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Internal healing after partial nephrectomy?

joejoo's picture
joejoo
Posts: 3
Joined: Nov 2017

Hi all,

I recently had a laparoscopic partial nephrectomy. Somewhere around +50% of the right kidney was removed together with a tumor of 3,5x3cm. The surgery was on nov 14, almost 3 weeks ago now.

I have been looking around the internet for information about recovery and exercise. What I have found, amongst other general post op advise, is the recommendation to wait 6 weeks before gradually returning to normal activities.

What I would like to know is how long it takes (in general) for the internal wounds/kidney to heal properly?

I know we are all individuals and heal differently, I just want something to relate to and make sure I dont risk internal bleeding or do something that would prolong recovery more than necessary...

Thank you!

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

Hi. I had my whole kidney removed on Nov.7th. My surgeon just told me last Tuesday (3 wks post surgery) no exercising for another 3 weeks. I am allowed to walk, but that is it. He told me I have not healed completely yet inside. I can tell you that for me listening will be best lol. I was at the mall yesterday and I ended up in pain just from all the walking. You are right, everyone is different. I have always pushed myself and not listened. Exercised and worked out right away. Not this time. We have had major surgery!!! Good luck!!!

Mighty Frog's picture
Mighty Frog
Posts: 152
Joined: Jul 2017

Hi! I had mine 4+ months ago. (Surgical on 20/7/2017). Similar operation like you. It took me almost 12 to 16 weeks to fully recover and back to normal. The first 12 weeks you really need to rest well and minimum activities. 

I admitted back to hospital after 2 weeks due to internal bleeding (Urined alot of blood) As this operations LPN u don't feel much of feel pain. Hence, i think i was over do it... climbing staircase too often (I thought i going to die) . Well lucky, they managed to stop the bleeding. After discharge, this time i rest at home 100% and very minimum movement. (hahaha... after that incident). 

I personally think we need about 12 weeks - 16 weeks of time to let the kdiney and surgical incision to heal. I did a full ultrasound scanning on the 3 months, just to be sure. Well everything check out OK...

Just take it easy, don't push yourself too hard, just listen to your body.... u will know when you are ready.... no worry things will gradual get better each day.  

All the best to you and speedy recovery......

 

stub1969's picture
stub1969
Posts: 914
Joined: Jul 2016

Prior to my diagnosis in July 2016 I was training for a half marathon.  Three weeks later I had surgery for the removal of a 5 cm tumor on my right kidney.  I recovered really well and tried to push my walks to a slow jog.  Before I knew it, I was starting to jog a little quicker and longer.  At three to four weeks out I was pushing it more than I should have.  The result was stomach pains for about a week.  Several members here told me to slow my recovery down and allow my body to heal inside and out.  After that scare, I stopped jogging and went back to walking.  Stomach pains disappeared.  I took it easy for a couple months then slowly started to return to jogging.  I ran several races this past summer and completed another half marathon.  I have my sites set on my first full marathon next summer.

Moral of this story is to take it easy.  Listen to your body...it will let you know when its ready for more exercise.  Good luck!

Stub

joejoo's picture
joejoo
Posts: 3
Joined: Nov 2017

Thank you for your comments. I did try "jogging", it was more of a jog/walk hybrid kind of thing. Just 40-50m to get a feeling of it ;-) I felt no particular pain or discomfort. But, I am not going to rush it, I will keep walking with a progressive and slow increase of pace/intensity. As you all recommend ;-)

AnissaP - Yepp, I know what you are saying ;-) We have to listen to the doctors.

Mighty Frog - I am glad you checked out ok after the scan. And yes you are right about LPN, I have no pain or feel any discomfort other than some sorenes around the incisions. I am surprised that I feel so good after the surgery. It would be very easy to overdo it like you mentioned. Thanks for sharing, your experience was kind of what I was searching for...

stub1969 - I hear you ;-) I have felt the pain in my side when I walked to fast the second week after, but it was very short and went away pretty fast when I slowed down. As you said, the body will tell...

By the way, I am swedish, so please excuse me if my english is'nt perfect ;-) Thanks again for sharing!

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

Your English is great and Sweden is beautiful!! Was there a loooong time ago (1998 lol).

KrisG's picture
KrisG
Posts: 8
Joined: Jul 2017

I'm just 2 weeks post op from a Left Partial Nephrectomy for a 2.5cm RCC, Grade 1. Dr has me off work for 6 weeks with a 10# weight lifting restriction during that time too. Saw my Surgeon yesterday for post op check. Doing quite great. Good days out weigh the bad now. I think where some people start doing things before they should (exercising, etc) is that when you see your body healing on the outside...ie the laproscopic incisions healing, etc and you are physically feeling better...I can see it being quite easy to over do it too soon. I normally am phyically limited in my movements, as I need to have both knees replaced. So there's no chance of me hitting the gym too soon or ever. My plan was to get at least one knee replaced in 2017...until the Kidney mass was found. Hopefully I can get one or both done in 2018. (Depending on what shakes out with my Obamacare)

Everyone recovers at a different speed, so listen to YOUR BODY. Listen to your Doctor. Don't push it.

mkellycole
Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2017

I was diagnosed with Renel Cell Carcinoma on Oct 13th 2017. I had a 2 CM tumor on my right kidney. Surgery was Nov 16th. A robotic partial neph. was planned but aborted after two hours. A full open was conducted. I stayed in the hospital for 6 days trying to get the bowel and stomach working. I came home the day before Thanksgiving. Needless to say, I didn't have much of an appetite for turkey. It took a few more days to get up to eating. I have not taken any pain medication other than some tylenal. I figured it was better to feel the real pain so I don't push myself to early. I have a nice scar that is healing nicely. I have internal pain in my lower abdomen to the right of my belly button. After reading many of the posts, I guess it is normal. I am working from home but unable to take more than 10-15 minutes in the car. Tha bouncing is painful. How long can I expect this to continue?

I got the pathilogy report last week. Stage 1, C1A type cancer is low grade I'm told. Good news considering the roller coaster this diagnosis put on my family. Incidental find as well. I am happy with the prognosis. I had a 5% partial removal of the kidney and so far, funtionality is normal. I expect to have clear slate going forward and will consider this a done deal unless it rears it's ugly head down the road. Life is too short to worry about it. I am 57, had an unexpected heart attack two years ago. It's been a weird couple of years but I am optomistic. I will get back to the gym in a few more weeks and then back on my dirt bike and side by side for the desert stuff. You can't let this kind of stuff change you too much. I say Fight On!

 

Kelly

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

Hi Kelly!!! I had my whole kidney removed in Nov. 7th and getting in and out of the car still hurts at times. I was told only walking for another 1.5wks as it takes 6 wks to heal inside. I can tell you this is true bc I snuck and did a bit of strengthening/balancing exercises on Wed and def paid for it yesterday!!! One slowwww day at a time for me lol

 

Bay Area Guy's picture
Bay Area Guy
Posts: 514
Joined: Jun 2016

I had a robotic partial in June, 2016 for a 1.8cm lesion on might right kidney.  I was encouraged to walkas much as possible, to restrict most activities until I felt I could handle them and to not lift anything about five pounds for at least four weeks.  I was told treadmill or other cardio, with limits, was fine if I felt up to to it.  Having gone through much more intensive abdominal surgeries in the past and noticing the time to fully recover from them, I can report that the robotic partial was a much quicker recovery.  But I waited about six weeks before going back to the gym and when I did go back to weight training, I started at very low weights and made sure I wasn't going to pop before moving back up to the weights I had been lifting before the operation.

foroughsh's picture
foroughsh
Posts: 779
Joined: Oct 2014

I had open radical surgery. It took me three months to come back to gym. I needed to start from almost beginning to make sure I didn't hurt my body. I had back and shoulder pain right after surgery up until a year after. Other than that things were normal.

Bay Area Guy's picture
Bay Area Guy
Posts: 514
Joined: Jun 2016

Just an FYI.  I've unfortunately had a few surgeries in my time (just the one cancer surgery, thanfully), and I've had the shoulder pain each time.  I'm told that it somehow has to do with the gas that is pumped into your abdomen to expand it while the surgeon works inside.  How it percolates up to the shoulder?  I have no idea how some of it percolates up to the shoulder, but that's what three different surgeons and a couple of nurses have told me.

foroughsh's picture
foroughsh
Posts: 779
Joined: Oct 2014

I've heard it from some otger members, so it's probably the case. But in my case i had that pain for over a year , it wasn't sharp but it was there almost always

 

kiwi68's picture
kiwi68
Posts: 110
Joined: Oct 2017

I was told the co2 gas they pump in kills off small vessels in the chest, they necrotise.  The Phrenic nerve in the chest gets damaged and the pain is referred to the shoulder.  My surgeon said most people lose the shoulder tip pain in 48 hours. The lung /breathing pain is caused by the gas as well. 

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

The whole process of internal healing is a much longer process than one would think.  Having worked in Wound Care, the docs would always say after a major procedure, as this is, the body "remodels" itself for a good year before it is completely healed.  Obviously, most of us don't have to wait anywhere near that long before getting back to our "normal" activities.  But don't be surprised if you feel twinges, etc for sometime to come.

Best wishes,

Donna~

jazzgirl's picture
jazzgirl
Posts: 203
Joined: Nov 2017

Mine was open rather than laparoscopic partial.  My activitiy was walking - similar to stub, I had been training for nearly a year for a really long walk, so I was in pretty good shape heading into surgery.  Looking back at my pedometer record, the first week out of hospital I averaged 1-2 very slow miles a day, then tried to average 3 a day after that.  Some days early on I had a lot of pain when I walked too far.  I went back to swimming at about 8 weeks when my scar was pretty well healed.

I really observed the low weight-lifting limit, and found I got pretty good at squats to pick things up off the floor - couldn't bend without pain for a long time.  I was lucky to have a friend who had been through abdominal surgeries and explained what was going on interiorly with nerve endings, etc.  I named mine "the little dragon" who periodically would bump those sharp little horns around inside.

I also had shoulder blade pain while in the hospital and am glad to find some explanations here - I thought maybe it was because they had me in a weird bent trussed-up position for so long during surgery.

I'm a year and a third post surgery and feeling pretty good with occasional "tight" feeling at the scar.  May be the cold weather...  I'm also trying a little jogging, just because it helps with walking fatigue to vary the pace.  But the up/down motion of jogging, zumba, jumping jacks, etc is still not that comfortable to me.  Not painful, I just don't like to do it yet.

The long walk got sidelined but is on my goal list!  Hang in there.

joejoo's picture
joejoo
Posts: 3
Joined: Nov 2017

all for your input. Good advise. Could not stay away from the golf course though, hit some balls the day before yesterday and it felt ok ;-)

I can confirm the shoulder pain, in my opinion, that was the most uncomfortable part of my first days after the surgery. When taking deep breaths... Apart from that I must say my experience is amazingly pain free... I think I was lucky it was a laparoscopic and not an open surgery... Anyway, the shoulder pain from the gas disappeared in less than 2 weeks...

Another thing, a little off topic... What about flying?

I have to travel, and I read that one is not supposed to fly within the next 3 weeks after surgery due to the risk of blood clots. I am soon 4 weeks after, do anyone of you have other information or advise on this?

Thank you ;-)

John

jazzgirl's picture
jazzgirl
Posts: 203
Joined: Nov 2017

I can only say I followed my surgeon's advice and waited the full six weeks before flying (my surgery was in another city from where I live - was flying home).  Then a week and a half after that, I flew a long, long flight to Ireland.  

Both times were pretty uncomfortable and tiring, but don't seem to have hurt me any.  Get up as much as you can during the flight and walk the aisle.  I also did lots of "footwork" movement while in the seat.  Just search "exercises while in plane seat" or something similar and you'll find lots of suggestions.

foroughsh's picture
foroughsh
Posts: 779
Joined: Oct 2014

I had a three hour fly and back on the fourth week after surgery and had no problem at all. I asked my surgeon's opinion and he was ok with it.

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