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Question about open nephrectomy

Posts: 2
Joined: May 2021

My kidney cancer was discovered in Dec. 2019 and in March 2020 I had an open radical nephrectomy, removing my right kidney.  The doctor started out by attempting a laparoscopic nephrectomy and the tumor was too close to the arteries and an artery was hit and they had to go ahead and do an open procedure.  I woke up to having a 14 inch incision, from my mid abdomen to my right side around the lower rib area.  I still have a very heavy sensation on my right side almost like I have a ball inside of me and a feeling of tighness in my right side.  I was wondering if anyone has also experienced this same feeling after an open nephrectomy.  I have had follow up CT scans and they say everything is normal.  I do not feel normal and can't get anyone to listen to me. Any help would be appreciated. 

icemantoo's picture
Posts: 3334
Joined: Jan 2010

I have had 3 operations and the  Neph was by far the toughest. It was scaduled and done Lapo on 2002  BD (before Divici), On 2019 Mr Divinci did my Prostae. Three months later, I had Gallbladder surgery on  New Years Eve. Wpke up the following year and found out theu changed to open from Lapo.. The only scar remaing is from the Neph almost 19 years ago. The soreness will go awau.








Mmoses25's picture
Posts: 114
Joined: May 2020

In april of 2020 I had a open partial and I have a 14 inch scar you will feel it for quite awhile as there is a lot of scar tissue it gets better with time hang in there it's going to feel wierd what was the size of your tumor

jazzgirl's picture
Posts: 200
Joined: Nov 2017

Hi firefightermom, I had an open partial; the scan is not as long as yours but the pains and sensations you describe are familiar. For almost a year it felt like someone with a very strong grip had grabbed the scar and skin and fat around it and held on constantly - like a vice grip on my side. Others assured me it was scar tissue and nerves trying to get back to normal after being cut during the surgery. How would you compare it from a year ago? It's good the scans come back normal. My pains and stiffness and tight feeling finally backed off after maybe a year and a half or two. I am five years out and every once in a while my scar twinges a bit and says, "I'm still here." Keep track, keep walking and stretching and exercising as much as possible, and keep hydrated. I hope it eases for you. Take care ~

Posts: 2
Joined: May 2021

Thank you all for your reply.  I have been told that it will just take time to heal.  I guess I am very impatient, especially after a year. Wishing you all good luck. Take care!

donna_lee's picture
Posts: 1004
Joined: Feb 2009

To those who have had a Nephrectomy.  Mine started knowing they were going to do a total, plus exploration, and remove 1/2 my liver.  Every layer of muscle, facia, omentum, and all the surrounding tissue have been invaded, touched, moved and put back, clamped, stapled and sewn back together.  Is it no wonder that you feel it.

Mine was 15 years ago; the scar tissue on the surface still itches when it gets warm and I perspire.

There are some things that the body cannot do, and that is "hurry up and heal."  

Patience, shower with a cooling finish helps, wear cotton/absorbent clothing against your torso, continue to exercise and keep hydrated/ maintain a lower blood pressure.

Best Wishes and Air Hugs,


Posts: 403
Joined: Nov 2016

I had a radical open nephrectomy about 5 years ago. I still have a pulling tight feeling along part of the scar. I've been told it's scar tissue. Not much pain with it just uncomfortable. Hope it gets better for you every day!

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