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HELP! post RPLND tightness in abdomen along incision - inability to stand up straight

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  • HELP! post RPLND tightness in abdomen along incision - inability to stand up straight

    Hello all!

    A really brief history...

    My name is Spencer Ricks, I am 22 and I just had an RPLND surgery by Dr. Sheinfeld on June 27, 2007 following 4 rounds of Cisplatin/Etopiside. I spent 8 days in the hospital (would have only been 7 but I threw up randomly - total fluke). The pre-surgery CT scan showed my once-2.7 cm lymphatic tumor to have shrunk to .7 by the chemo. The post-surgical lymph analysis showed all my lymph nodes to be clean, so I am done, which is a relief.

    THE BIG QUESTION

    I need to know if others experienced a severe tightness in their abdomen, along the RPLND incision site, which prevented them from standing up straight or lying down flat. If so, what did they do to alleviate it? Dr. Sheinfeld's nurse told me to try lying flat for several minutes on the floor to stretch out the incision. I do this, with lots of discomfort but not too much pain, and wonder if I might be damaging the incision at all by doing so? I am getting kind of sick of walking around all hunched over! I used to be 6 feet tall and now i am about 5'7"! When will I not be hunched over anymore and am I the only one to experience this? Also, does the fact that I had a sewn closing have anything to do with it?
    Last edited by spinsta; 07-06-07, 07:34 PM.
    *Diagnosed 2/26/2007 - left testicle - 2.5 cm mass
    *Radical Orchiectomy 2/29/2007 - embryonic germ cell tumor
    *Initial CT scan revealed one enlarged lymph node at 1.5cmx1.5cm
    *Subsequent CT scan 2 weeks later revealed lymph node had doubled to 2.7cmx2.7cm.
    *Underwent 4 rounds of Chemotherapy (Cisplatin/Etopiside) from March-June 2007
    *CT scan revealed node had shrunk to 0.7cmx0.7cm
    *RPLND surgery performed by Dr. Sheinfeld at MSKCC June 27, 2007

  • #2
    Welcome to the forums, Spencer. You've been through an awful lot. Congratulations on completing treatment!

    I hope others who have had open RPLND surgery can help with your question. That's a side effect I don't recall having heard before.
    Scott, [email protected]
    right inguinal orchiectomy 6/5/2003 > nonseminoma, stage I > surveillance > L-RPLND 6/24/2005 for recurrence, suspected teratoma but found seminoma, stage II > chylous ascites until 9/2005 > surveillance and "all clear" since


    Your donation funds Livestrong services for people facing cancer now. Please sponsor my ride!

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    • #3
      Hi Spinsta,

      My son had RPLND a few weeks ago (June 8th) and he complained about the same thing. I just asked him how it is doing and he said he still has it but it has been gradually been getting better.

      He walks slightly hunched but when he deliberately pulls himself up straight he still feels some tightness. He said to tell you to just give it a little time

      Son Anthony DX 12/11/06
      L/O 12/20/06 Stage IIIA, 95% EC, 5% Yolk Sac
      4XEP 1/29-4/6/ 07
      AFP started increasing3 wks later
      Residual abdominal mass found on CT
      RPLND 6/8/07
      Cancer in pathology-
      80% mature teratoma, 20% Yolk Sac. --
      No adjuvent chemo and
      AFP normalised

      July 22, 2010 ---- 3 years all clear!

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      • #4
        Oscar666

        Hi
        My RPLND surgery was on June 22nd.
        I still have some tightness (but not severe) around the surgery area. I feel it when I try to stay straight.
        These days, I have no sleeping problems.
        I am very tall too – about 6.1 but I don’t think I lost some inches because of RPLND. However, I have to check it
        Yesterday, I finished the main pain-killer pills (12h each), and now I have another type – only in case of pain, but so far I don’t need them.

        Like Robert said, the key is walking and some light exercises. Don’t overload yourself.

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        • #5
          My sonRussell did fairly well. There was post op pain, but that decreased rapidly after we were home. He did not complain about tightness. Does the surgical wound look clean and dry, no red edges? If there is any inflamation forming, you would want to catch it early. Calling in to talk with your doctors nurse might be of help also. Take care, Russell's Mom, Sharon
          Click here to support my LIVESTRONG Challenge with Team LOVEstrong.

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          • #6
            Hi Spencer: My husband Andy had his RPLND on 04/27/07 and he said to let you know that he had the exact same pains as you are describing. He's 6' tall also...I'm 5' on a good day and he did seem a little bit easier to kiss for the first few weeks!!! The good news is that these pains will eventually subside.

            He walked around hunched over for a couple of weeks...it's normal for it to feel tight in that area - it's a big incision, but he had staples not stitches. Not sure if that really has any bearing on the tightness anyway. It bothered him more in the evenings when he tried to sleep - in fact, he could not lay flat on his back, so he slept propped up on a mountain of pillows. Andy was very careful to make sure that he kept the incision site clean and dry to avoid infections. After he became more comfortable with walking around, he started to straighten up with his posture and his incision has healed very nicely.

            I've been warning guys who are post-surgery as best as I can with this bit of advice: DO NOT EAT TOO SOON POST-RPLND. Andy had an awful complication with a condition called Chylous Ascites - not fun! Spencer, best of luck to you.
            Maria
            *Hubby Andy diagnosed 02/13/07, Left IO 02/16/07 *Stage 1A Non-Seminoma (65% Immature Teratoma / 35% Embryonal Carcinoma) *RPLND 04/27/07 Lymph Nodes-ALL CLEAR
            *Complications from Chylous Ascites so Laparotomy 05/03/07 *No food for 10 weeks, TPN only *07/18/07 Removed drains, tubes, picc line *CT Scan 07/31/07-ALL CLEAR
            *CT Scan 02/12/08-ALL CLEAR *Hydrocele surgery 06/19/08 *CT Scan 9/30/08 and 03/06/09 shows <cm left lung nodule - under surveillance

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            • #7
              Hey everyone, thanks for your responses. I am glad that others have experienced this specific side effect - the worst is being the ONLY one to be having some wacked-out side effect. I've only been home 3 days still and the tightness is about the same, but I will keep exercising and waiting to see what the weeks to come have in store. Thanks again!
              *Diagnosed 2/26/2007 - left testicle - 2.5 cm mass
              *Radical Orchiectomy 2/29/2007 - embryonic germ cell tumor
              *Initial CT scan revealed one enlarged lymph node at 1.5cmx1.5cm
              *Subsequent CT scan 2 weeks later revealed lymph node had doubled to 2.7cmx2.7cm.
              *Underwent 4 rounds of Chemotherapy (Cisplatin/Etopiside) from March-June 2007
              *CT scan revealed node had shrunk to 0.7cmx0.7cm
              *RPLND surgery performed by Dr. Sheinfeld at MSKCC June 27, 2007

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              • #8
                The surgical procedure techniques and post-op care has become so perfected, it is often times easy to forget just how much was worked on from the inside. Years ago, people would have been kept in the hospital for weeks and weeks following a surgery of this type. Russell was not without symptoms. I can remember looking at his incision and noticing that his whole belly was swollen and shook like jello. Quite the contrary from his pre-op look. Take a gentle walk back! Russell's Mom, Sharon
                Click here to support my LIVESTRONG Challenge with Team LOVEstrong.

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