I was surprised!  I had on the air socks for blood clots for 24 hours though.

Bay Area Guy's picture
Bay Area Guy
Posts: 449
Joined: Jun 2016

I had a robotic partial in June, 2016.  The procedure took about three hours, including the time for the fire alarm that I'm told went off.  The procedure started around 3PM and I was in a regular room at about 8PM, with 2 hours in recovery.  The first sound I recall was my niece (who stayed with my wife) screaming in my ear and me telling her to shut up.  LOL.  The second thing I remember was the nurse getting me to stand up and me meekly complying.  (Yes, they do get you up almost immediately.)

I recall having four tiny incisions, plus a fifth for the drain.  I had little to no pain and actually, other than being thirsty all night (and I was able to drink water immediately), I slept very well.  I ate the next morning and things started to happen very rapidly after that.

The surgical team (minus the surgeon) came to tell me everything went very well and that they got it all.  They told me that I could go home as soon as I could handle the pain (which I told them I had none of) and pee.  And they told me the surgeon would be in to visit me around lunch time.  I asked if I could walk and they said yes.

Not long after that, the nurse came in to remove the catheter.  It's funny, I've had a couple of other surgeries in my life (two big abdominal surgeries) and the only thing I was dreading for this one was the catheter.  I am convinced that the urinary catheter for a male wa developed by the Marquis deSade.  Anyway, that came out and I proposed to the nurse that took it out I was so happy.

After that came walking and walking and walking.  About 45 minutes into the walk, the floodgates opened and I peed.  I durifully reported that to my fiance nurse and we were both very happy about that.  So I walked some more.

I had a little lunch and at that time the surgeon came in and said everything looked very, very good.  His guess was chromophobe RCC (a guess that was verified about three days later) and he explained what kind of cancer that was and that I was quite fortunate because it rarely returns, rarely spreads and was one that grew vey slowly.  He also described folow-up (scans and chest x-rays every six months for a year).  He said I was free to go once the nurse practitioner took out the drain, which she did about ten minutes later.  That feeling was unusual, but there, again, wa no pain at all.  She explained what was needed in terms of dressing the wound and off she went.

My fiance nurse took out the IV line, even though nothing had gone into it since the end of the operation.  And that was it.  From the time I got to the hospital at 12 noon and June 22nd, it was a grand total of 25-1/2 hours in the hospital.  I got out on June 23rd at 1:30PM.

Results were available, as I said, in about three days as I recall.  My first follow-up with the surgeon was at about the four week mark and that took about 10 minutes.  He was very pleased.  Subsequent scans have shown nothing in there and the follow-up appointments have been with a nurs practitioner.

And, no, I've not seen my fiance nurse since then.  LOL.  I remain very happily married to my wife of, now, 38 years.

AnnissaP's picture
AnnissaP
Posts: 632
Joined: Sep 2017

Lol! Thanks for all the details. I see everyone has a diff experience as we all have diff bodies! I am happy everything weny so well for you!!! I wish you all the best!!!!!!

Jparra48
Posts: 28
Joined: Sep 2017

I just had my two week follow up on my laparoscopic partial nep. My surgery was 3 hours long. During that time the doctor had told my husband my tumor was intertwined into my renal artery. Originally doctor asked my husband if he wanted to to just take the whole kidney however my husband and I discussed it and I wanted doctor to do whatever he could to save The kidney  Luckily doctor was able to save it. 

The pain was intense I’m not going to lie. But then again morphine doesn’t really help my pain. I had my surgery at 2 in the afternoon and at 0500 the next day I was up walking. When you first get up to walk be prepared for your belly to be extremely sore and stabilize yourself before you actually start walking. I literally took a few steps outside my hospital room and then had to go lay back down. Keep up on the meds. I made the mistake of sleeping all day and didn’t take my meds and I ended up waking up in the middle of the night shaking  in severe pain. It does hurt when they take the drainage tube out. I suggest take your pain meds and then wait about 20 min before you let them take it out. Another thing I wasn’t prepared for. The clothes I brought to go home in didn’t fit because I was so swollen from all the fluids they gave me so bring extra big clothes. And a small pillow to put over your belly for the ride home. I slept on my couch because it was the most comfortable at the time. My bed is too tall for me to get up on at the time. I have 7 incisions and about 3 of them are pretty big. After 5 Days I stopped taking my heavy duty meds (I couldn’t handle the side effects) and I controlled pain with Tyleno. I also had ice packs I put on my belly that felt really good. Best of luck to you. I am scheduled for another lap part nep at the end of November because I had cancer in both my kidney. 

AnnissaP's picture
AnnissaP
Posts: 632
Joined: Sep 2017

Thank u for such honesty. Your story sounds exactly how I imagined it all being. Seriously......exactly!!!! I am so sorry you have to go through it again, but let's hope this is the last you hear of this <3

rhominator's picture
rhominator
Posts: 233
Joined: Nov 2015

Almost 4 years ago I had full, hand-assisted laparascopic nephrectomy. It took 5 1/2 hours (not including recovery)--not that it mattered to me, but my wife was quite worried during the lengthy procedure, especially when the nurses walked out during a shift change. Thankfully, we had friends from our church to wait with her.

I was in hospital for three days. I ended up with the hiccups shortly after the surgery which were brutally painful. But my wife was there, on top of it, she never let up; she really worked the system to ensure I got the right care and meds in a timely fashion. Otherwise I would have just laid there in agony (I don't complain much).

The moral of the story is to ensure your loved ones are cared for during your surgery, and to make sure you have a health care advocate to fight for you while you're recovering.

AnnissaP's picture
AnnissaP
Posts: 632
Joined: Sep 2017

Great advice. Thank u!!

Jparra48
Posts: 28
Joined: Sep 2017

Annissa. I got my pathology report the second day I was at the hospital. And also ask if you need chemo. I didn’t know this but my doctor told me on occasion some patients need to do a slight bout of chemo. In my case if I needed it I would take the chemo pill Per doctors recommendation. Before I have my next surgery I’m going to buy more ice packs for my belly because it felt good. And also keep up on the coLace they give you. It helps....scary when you first have to poo. Don’t strain it really hurts. Wish you well! I’ll be thinking of you. 

AnnissaP's picture
AnnissaP
Posts: 632
Joined: Sep 2017

Once again, great advice! Thank u sooooo much! I wish you well too.

ImNotDeadYet's picture
ImNotDeadYet
Posts: 244
Joined: Apr 2017

I was diagnosed in ER and admitted on a Thursday afternoon. There was no time to prepare at all; it all went down pretty quickly. I had the surgery the next day, though I had to wait (while fasting) all day for the surgery which eventually happened in the late afternoon. Not sure how long I was under - I didn't even ask, come to think of it. When I was awake, they got me up, and later that night - or early Saturday morning - they removed the catheter. That was pretty tough, as Bay Area Guy mentioned. But I chalk that up to the gender thing. No drains, thankfully. I started walking as soon as I could after the catheter was removed. I walked as much as i could, sometimes in the middle of the night - just did laps around the hallways of the hospital. I was off the morphine and on oral pain meds by Saturday night, and was eating more or less normally by Sunday morning. So, they sent me home on that Sunday. 

I was out of work for six weeks for recovery. The biggest problem was the gas. That took a while to go away - Gax-X is your friend. And I was very happy to take the pain meds (Percocet) while I needed them. Eventually, I decided I was good and didn't need them any more. But I probably took them for most of the six weeks - albeit less and less as the weeks wore on. I still have a fairly full bottle of them that I never touch, so I know I didn't get hooked. But for me, the pain pills also helped me relax and sleep. It did take a while to get full night's sleep. When I finally did go back to work after six weeks, I assumed I had rested a lot so I'd be good to go. Not so much! First day, I had to leave work around lunchtime, because I was so fatigued. In fact, I worked from home the next day. By the second week, I was back to full days and the whole commuting thing. (I was living in NJ at the time and commuting 90 min each way into NYC.)

Now, I almost forget I had the surgery. But getting to that point took time. I encourage you to be patient with yourself and don't push yourself too hard - especially when it comes to bending and picking things up. (My little dog was a challenge at first.) You'll get there with time, as long as you work at it at a pace that works for you.

Best of luck with everything!

Gary

AnnissaP's picture
AnnissaP
Posts: 632
Joined: Sep 2017

I really appreciate you taking the time to write. You took your time to heal and that is the hardest part for me.... It is very diffcult to accept my body needs to rest and that I cannot just rush back into things!

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

Anissa, I suspect your body will be more than willing to remind you that you need to rest and cannot just rush back into things. At least mine was Laughing !

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