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Kidney cancer

A place for people affected by kidney cancer to support one another, ask questions, and share their experiences.

Recovery time from radical nephrectomy

Dolly26
Posted by

Good morning all! I’m new to the group :) I’m 54 and from Hampshire. My journey started 10 years ago after an abdominal scan revealed an asymptotic small tumour on my right kidney. I had successful  radial frequency ablation. At my 5 year scan another tumour appeared on my left kidney. The gold standard then was croyoblation. And now, 5 years on another tumour in my right  kidney! Due to its position it’s likely this time I will have all the kidney removed in August. I’m self employed so keen to know how long others took to recover - I appreciate we are all different I just would like an idea! Thank you all lots :))

Joncol
Posted by

You have been through it! I had a radical nephrectomy which was done through keyhole surgery 18 months ago. I was 64 years old and was surprised at how quickly I recovered. I made sure that I was as fit as I could be for the operation. It is a major operation but I was back at work as a teacher after six weeks although my side definitely let me know when I had overdone things. I also had to sit down more than I normally would! I found small walks to be good pain relief and made sure I walked small distances from when I was sent home from hospital even if it was just round the lounge to start with. I still get very tired though and need about ten hours sleep each night to function!

Jane
Ian436
Posted by

Hi, I had a my kidney removed by radical nephrectomy 5 years ago. I went into hospital on Monday and was out on Thursday. I had morphine tablets for the pain, which was not as bad as I thought it would be. Clothes rubbing on the operation scar was the worst, I actually felt numb and sore at the same time. I started off walking round the furniture, and then out for walks with dog. Driving wise I had to wait till I knew I could do an emergency stop, and it’s worthwhile getting your Doctor to put on your file that you are fit to drive. If you don’t and are in an accident it is an excuse for insurance company not to pay out. Because muscles and nerves are disrupted, you will always know you have had the op, I do anyway. Going back to work will depend how physical you have to be. I stayed off for 6 months, but could have gone back sooner. It’s not the physical side, but the emotional “ Why Me “ that I found hardest to get my head round. I would also get a hiking stick when you first go out walking. It gives you confidence, and something to lean on when you are weary. The op sounds daunting. My surgeon described it as life threatening, but life saving too. 

Ian436
Smoo222
Posted by

Hi, I had a radical nephrectomy 2 days before lockdown began in March and still don't feel up to going back to work as a customer services advisor.  Because of covid19 I haven't seen a health professional since the op apart from when I was taken back in by ambulance due to not being able to tolerate the morphine based drug I was given.  I've had to manage my own recovery and now the scars are healing and the stitches have finally gone my biggest problem is hyper-sensitive skin on my stomach.  It's really difficult to explain but the slightest touch is very painful, thankfully I have a fantastic GP who has now prescribed local anaesthetic plasters so bear that in mind if it happens to you.  Like others have said, tiredness is an issue and some days are worse than others, just do what feels right for you but it's not worth pushing yourself too hard, believe me I know!  Emotionally it can be hard because personally I've been very up and down, positive one day and doubting I'll ever return to normal the next.  Walking is a good way to take some time for yourself and sort through your emotions whilst helping with the healing process.  Just remember no-one can say what is the right time scale for recovery as we're all different so go at your own pace.  I wish you luck with your operation and a good recovery.

LindseyTom
Posted by

Was your operation robotic or open? My mother had the same operation in January 2019, due to Transitional Cell Carcinoma of the Renal Pelvis, she was then 74, she recovered remarkably well, luckily her surgery was robotic. In March 2019 we were told although thankfully her tumour was incapsulated, it was stage three grade three, higher than what we thought. So one month later she started adjuvant chemo, she had four cycles which lasted four months. Now she has quarterly cystoscopies & ct scans. Everyone recovers at a different rate & I wish you all the best. I would have thought you’ll need to see your oncologist soon in order for him/her to discuss your histology report regarding the tumour. Young & elderly people who have/had cancer have been deemed vulnerable by the government since Covid, so if I were you if possible, I wouldn’t return to work just yet. Good luck 

LindseyTom
Posted by

Robotic keyhole surgery! Forgot to say it was keyhole! 

LindseyTom
Posted by

My mother had a radical nephrectomy in January 2019. She had been diagnosed with Transitional Cell Carcinoma of the Renal Pelvis. She was then 74. Luckily she had robotic keyhole surgery. She was discharged three days later & recovered remarkably well. In March 2019 we were told it had been stage three grade three, higher than we were initially told, so she had four rounds of aggressive chemo lasting four months which she also handled very well. Had she not have had chemo, she was practically back to normal after eight weeks. Living in London close to the marvellous Royal Free Hospital that specialises in Kidney Cancer, was an added bonus. I wish you all the best.