Partial nephrectomy post op flank bulge

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Hello all

I have recently had a robotic partial nephrectomy operation which was thankfully successful and  have been given the all clear and I am eternally grateful to the amazing surgeons that saved my life.

The operation has left me with something called a flank bulge , which is a ball shaped lump on the left side of my abdomen near the incision scars 

Has anyone else experienced this ? The hospital has said it will probably go away but further research suggests it's permanent.

If it is permanent, it will obviously be something I will have to get used to (no more Mr universe competitions haha ). And is certainly preferable to the alternative.

But i just wondered if anyone else has had the same ?

  • Hi ,i had a right kidney full neprectomy a year ago and was thankfully also given the all clear..I’m certainly feeling very thankful indeed.I have also got a kind of flank bulge on my right side which i’m very aware of but not painful.It has been checked by my consultant and all seems ok.

    It could possibly be scar tissue from where they brought the kidney out from the inside of i guess the stomach.

    Its like a little ledge for resting your arm onJoy

  • That's great to hear you have the all clear,

    So It does seem like a permanent thing then if you still have yours after a extra arm rest can't be a bad thing though lol

  • Hi   I can't help with your Q but just wanted to say hi, and your user name with the dot made me laugh Grinning

  • Hi Mmum,

    Glad to hear that Hugging

  • Hi Simo.nb I had my left kidney removed robotically about three weeks ago and I too have a sort of 'bulge' just above the removal incision, is this what you're referring to? I was kinda hoping that this would just settle down as I heal but after reading your post apparently not.

  • Hi Tomcat

    Hope your recovery is going well.

    I had 4 small insicions on my left side going towards my back but the bulge is on the front nearer my belly button.

    It's 8 and a half weeks since my op now and it's still there but definitely going down. The area is still a bit tender too.

    If you Google flank bulge there's quite a bit of Info there.

    Best regards


  • Thanks Simon, I'm doing a lot better thanks, only taking painkillers every now and again now.

    My incisions are all on my front (3 small above my belly button and a large 6" on the lower left front), my Bulbeck was just above the large incision but its now going down.

  • I have had a radical nephrectomy 2 weeks ago, I'm not slim but a size 14 lady, usually flat stomach area but have been left with a weird rounded bulge, like a shelf I guess on my left side about 5 inches froM my bellybutton . They took the kidney out just above my hip, pubic area I guess!!  Odd place. Saw consultant on Thursday to be given news re my cancer etc. I asked him Why my tummy was bulging. He said it wasn't . I then spoke to oncology nurses afterward and she said it will go down but you will be left with the bulging shape. My alternative is to go under the knife again (not something I can quite think about at the moment only being 2 weeks post op and already sore and just starting to heal) is that they go back into the scar superficially apparently it's not a full incision and they smooth the bulging area somehow!!! I don't know... I'm 43 and obviously don't want a wonky belly. But rather that than my cancer . We shall see. 

  • Well it's now over a year since I had mine removed and although the lump has gone I now have a depression under the scar on my left side, I suppose it's possible (being as I have a bit of a dad bod) that they had to remove some of my belly fat to remove my kidney. Sadly I learned later that during the surgery something in the tumor on the kidney burst inside me, I now have stage 4 renal cancer and I have been told that it's inoperable. As a result of the spillage I have numerous tumors all around the area where my kidney used to be, I'm now on paliative care. The surgeon tried to say that they bagged the kidney just after telling me it ruptured and my obvious reaction to that.

  • I’m really sorry to hear this. I’m three weeks post op from a partial nephrectomy. I have a small bulge too. My incisions are still healing. I’m not there yet.