Radical nephrectomy is looming

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Next Tuesday (20/2/24)  is surgery day, radical nephrectomy of my right kidney and it’s 5cm passenger. The ridiculous overthinking and head going through things at 100mph has started. It’s very odd to feel totally fine but be going for surgery.

Until now it’s not really felt real.

Any tips on helping along recovery more than welcome, will let you know how it goes Blush

  • Hi, it's good you're otherwise OK as it's sure to help your recovery. I was nervous in the run up but felt quite calm on the day. Everyone at hospital was brilliant and gave me confidence I would be ok.

    Recovery is hard to predict as there are many variables such as age, general fitness and type of op. If you are having keyhole I belive days in hospital are fewer and Recovery shorter.

    I had an open nephrectomy a year ago, around 300cm scar, to remove kidney and 12cm tumour. I stayed in hospital for five days. The first two weeks were a bit rough, and 8 weeks was total recovery, feeling a bit better everyday.

    Tips for recovery are mainly staying positive and keep mind occupied. Then start walking, into garden first, then end of road, then local park, as and when ready. Good luck!


  • 300cm should read 30cm Grin

  • Hi Janey, my mass was about the same size as yours. Are you having robotic surgery - keyhole?  I had this at the end of November last year. I have 4 small scars, 2 really tiny, the others about 1 inch. The bigger scar, where they removed the kidney is low down, where an appendectomy scar would be and is about 4 inches. The op went smoothly and I went home the next day but I was then starting to get some pain in my shoulder, which sounds odd but it's due to the gas they pump in to inflate the abdomen so they can see clearly. It affects a nerve apparently. To disperse the gas you need to try and move, so walk about a bit, very slowly and carefully! I did feel a bit delicate and couldn't lay flat as it hurt my tummy, so slept a bit propped up on pillows for a couple of weeks I think. Couldn't lay on either of my sides for a few weeks as it just wasn't comfortable but it got better - I support my tummy when I turn - still do that now sometimes. Getting out of bed had to be done carefully and it did hurt straightening up but was ok once I did! I did try taking some activated charcoal tablets after meals and I think that helped disperse the wind - worth a try! You can get it in health shops. Also, take the laxatives they will give you and drink enough water/fluids. And take the painkillers regularly - they will probably tell you that on discharge and it really helps. I think I took them for about 2 weeks then could ease off. 3 to 4 weeks after I felt massively better and continued to improve. Good luck, I hope it goes well!

  • Hi Janey

    Similar diagnosis for me and I had a partial nephrectomy last October. On a course of immunotherapy now - 2 down, 4 to go - over 7 months or so.


    a. Rest as much as you can in the early days but try and do some walking

    b. Drink plenty of water

    c. Get a small towel rolled up/taped into a "tube" and use this to support the area when you cough/sneeze; sounds odd but I found it useful.

    Oh - and try not to Google too much.

    Do let us know how it goes!

  • It’s done! So far feeling better than expected but think that could be drugs. Urine output good, feeling like been kicked by horses. Looking forward to getting out of bed and not at the same time as it’s gonna smart. Thank you everyone for your support and messages :) 

  • Yes, I carefully omitted to say what you would feel like immediately after...

    You'll probably feel weak/tired for a while but try and keep mobile as much as you can.

    All the best.

  • FormerMember
    FormerMember in reply to Janey36

    So glad to hear it went well. I will be having one sometime soon, so I will keep tabs on how your recovery is going. :)

  • Glad you're ok, hope all goes smoothly when you return home  - be kind to yourself!

  • Hi Janey, well done you, glad all went well Thumbsup 

  • Hi.

    I had a radical nephrectomy of my left kidney in November 2023 by keyhole surgery. I tried to follow the advice of picking up nothing heavier than a kettle for the first 6 weeks. then after 6 weeks the external wound had healed nicely. So I thought that's it I'm fully healed, I did not take into account that the internal wounds take longer to heal and over did things picking up and moving heavy objects. Fortunately no permanent damage was done but it taught me that it's a major operation and the body needs time to recover. After the operation try to take it easy

    For me the impact of being diagnosed with cancer came after the operation this year when I hit an emotional low. I have had conselling from MacMillan and Penny Brohn Uk to help me get back to normal emotionally as it was a very big shock to be told you have cancer when I had no symptoms at all and the tumour was found by chance during a routine chest X-ray.

    Basically take it easy, try not to rush things and listen to your body and there's lots of help out there if you ask for it..