Nephrectomy Surgery scheduled

Last week was a doozy. Roan was sick at home all week and Beck was also here. And I had to work at home in the chaos. I missed Bruce's appointment with Dr. Russo. Nothing new happened there, they just discussed the process of hemodialysis that he will go on after they take kidneys out. They took blood but he doesn't know the results yet because he hasn't called them back. Friday we had the appointment with the surgeon then Bruce called today and we have a date now for the Nephrectomy.......JULY 31.

They will be taking out both kidneys. They will do large incision on the abdomen. The surgeon discussed with us why the Laparoscopy is not his preference for this surgery and we both agreed this was better. We would need to go to the Mayo clinic in Jacksonville probably to have it done anyway ( at least I believe from all of my internet research). The recovery time with Laparoscopy would be less but this seems like a safer option. The surgeon said the kidneys are in the back and so large they can stretch up to his diaphragm and he has to move all the organs to get to them. They can also be attached to many other organs, so having him open where he can see all of this just makes sense.

The surgeon will also have to take care of the hernia and probably take out the catheter that is there now for his dialysis. During the same surgery time, he will have a temporary port put in near his collar bone for hemodialysis. This will be used until he is recovered enough to have second surgery to put catheter back in to go back onto peritoneal dialysis. The other option would be to have fistula put in arm and continue hemodialysis. The fistula is not preferred for Bruce because of his age, he may need second transplant down the road and need good veins in arm for that. Sean, Bruce's brother, has Dr. at Vanderbilt who has same opinion on this. The PD has been good for Bruce because he does it at night when he sleeps and he can still work.

Bruce should be in hospital for 7 days and recover at home for 3 more weeks. The pain from the incision sounds like the worst part at this point. Surgeon said he will have pain drip medicine, can't wait for that one! The last time in ICU he was nuts when he was drugged. And as of right now, he has no live donor, so he will be adjusting to having to do more dialysis because he will have no kidneys. The last tests they did before he was at hospital showed his kidneys were still doing half of the function.

For the time being, he feels better, works everyday and has more appetite. He is nowhere near normal but he's not sick all the time. The scheduling of the surgery is already a big issue for him- the worrying has already begun. He looks forward to getting them out but scared to death to go through surgery and new form of dialysis. He is still not comfortable with his dialysis now. He frets over it every night. I worry more about the dialysis, living with no kidneys, going through yet another surgery for catheter, and waiting for years for a donor on the list. I wish he had a live donor and knew that all of this would be done within a few months and he could have a normal life again.


  1. I know this is all scary for all. Sean has met a friend who's husband had no kidneys for 5 years. They have offered to sit and talk with us and/or answer questions. I have no doubt if Bruce is interested (I know he doesn't like to discuss this.) they would call and answer your questions about the process. Let me know if you want their contact information.
    Hang in there,
    Mary and family

  2. Hugs and prayers to you. I know what you mean when you say you just want a donor and to get it all over with, believe me.. I know and live that feeling too.

  3. Amy,

    Mark and I are just catching up...we send all of our prayers and best wishes to all of you.

    Susan and Mark