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Newbie-Postop 6 days partial nephrectomy w/DaVinci Robotic System

firecharger's picture
firecharger
Posts: 7
Joined: Jun 2018

Thanks to everyone who take their time to read and respond to posts here. I was diagnosed 6 weeks ago with RCC and the tumor located on uper pole right kidney was approx. 5.7 X 3.7. I was told they think they discovered it early because a year ago I had an MRI from a previous back surgery and there were just clear cysts evident but no solid tumor as they recently discovererd. 6 days ago I had the tumor removed robotically and I can say without hesitation, I was unprerpared for the pain, huge gas filled belly, but what's most important is the tumor was removed successfully and we're still waiting for pathology results. I would like to share my first few days at home after my discharge. Day 1 was as expected, a painful ride home but without incidence.Day 2 a little different, the area around the drain tube hole began to show dark bruising and in general alot more puffier. I called the oncall surgeon because I began to panick during the night. The bruising doubled in size but there was no pain at all just some low pressure behind the wound left from the drain tube. The oncall surgeon asked for a picture and i emailed it to him and he said not to worry, mark off the diameter and keep track of how much bigger the bruise gets.  That being said I'm on my 6th day post op and the bruising is still there even larger and my lower stomach is as bloated as it was from day 1 or even bigger. I'm being told not to worry but all I keep thinking is that all the blood filled discharge that was coming out when the tube was in is still trying to make its way out after the tube's been pulled. Has anyone else had this happen to them? I realize its early and it's going to take a while for the body to expel and absorb the gas they used to fill my belly but I'm making Santa look like a gymastics champ.One other thing I'll add is the first couple of days my urine was blood filled but without any flow hesitation but now it just spotty as far as the blood and the flow is more constricted. Sorry for the log post but this huge stomach thing and the bruising is upsetting...I'm sitting alot between walks and sleep very little. I don't remember being told either way what was good or not to do. God bless all of you,as we share these jouneys....

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 3135
Joined: Jan 2010

fire,

 

 

 

---about the initiation. Not fun. Barring the unexpeced  the next 5 ays should be a lot easier with everyday getting a little better with maybe a bad day in between.

 

icemantoo

firecharger's picture
firecharger
Posts: 7
Joined: Jun 2018

Thank You Icemantoo,

I think I'm still in a state of shock. Soo many unanswered questions and a million I want to ask. I'm trying to keep the best foot foward as a proud Dad of 2 children, a 4 year old girl, and an 8 year old boy. I'm 57yrs old, found Love when I believed it had passed me by. I'm blessed with a beautiful family and together, one day at a time, we'll get better. I'm grateful for the opportunity to share and learn from others like myself. 

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 3135
Joined: Jan 2010

fire,

 

 

I had just turned 59 when I was nephed. That was almost 16 years ago.

 

 

icemantoo

stub1969's picture
stub1969
Posts: 732
Joined: Jul 2016

If you click on my name "stub1969" you can read about my journey.  I'm assuming the tumor size that you mention was from your prescans.  Once you get your pathology report you'll find out the actual size of your tumor.  You'll also find out a lot of information about it like the type of RCC (or if it wasn't), grade of tumor, and the make-up of the cells.  Where are you being treated?  They may have an on-line portal that will have your information posted.   

As far as the bruising at the drain tube site.  I had some brusing and my groin also hurt a little on that side.  My doc said this was common because my body hadn't absorbed all the internal fluid.  The remaining fluid had to settle, which caused the bruising.  I didn't have the swollen stomach, but I was constipated and had shoulder pain from the gas they use in surgery.  

Try to keep walking--and resting.  Your body will heal.  It just takes time.

Keep us posted.

Stub

firecharger's picture
firecharger
Posts: 7
Joined: Jun 2018

Thank you stub1969

My surgery was performed at Dana Farber/ Brighams & Womans , Boston, Ma. The Tumor size were from MRI scans and we're waiting for the pathology to come by this Wednesday. When I went for an MRI in August 2017 to follow up on a previous back surgery the radiologist reading the scan noticed the cysts on both kidneys and it they decided to do a follow up scan detailing both kidnays. My left has two measuring  2.5 x 2.0 x 1.9 cm and 1.6 x 1.6 x 1.5cm the radiologist describ1ed them as simple within upper pole.We will continue to follow these with future scans for any changes. The right kidney had three cysts measuring 4.0 X 3.8 X 3.5, 3.5 X 3.4 X 3.2, and the bad one 5.7 X 4.0 X 2.5cm. The bruising I can deal with for now but the major swelling and my lower abdomen has become so over extended and bulging over. They said the remaining gas that they used to inflate my body to perform the Nephrectomy robotically will escape but some will absorb into the fat lining my lower abdomen. Aparently I'm blessed with a fatty abdomen because that area's definetly huge. Combine that with the fluid remaining from the drainage tube site and I think this is why I'm having this bulging effect. Hopefully there's not a large amount of fluid still being produced with nowhere to go. I think I'll be calling the Dr.'s office in the morning to see what they think. Belated Happy Fathers Day to all the Dads...Good Night for now....

Positive_Mental_Attitude's picture
Positive_Mental...
Posts: 447
Joined: Jul 2014

Hi firecharger, sorry you have to be here, but welcome to the club. I had my open partial nephrectom almost 4 years ago (July 2014).  The post surgery recovery does suck, and some of us have an easier time than others for a variety of reasons.  Even though my surgery was open, my recovery was fairly smooth, but those first 2-3 days were unbelievably painful and uncomfortable. The worst part was trying to make the first bowel movement post surgery.  The second worst part was sneezing and laughing, and I love to laugh a lot.  I think some surgeons over sell the less pain/easier recovery angle of the robotic surgery.  I would not hesitate to keep hitting up your doctors about the bruising/swelling.

Are you a firefigher?  We have a couple here (I have been a proud volunteer for 34 years), and I have several friends who had kidney cancer who all came out of the initial diagnosis and surgery with flying colors.

Have you been able to walk around a bit yet?  That definitely sped up my recovery. 

firecharger's picture
firecharger
Posts: 7
Joined: Jun 2018

Good Morning 

I agree, the first three days were  brutal. I think the Dr.'s try to sell the point of less pain/easier recovery because the DaVinci Robot is less intrusive but they  fail to see the trade off value. I think the robot gives them better access and angles not possible by hand but the Robot also kicks the crap out youwhile doing so. My wounds are healing nicely but the pain I went through when compared to the back sugery I had2 years ago was much worse. I'm 7 days post-op and practically pain free. I'm walking as much as I want but like you mentioned if I sneeze, cough, or laugh there very sharp pain that makes my eyes water. That first bowel movement was extremely difficult. They ended up using a suppository which I never had the pleasure of using before and it worked thats for sure but was painful never the ldess. 

Not a fire fighter, it was a name my son likes to use so I borrowed from him..lol

Positive_Mental_Attitude's picture
Positive_Mental...
Posts: 447
Joined: Jul 2014

Sounds like you are going better--great!  That first BM was a doozy.

My surgeon at MSKCC told me he could do things a robot could not do.  This particular surgeon has been doing it quite a while, and I was confident that he would do what he said he could do for me.  I forget the particulars, but my tumor was in a difficult location and may have been wrapped/stuck to a vein.  He described it to me when I was in recovery, but I was too woozy to remember all of the details. Keep up with the walking.  I had the benefit of being 1.5 miles from the beach--so it was a destination walk for me for 2-3 weeks--one walk in the morning, and one in the afternoon/evening.  It was cathartic and relaxing for me. 

Bay Area Guy's picture
Bay Area Guy
Posts: 354
Joined: Jun 2016

For what it's orth, my robotic surgery (two years ago this week) resulted in almost no pain.  Of course, it could be that I was comparing it to two major abdmonal surgeries I hav had to endure.  Now THOSE things kick the stuffing out of you.  I recall sneezing a couple of days after one of thos abdominal surgies, while the sutures were still in.  THAT is a real killer.  I learned then that a pillow is your best friend in the early days of recovery.

Best wishes on having a swift recovery.

Gtngbtr58 @aol.com's picture
Gtngbtr58 @aol.com
Posts: 199
Joined: Oct 2017

We realized what surgery does to our bodies.  Between the anesthesia, actual procedure and pain meds our bodies go thru a major shock.  It takes time-a  few months down the line everything wakes up and falls into place.  Keep drinking-walking-resting and use colace and miralax for those movement.  Best of luck-June

firecharger's picture
firecharger
Posts: 7
Joined: Jun 2018

Good Morning all,

I'm still waiting for the pathology results from my partial Nephrectomy. It's two weeks post op now and I'm going in tommorrow for my first follow up since the surgery. The Surgeon told me when I was released from the hospital  that the results usually come back within a week and a half. I'm obviously anxious and hoping there's some news tommorrow during the visit. I just feel like I'm in limbo at the moment. 

I do have another question this morning. When the Dr. ordered an MRI targeting my kidneys the report located the tumor in my right kidney that required the partial Nephrectomy but there were two cysts on my left kidney as well described as simple measuring 2.5 X2.0 X1.9 & 1.6 X1.6 X1.5. As I've been reading posts here where some have had clear cysts removed as well. The Dr. did mention that because mine were clear fluid filled that they were not a concern and we would watch them to see if they grow or change in any way. I will bring it up again tommorrow morning at my follow up hoping for some clarification. I'm sure the Dr.'s mentioned the reasons and has given an explanation already but over the last three weeks with soo much to process my memory isnt working so well either.

My recovery has been going well. I'm relatively pain free except for the random cough or sneeze. All of the wounds are healing well except for one of the smaller ones used in the robotic surgery. It still bleeding very lightly , almost like a watery blood combo. All of the others have healed up nicely and are dry but this one doesn't want to close completely. I'll have it looked at tommorrow as well at my follow up.

Wishing everyone well and remain positive....

Brock1969
Posts: 80
Joined: Jan 2018

I was also at Brigham for my Feb 26th surgery. Wonder if we had the same doc?! Sounds like your recovery is going right as planned. I would just warn against doing anything strenuous too soon, as it's human nature at around week 3 to feel like superman and try things you should not. Take it slowly and hopefully you can stay out of work for as long as you are comfortable. It's a great hospital for kidney care so you are in the right hands. I am from RI but made sure I got up to Boston. Ask all sorts of questions of this group and you will get pratical answers. I am no good with the technnical stuff but great with the practical advice! Good luck 

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