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47,166 Views 5 Replies Last post: Jan 14, 2013 7:41 PM by archer RSS
archer 10 posts since
Jan 2, 2013
Currently Being Moderated

Jan 5, 2013 9:09 PM

Recovery time after Kidney removal



I wanted to know after having a kidney removed how long would i be in hospital after the operation and how long would I expect to be off work for, I am an office working but would have to drive 7 miles to and from work but no heavy lifting involved.

Cancer_Nurse_Lucy 35 posts since
Nov 3, 2011
Currently Being Moderated
1. Jan 9, 2013 9:02 AM in response to: archer
Re: Recovery time after Kidney removal

Hi Archer


Thanks for your post, I am sorry to learn that you need surgery to remove your kidney.


It is best to ask your doctor or nurse about how long you will need to stay in hospital, and when you can expect to return to work. The length of time in hospital varies depending on what type of operation you have and your general health. Some people’s stay may be around 4 days, where as others will be in hospital for up to 10 days. Your return to work will also be affected by these factors. If it is helpful we have a section of information about surgery for kidney cancer on our website. There may also be other members on this forum who can share their experiences with you.


I wish you all the best with your operation.


Kind regards



Thistle 3 posts since
Jan 10, 2013
Currently Being Moderated
2. Jan 10, 2013 5:21 AM in response to: archer
Re: Recovery time after Kidney removal

Hello I had my left kidney out in 2010, sometiimes before they go in they can't say if you will have laproscopic (faster) or "big cut" --sorry that is the words they used.  a lap is a  5" thin cut and 2 1" cuts for the  tubes to  run the tools thru and camera. The doctor will cut the kidney, or part of it, fats,  and adrenals and what ever else is needed ( the more they do the more likely the longer incision.  and they place the cancerous tissues in a plastic bag so no cells spread, then his hand takes it out. Kinda weird... a human hand inside my body!    because the cancer was contained I got the  lap surgery, it leaves 4-5" scar at the waistline ( for me) and the cut lines disappear. the longer incision  runs from your  front lower ribs to up under the arm pit, and it is very long therefore requires several more days recovery. and months more time to be back to normal. you are NOT allowed to drive at all the first week after any major surgery as the gases are still in your blood, and you indeed are not considered rational, able to make valid decissions (marry, buy property) until a week later..because of the amount of  meds in your system. if you weigh more the gases stay in the fat cells longer and will affect your memory possibly, and you may lose some hair for a time, but it fills back in.


Post surgery you awake in  post op recovery  and get lots of attention for an hour or so, then you go to general recovery maybe or right to your room.  you will have a catheter and will not be able to turn over or get up for a day or two. pain meds are given by IV, or by mouth depending on your status. soft foods, bland after a day or so. You will have your urine output measured into a plastic "hat" that sits over the toilet each tiime you go.  they need to see your normal flow before  they will let you go.  It will be VERY DIFFICULT to turn over in bed..period. you may need to call the nurse to help you the first 2 days it, dont strain, and you may need a overhead  handle above your body to pull yourself up with,,there are other devices to help you grab and sit up. it really is impossible to JUST hget out of bed, and you can't bend over at all.  plan to sleep on the couch or a large chair, or very propped  up in bed.  get a bed rail device, like a baby gate that keps you in bed, you use it to grab, trust me there is no tummy muscle power to do what feel so natural now.... you NEVER think about it  til you cant't even roll over!  you need someone to make meals, pick up dropped items ( or get a device) and do home  tasks for you. plan on loose PJs, or a  robe  full time so you dont have to pull clothes up or down.


Hope this is not too much info. but you need to be informed to make proper decisions and understand  how to plan your work life and social schedule. If you have any questions please ask me.

DEE 2 posts since
Jan 12, 2013
Currently Being Moderated
3. Jan 13, 2013 8:35 PM in response to: Thistle
Re: Recovery time after Kidney removal

New Patient

Thanks for this info I have to have my left kidney removed in a couple of weeks I have a mass in the renal pelvis area this is mt third cancer but you never get used to the shock it causes when they actually tell you I feel that I cannot face the surgery yet again I jut want o hide away at the moment I am so frightened But our info as helped thanks

Bet wishes


Marky 9 posts since
Oct 8, 2012
Currently Being Moderated
4. Jan 14, 2013 7:12 PM in response to: DEE
Re: Recovery time after Kidney removal

I had my right kidney out at the beginning of November.

I spent the following afternoon and night in the High dependency Unit. I remember very little bar the bed bath and pressing the pain relief button and drifting in and out.

The following morning Back to my side room, Catheter removed with a quick "cough" no pain as the meds were still being pumped in then.


Then at lunchtime, somehow I had pyjamas on? must have been a nurse....and I was sat in the chair at the side of my bed. They were keen to get me in that chair at every opportunity. Anyway I had the keyhole and just kept asking for pain killers. The nurse said I could have oramorph every 4 hours as the Doc said. I collared the doc and said there was no need for me to be in pain whilst in hospital so I got it every 2 hours.


No need for pain. I was out after 8 days, although still a tad sore. I could walk around the block a week later and drive two weeks later (although it wasnt ideal, and I wouldnt go to work that soon)


3/4 weeks driving was ok for me although you will always get the odd stabbing pain etc suppose its the nature of the op.


HOWEVER!! going to the toilet with Morphine isnt exactly the best experience you will ever have. Take the laxatives they offer....if they dont ASK! It only gets worse when you have to ask for supositries. 10 days I took and straining with your side is another pain.


This was all with the keyhole, 6inch scar on my side and 3 little 1inch scars. To have the other will take much more out of you.


But on the plus side I would say dont wasnt half as bad as I imagined and looking back it was an easier recovery than I thought too.

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