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Desk job. Time off after a laparoscopic nephrectomy?

McDisney
Posts: 2
Joined: May 2021

Hi! I'm new here, and newly diagnosed. I have a 5 cm tumor on my left kidney (expected to be RCC), on the side toward my stomach. It is contained within the kidney. They're planning a full nephrectomy, though I'll have more details after I talk to the surgeon on Monday. I'm 49 and overweight with high bp, but no other history of health problems.

The urologist who diagnosed me went really fast and made this all sound super easy. He said I'd only need a week off work and then I'd be fine. He even said I'd be feeling well enough for my son's graduation trip to Hawaii three weeks after surgery, as long as I didn't get my incision wet. But when I look around online, the recovery times seem to be a bit longer. I'll reschedule Hawaii (I find it hard to believe I'll be up for hiking and extended driving three weeks post-op), but I have two questions/scenarios about time off from work:

1: I have a desk job and currently work from home. Would a week off be OK for that?

2: I may be getting an AMAZING job offer next week. It would be in a new city and require going into the office. Still a desk job. How much time should I expect to be out for a desk job in an office? It's in a major metro area, so I would also be taking public transportation.

I realize you can't offer any guarantees. I'm just trying to get an understanding of recovery times so that I can decide whether or not to accept this amazing new opportunity, should the offer come. 😀

And if I seem shallow for worrying more about the job than the tumor, that's just because I have to make decisions about the job this week. I'll have 4-6 more weeks to freak out about the tumor, LOL!

eug91's picture
eug91
Posts: 317
Joined: Jan 2019

Sorry you had to join us, but this is a great forum here. We know what you're going through, so we know you're going to do great. We're here for you if you have questions or just need to vent. 

As for your questions, it's hard to say since everyone is different. But in my experience, I had a laporoscopic radical nephrectomy, so I was only in the hospital for one night. At one week after, I felt good enough to sit and work at my desk at home for a couple hours at a time - and to ride as a passenger on long car rides. At two weeks after, I was back to working at my desk like usual and driving as usual - except maybe for getting tired a little more quickly than usual. 

So in my case, I was two weeks post surgery? But again, everyone is different. Like when it came to exercise post-surgery, it took me weeks longer before I was comfortable exercising again. It just has to be one of those "listen to your body"-type deals. 

Fingers crossed for you - both with your upcoming nephrectomy, and the job offer! You've got this!

Bay Area Guy's picture
Bay Area Guy
Posts: 503
Joined: Jun 2016

Hi McDisney.  My lesion was much smaller, 1.7cm at the time it was removed robotically.  Like eug, I was in the hospital overnight.  Since I was retired, I took my recovery a little slower.  However, after a week, I was walking a couple of miles a day and I gradually increased that.  In terms of the job, I think two weeks is probably better, so long as you don't do any heavy lifting.  As for the trip, I think you were wise to reschedule it.  lifting and toting suitcases would put a strain on the incision, and you don't want that.

tgpath1's picture
tgpath1
Posts: 27
Joined: Apr 2021

I am 50 with no unlderlying issues except that I could use to lose some weight.  I had my radically nephrectomy on 3/11/21.  My doctor told me to take 6 weeks off...I planned for four with the intent of working remotely the 3rd and 4th week...my doctor advised that I could do that but that I should not plan on more than part time because I would be very fatigued.  I was not able to work the 3rd and 4th week at all...the lowest incision hurt to sit upright for very long.  However, I contracted COVID in week two of my recovery so that may have delayed my recovery.  In the end, I wished I had taken six weeks because I was fatigued once I got back into the office and worked full days (after week 5, I was fine and no longer getting fatigued).  At three weeks post op, I met with the doctor who told me I was a week ahead of the recovery time because I was able to do some dishes and laundry.  If you are not very physically fit (as I am not), I think two weeks may not be enough for full time work.  I think you should plan on longer and hope it's easier.  The more you move, the faster you will recover....but moving is not easy at first...and the fatigue is real.  I would literally have to rest after taking a shower because it took too much out of me.  Good luck!!

Deanie0916
Posts: 403
Joined: Nov 2016

Welcome to this group. I took a week off work and then light duty no heavy lifting etc. at my desk job. I had an open nephrectomy. I had a lot of fatigue so with hindsight wondering if I should have taken 2 weeks. My 2 cents. Let us know how things go for you, we're here to help. 

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