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Author Topic: New kidney donor - nerve pain  (Read 11744 times)

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Offline 2mixie

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New kidney donor - nerve pain
« on: January 02, 2013, 07:44:20 PM »
Its been about three weeks since I donated my left kidney to my mum through paired/pooled donation & quite honestly its been a rough few weeks ( I am a wimp with a low threshold for pain). According to the doctors I am doing well & my mums kidney is working even better than mine. Still have pain where I would expect, but also have numbness & pain at the lower front of my belly. The doctors said this is common & is nerve pain.

I just wanted to know if anyone has experienced nerve pain in there lower belly & how long it took to go back to normal (if ever)? Also how long before you felt like yourself again?
I had a mini incision donor nephrectomy.


Offline Fr Pat

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Re: New kidney donor - nerve pain
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2013, 06:02:14 AM »
Dear "2Mixi",
     Hi. Congratulations to you and your mum!
     I donated by the large open cut (11 years ago), so I don't know if anything in my experience would be helpful to you, but I'll mention 3 things just in case:
--- My surgeon recommended that I do as much gentle bending and stretching exercises as pain/comfort allowed during the recovery period, to aid healing and get everything back in place. It did seem to help me.
--- I found that vigorous massage (once pain allowed) of the painful areas seemed to help relieve pain and numbness.
--- Some donors have recommended that a licensed massage therapist with training in helping post-op patients might be consulted ( but insurance would probably not pay this.) I did not do this, but it sounds like it might be a helpful idea for some.

     Each donor heals differently, so I don't know if any of this is helpful to you. Please do let us know how things develope.
                best wishes,
                    Fr. Pat

Offline leah.faith

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Re: New kidney donor - nerve pain
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2013, 08:18:47 PM »
Hi Mixi,
I just donated  2 weeks ago.. I have the same exact pain you're describing. For me it feels like it's numb where the muscle facia was cut and I have this weird nerve pain at the skin, it feels like I have a new burn or something.

My surgeon said that in 2 weeks I should be pain free. I saw him yesterday. He gave me some more pain killers and besides that, I'm putting topical lidocaine burn relief stuff on my belly as well. Seems to be a good combo.

I had a laparoscopic nephrectomy with a bikini cut.

Just to let you know, I have a very high pain tolerance and what I've been feeling is nothing but sucky. Wimp or superman, it's just a rough thing you put your body through.


Offline audrey12

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Re: New kidney donor - nerve pain
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2013, 11:23:17 PM »
I donated five years ago.  I had the bikini incision.  The area right on the incision is still numb on the surface.  It took several months before it got to where it is now and I'm assuming it's permanent.  It doesn't hurt and it doesn't bother me.

I had some pain and tingling in all the incisions for awhile.  For a long time I'd get a stinging sensation in the "steak knife" wounds but it would be quick and nothing that would make me gasp or anything.  Every once in a great while I get a little sting.

The most noticeable lingering issue I have is that when it's going to rain, it aches where my kidney is missing.  I think that's very common after any kind of invasive surgery or on scar tissue so I just let people know that rain is coming!

Offline 2mixie

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Re: New kidney donor - nerve pain
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2013, 02:32:43 PM »

Fr Pat thank you for your suggestions I'll look into them,all information & guidance is helpful.
Leah.Faith I'm only taking paracetamol for the pain, doc has not given me anything else to rub onto skin,will need to ask him about that. Quite difficult to find comfortable trousers that don't irritate it. My incision is on my side just below my ribs. let me know how you get on.
Audrey12 that's good to know, at least I can hope it won't be there forever, don't mind the numbness just the pain.

Thank you for your replies its reassuring to speak to people who have been through the same thing.

Offline lawphi

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Re: New kidney donor - nerve pain
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2013, 08:23:49 PM »
Nerves should grow one inch a month. For me, different things hrt at different times.  Stiffness one week, tingling the next and back pain after.
Bridge Paired Exchange donor on behalf of my husband (re-transplant) at Johns Hopkins.

Offline jstx

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Re: New kidney donor - nerve pain
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2013, 03:56:55 PM »
I found I couldn't wear fitted pants for about 6 months. Had the numb feeling for much longer than that & it's still slightly numb and "tingly" a year & a half later. But doesn't bother me nearly as much as it used to.

Good luck with your recovery! Take it easy-your body is still healing.
Donated left kidney on 6/6/11 to a recipient I found on LDO
Johns Hopkins Hospital
Baltimore, MD


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