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Fatigue after surgery. How long does it last?

Babygirl05's picture
Posts: 42
Joined: Oct 2017

I had an open partial last september.  I thought 7 months was plenty of time to heal, but the fatigue has not gone away.  Some days are worse than others, but I literally feel like my body is just so tired sometimes.  I get plenty of sleep, had a comfortable bed...etc..  My rcc was stage 1 so I didn't figure I would have many issues after surgery.  I keep getting uti's and think that may be part of the problem. 

Anyone else have fatigue all the time? 

Bryn1108's picture
Posts: 94
Joined: Jul 2017

I did not get strength back for 17 months, and I walk almost every day and eat so much better. But, I had two surgeries within 5 months, so you will get stronger so much faster. You will feel great again.  

icemantoo's picture
Posts: 3328
Joined: Jan 2010



-from your bio that you went thru some extra hoops before your open partial. Yes, you had major surgery. It may take some more time, but do get checked out with the doctos too.



Tapman63's picture
Posts: 137
Joined: Dec 2017

...I'm only seven weeks out, and every day about 2:00 or 3:00 I feel completely drained.  Thank God work is cool and understands.  I've been doing half days and as soon as I get home, I have to take a nap.  Every day.  I start off fine and then it's like someone pulls a plug on me.  I was also stage 1...although I did have some complications (during a radical neph on my left kidney)  in surgery.  I'm just trying to live life like normal and listen to my body when it says to chill.  I hope you get your energy back soon!



todd121's picture
Posts: 1449
Joined: Dec 2012

I had a radical nephrectomy, though. I had fatigue and issues for over a year. It turned out I had a tumor in my adrenal gland, so who knows if that causes wacky body behavior or not. I believe it was causing a blood pressure problem. I never had high blood pressure until I had my nephrectomy. 2 years later they found the adrenal gland and took it out, then my blood pressure went back to what it had been.

I've had ongoing issues since my nephrectomy with swelling in my hands when I walk a lot and get warm.

I'm also not sure what is because of the nephrectomy and what is just being 56.

Another thing to consider, having cancer is very stressful. Anxiety and stress are very hard on your body.

For sure after my nephrectomy by 3-4pm every day for several months I was exhausted.


BoondockSaint's picture
Posts: 242
Joined: Mar 2017

My wife took about 6 months to get back to what I’d consider 75%......another 6 months or so to get back to normal. She’s a year and one month out now and it pretty much back to normal with 2 NED scans under her belt.

Everyone is different......just take it easy when you need to And continue to heal. 

Best wishes


Steph85's picture
Posts: 166
Joined: Feb 2018

I'm 3 months from open partial nephrectomy and still fatigued. Needing to take naps and extra caffiene has helped a little. 7 months out though?? I hope it gets better for you! I guess time heals all wounds right? Eventually anyway. 


Take good care, 



APny's picture
Posts: 1998
Joined: Mar 2014

If you haven't yet, do get checked for anemia. Especially iron deficient type. I was so drained and tired a month or so after my partial and then we found I was iron deficient and anemic. Slo FE iron tablets definitely helped. But yes, even without anemia you'll be tired. It takes a lot out of you physically and mentally.

Babygirl05's picture
Posts: 42
Joined: Oct 2017

Thank you for your replies.

I think I do remember someone saying I was a little anemic at one point, but I don't remember when.  I'll have to check my charts and see.  I had a urinalysis done again monday, and I'm still waiting for those results.  I'm pretty sure I have another UTI, which can also cause fatigue.  If my urine comes back clear, I'll go back to my primary care doctor and get some blood work done. 

APny's picture
Posts: 1998
Joined: Mar 2014

They don't automatically do an iron count. When you go for your blood test ask for one. Usually its the iron that drops first, leading to anemia. So technically your hemoglobin counts can still be good but your iron could be down.

AnnissaP's picture
Posts: 632
Joined: Sep 2017

I have been hearing 1 year. I went to the oncologist at 4 mths and he said there was no way I should be tired still. I think it is an individual thing. My iron was retardedly low when I found out I had the cancer, but has now gone back up.

stub1969's picture
Posts: 888
Joined: Jul 2016

The pattern seems to be about a year, but so many things come into play for this.  Other health issues, health prior to surgery, age, BMI, complexity of the surgery, just to name a few.  My surgery was a little different (partial) but I was out running again 7-8 weeks after surgery.  Try to be patient, your body will let you know when it has healed.


CRashster's picture
Posts: 239
Joined: Mar 2017

Took me probably a year.

foxhd's picture
Posts: 3183
Joined: Oct 2011

7 years for me.

Babygirl05's picture
Posts: 42
Joined: Oct 2017

I think the recurrent UTI's are part of what is making me tired too.  I'm so tired of being sick and tired.  I just want to feel normal again.

Blessed4real's picture
Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2018

I have also been drained. I feel as thought I need to stop and rest more when I am out walking around.  The Dr told me to give myself time to heal I had a radical left nephectomy 10/26/17 . I thought I would be back to normal by now but I now see that I am not alone which makes me feel alittle better

Posts: 11
Joined: Jan 2014

I had recurring sinus infections for a long time.  I was told that kidney cancer does a number on the immune system and I ended up with all kinds of allergies I never had before.   

Hoss79's picture
Posts: 78
Joined: Nov 2017

I am 6 months out and pretty much back to normal. All the activities I was doing before my surgery and then some. I have a few days a month that seem to be hard to get moving as I feel like I’m drained, but other than that living life and my kids have me going at a 110%.

Posts: 11
Joined: Jan 2014

I had a partial open about 7 years ago and it seems like it took forever to regain my strength.  I was told that even a partial can inhibit hemoglobin levels and other factors that cause fatigue.  Good idea to check B and D vitamins along with electrolytes and possibly consult with a nutritionist.  This surgery will affect how you feel for some time.  Best of luck and be glad its over.

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