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Floating Kidney

Mar 22, 2008 - 24 comments

I've been having a lot of pain on my right side, front, back and side and the pain takes my breath away.  I had CT scans and ultra sound to determine if I had kidney stones.  Then they sent me for x-rays with contrast and I was told I had a floating Kidney.  The nurse for his office said there was nothing that I could do for the pain.  "Just deal with it".  Wow how can I when the pain takes my breath away and the pain is so bad that I have to lay down in bed until it goes away.  What can I do?

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by got_my_life_back, Jun 10, 2008
You don't have to live like this! I struggled for 10 years, three pregnancies and 101 wrong diagnosis before I found salvation. I went to UC after seeing the same doctor for 6 years who began to tell me pain blocks were my only options. The surgeon at UC told me he was unsure what was going on, but was determined to help me! After less than 5 months he gave me the diagnosis of nephroptosis and I was scheduled for a week later. I suffered from daily pain that at times was debilitating, nausea, muscle cramps, and palpitations. On May 8, 2008 I had a transabdominal laproscopic nephropexy to secure my kidney into place. When I woke up, my pain was gone and hasn't come back!!!!! Please don't live in misery, get a second opinion. Until you find a doctor who will consider surgery your only sanctuary is lying down (the kidney returns to its natural position). Good Luck

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by JoseeBel, Jun 29, 2008
hi guys, i'm writing to you as best as I can because I'm french....I'm so desperate and don't know what to do and who to believe anymore.  For the past 2 years I've been living with a movable lump on my right side.  I'm very thin so it's easy for me when I lie on my left side to feel that 15cm lump that I can take in between my hip and ribs and press hard enought to make it bounce back higher in my rib cage.  The doctors debate in between maybe my kidney, maybe crohn's disease and maybe a lump of fat!!!  The thing is they've done all the test that exist and don't see a floating kidney (note that all the test were done lying on my back!!)...on top of that they say that even if it was my kidney it's not suppose to hurt me in any way....Well I would like to know if you guys do feel it and if you always feel that something is hanging and pushing you in your side?  I also have back pain and if I sleep at night on my left side well after a few hours I wake up and it feels like I can't breath because nerves are pinched when I take a deep breath...I have heart palpitations, chills, dizinness and it feels like my kidney lie on my bowel and big bubbles of air cannot go through in my bowel on the right side and I become bloated....I also have nausea sometimes, but the thing is somedays I feel great and cannot feel my lump (or kidney) and some other days it's like a have an attack and feel like dying...Is your pain always, always there???  On top of that when I have an attack I become very unpatient and want to lose my mind.  They did laparoscopy and removed my appendix cause they thaught I have appendiz attack, but everything is still the same so I guess it was not the case...Please try to answer as many of my questions that you can....Oh and my bowel makes weird noise when everything happens, and I wake up in the night with big headaches and nightmares, than pain starts....everything always happen togheter......chills, palpitations, bloating, lump, nerve pinching, feel like bruising in my right side, back pain, visual disturbance, hair loss....See how my doctors don't know what to do with me anymore other than give me antidepressant!!!  Which by the way doesn't make the lump and pain disapear.....And I live East Coast so they never herd of anything like this in their practice before........Need help with people who have similar problems...thanks

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by mlkc05, Dec 19, 2008
Oh man you guys sound like me! I have finally found a doctor that is bound and determined to prove that it is a floating or displaced kidney because my symptoms are all like yours! Nausea, lightheadedness, sweaty clammy feeling, can't stand for long periods of time, always relieved by sitting down not ALWAYS by lying down but most of the time it does just when it is really bad it doesn't. Only problem here is that it has been goin on since i was about 9 years old! I finally found a doc who is fighting to find the answer and is genuinely concerned about me. I could just give him the biggest hug.  But the problem is that when they do the test it doesn't show a floating kidney or one that is movable. Could this be because the test isn't show me standing walking and bending as much as I do in a normal day? Why is this so hard to diagnose? He said he will definantly get me set up for surgery if he can get proof but what can we do to prove it? He did have me get some pictures during and IVP of me standing. Only two though and they were quick. Sometimes it takes a few minutes for t to start hurting. How can we prove this IF ths is what it is?

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by Dewey87, Mar 21, 2009
I to have been living with this condition, its been about three years for me. I was first told that i was lactose intolerant, and that the "lump" was a build up. I then took myself off dairy, and of course my symptoms still were there. I then found myself in a whole lot of pain after working for too many days straight. I went to the ER, they told me that i had a Lypoma (fatty tumor). That didnt take too long to be ruled out. Because of my symptoms I was then sent to a hernia specialist who of course thought she had figured it out and scheduled for me to have surgery to fix my "hernia." I had the surgery and when i woke, i was informed that i have a floating kidney. I was told that the only thing that i could do was to gain weight. I have spent my whole life trying to gain weight, and since the surgery caused me to lose a good 20 pounds, putting weight on would be a struggle. Throughout my whole process of seeing different doctors and specialist i had my Upper GI checked ( because of symptoms they couldnt figure out why i would get full or bloated) This test you are standing up while they take images og your digestive system. However when i saw the images it was VERY clear that there was some sort of something that didnt belong. Im not a doctor and dont have the technical terms. Every day is a srtuggle for me. Ive very thin and have a very hard time doing almost anything. This obviously is something that needs to be figured out, how can they not diagnose it???

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by formerfloater, Dec 21, 2009
I just had a nephropexy. The surgery that ties up your kidney. I had all the symptoms you guys had for years.The digestive symptoms can happen with a floppy colon which I also have. It happens when the ligaments and fascia are missing as with floating  kidney.
I am still with symptoms and when i looked at my IVP I saw that my other kidney dropped too.Nobody saw it.
Make sure you find a urologist who knows how to do the surgery. Sometimes they have to do it the old fashion way just to make sure nothing else is going on in there. Sometimes they do it laporascopically. Make sure you get a standing IVP and sidelying and get the tech to take a direct picture of the lump in sidelying or in whatever position you know you can produce it. i had to fight for this and even then the radiologist didn't see it. I did. My urologist did. If there is contrast die in the lump it is your kidney.
I am still healing so nothing more can be done but please have your people check the side that doesn't bother just to make sure you don't have to have 2 surgeries.

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by flyboy98, May 11, 2010
I hear what you all are saying and I have been living with my symptom for over ten years.  I am a male and I know that it is not common in male but I was training for a marathon when I was injured. The symptoms started almost immediately after the injury. I have not been able to find a doctor who believe my symptoms.  Can anyone tell me if the surgery really work or is it a bandage?


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by smithbraz, Dec 06, 2010
So weird to hear all of these posts. One in particular is exactly what I've been through. First they thought it was a tumor in my bowel, then it was a lymphoma, then it was a hernia. It wasn't until the sonogram that they figured out it was my kidney. The sonographer determined that when I sit up it gets pushed to the front and when I lie down it goes to my back. I went to a Urologist who did a pointless cystoscopy just to say that my bladder looks great and that she couldn't help me with my Floating kidney. She did the cystoscopy because I told her I had Blood in my urine for a full day when I was pregnant but she failed to understand that I only told her that because I think that is when my kidney became dislodged. After many visits to the doctors and lot's of out-of-pocket expenses I am ready to give up. She referred me to John Hopkins’s though I am left feeling like maybe it's not a big deal. Everyone makes it sound like it's nothing yet I feel the uncomfortablness of this condition almost everyday. I went to the hospital about a year and a half ago because I felt really strange and felt like I was going to faint. It happened three times after that too and all four times I was laying down. I really feel that all of my stomach issues and faint spells may all be related to this i just don't understand why doctor's can't determine this as being a dangerous condition. When I am upright my kidney is clearly baldging out. I play soccer and to me it seems that if my kidney is exposed to my front like this it could kill my kidney if I was slammed in the stomach with the ball. Were they concerned?? Nope.  I just don’t know if I should pursue John Hopkins’s or not. I don’t want to get the run around any more!!

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by Sophiefloat, Jan 06, 2011
I have been googling this issue of mine for months as I have a very similar problem. I went into hospital with a very bad kidney infection and an extremely painful lump on my right side. After a day in hospital they decided that I was just constipated (which I can confirm I wasn't). I then got referred to a gastrointestinal specialist who diagnosed the lump as a large hernia. I was then sent for ultra sounds which confirmed that it was in fact my kidney. I have now been to my consultant who has said there's nothing they can do for me and to put up with the pain and build up my stomach muscles to protect my kidney. I have built them up and can still feel the lump, lots of pain and cannot pull myself up if lying on my left side. Does this mean I too have a floating kidney? Is this dangerous? I also play ladies football and am concerned that I may damage my kidney.
I am from the Uk so I am unsure if they even do floating kidney surgery here?

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by Sophiefloat, Jan 21, 2011
Just to update...I have been to my doctor and showed him the wikipedia definition of  Nephroptosis. He thinks that may be right and I have an appointment for an IVU on Monday which is where they inject dye which colours my kidney and then they do X-rays to see if my kidney moves. If this proves correct then I will be sent for surgery. Please dont give up, tell them what you think you have and that you can't live in pain anymore! Let us know how you get on and I will update with my results too.

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by AJW2882, Apr 03, 2011
What you need is an ultrasound! dont be shy when you go in there.. Let them know we are looking for a floating kidney... When I went in I rolled around on the table on my left side until it popped up like it does. Once they find regardless of were it is at that point, they will know that its out of its capasule! The problem with a CT and X rays is that your laying on your back and since your kidney floats! It is most likely to float back into the space that it belongs in Anatomical postion! Dont give up...I was so worried by time I figured it all out, heck i thought I had some sort of mass in my stomach! I havent had mine fixed yet, however relieved that it was not more serious... good luck to all

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by moonpig3, Jun 22, 2011

i am 33 and have finally been diagnosed with two floating kidneys, after years of pain and all the other stuff that goes with it. im due to have surgery but only when the doctors stop using me as an example to other docs who have never seen it before.
i wish you all well and will try to keep you all updated
the latest is i have lost my job because of my sick levels even though my gp has given me a sick note, i wish they understood that when they play up i cant do anything because of the fatigue nausea and fainting attacks
i currently take tramadol and cocodamol along with anti sickness tabs


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by Pepp, Jul 09, 2011
have been suffering for 15 years with what I think is nephroptosis,  I am allergic to iodine , so Ivu is out of the question.  For me at least ..won't chance another reaction.  Does anyone know how to be tested for this by ultrasound?  No tech that I've spoken to says they've ever done one with a person in the erect position.  I think I have been having diet's crisis.  Nothing shows on CT in the supine anyone?  Been treating for IBS but don't think so.

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by Rosebud613, Sep 11, 2011
I have the same symptoms. I am a female age 33, 4 kids, tall and slim.  I have all the same symptoms at first three doctors had no idea all from the same clinic. I went on line and put my symptoms in and the results showed a floating kidney. So I told the doctor after a ultrasound, CT  scan, blood and a pee test. All showed nothing. Again I was laying down. So I made another appointment with the Doc and told him about the floating kidney. So I told him I need to do an ultrasond of me standing up. So I went for my second ultrasound and I told the tec that I need to stand and first let out my bladder. So she said okay. So she put the scan thing on me and I grabbed around my kidney and she was shocked. She said she had never seen that before. She said when I layed down it was in the rite place. I am now seeing a specialist to see if he can do the surgery. It's weird like others have written, I get strong symptoms on and off. When it is in a bad place I get really bad lower back/hip pain, I feel dizzy, tired, abdominal pain, pimples and cramping. My intestines make loud noises and hair loss. If you read up what your Kidney helps your body do a lot of our symptoms make sense.

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by Tilba, Dec 15, 2011
I have a displaced kidney (right side, more usual because of the weight of the liver above it) since at least 6 yrs old. Became very floating when as a professional dancer I lost too much weight - when I danced the cancan I had to push it into place and hold there to walk home. But my abdominal and back muscles prevented many of the unpleasant symptoms. My left kidney moved forward in a riding accident. I was doing fine until someone (without asking my permission) decided to try to fix things: now I have the symptoms you all have, and from being very active am almost useless.

The symtoms (discomfort, pain, nausea etc.) have been described since the 18thC, so it's not new. Just those MDs don't bother to read too much once they've got their plates up and the money coming in. The British surgeon HARE described it (see google books online), and noted that many people with one or two displaced kidneys were often believed to be hypochondriac, due to the debilitation it may cause, and the lack of understanding.

Where tests and examinations are concerned, whenever technically possible insist that they're done when you're tired (not just out of bed etc.), and both immobile and very mobile. It's frequently the second which shows up problems (and not only for kidneys).

Perhaps today's methods are better, but I was warned by a very experienced surgeon not to try it, that the kidney usually eventually returned to the abdomen, tearing tissue as it went. Just don't get too thin or too fat, take gentle exercise to tighten the abdominals, and keep straight, ie don't lean on one side when sitting or walking, don't slump down, don't always carry weights on the same side, lift your thorax a little off the abdomen, lift the head up (comparatively a very heavy part of the body) - this relieves pressure.

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by juliegirl884, Jan 09, 2012
I think I have a displaced kidney.  Urology appt. tomorrow.  I've had pain on my right side, front, back and side for 10 to 15 years.  I've gone in to the doctor so many times.  They've checked for hernia, gall stones, kidney stones.  I've had a colonoscopy, barium enema, epidural pain blocks.  Because of what feels like terrible trapped gas pains, I settled with a diagnosis of IBS.  My intestines are loud.  It wasn't until I had a CT scan with contract that it shows my kidney is "horizontally oriented".

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by pinklisa66, Jan 13, 2012
I recently had an MRI done and it shows I have a floating kidney. I actually had the MRI for my lower back pain. My chiropractor ordered it. It really explains all of my symptoms. I brought it up to my urologist and like most doctors it seems she isn't too concerned. She did order a renogram which I had done today. You could see even with me laying down that my right kidney is lower than my left. So I will see my urologist on the 20th and discuss the results as well as fixing my floating kidney. If she will not help me, I will go find a urologist at one of the big hospitals in Seattle that will help. I have been dealing with my pain for 8 years, and no one could ever tell me why I have right side pain.When you self-diagnose along with MRI it seems doctors don't like that much. Go figure.

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by mscandles, May 29, 2012
I was diagnosed with a floating kidney when I was about 16(now 45). Been in horrible pain for about 6 or 7 yrs. on and off.  Been in emergency rooms over and over again...a few months ago they took my appendix out!  I told them that wasn't it!   I just wanna get better!  I can't work unless I' m on pain meds!  I have severe pain in my lower right side, hip, and lower back all across.  I've had numerous symptoms that throw the doctors off guard.  I've had seizure like episodes  that freak out my family.  I think my kidney moves to the point where it hits nerves.  I asked my family doctor that diagnosed me when I was 16 about my problem, he said "If it didn't hurt then it wouldn't hurt now!"!  Getting alittle fed up with doctors!  But, still need one that can help me with my problem!  p.s. tried to donate my kidney last week in Philadelphia to Gift of Life...but, they said no!  Thats how desperate I am to get rid of it!

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by saltngarlic, Aug 29, 2012
Had xrays done with the dye lying down and 1standing up! They said they were normal. Now what? Pain pills for the rest of my life! So depressed!

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by upflyfisher, Sep 12, 2012
I am another long-term sufferer, 51 year-old male in Wisconsin.  13 years of increasing lower right abdominal pain with a lack of a definitive diagnosis.  I have had CT scans, colonoscopies, endoscopies, x-rays, and ultrasounds.  I knew I had a painful mass in my right side, but no doctor could ever find it.  I was so frustrated by this.  I finally had one doctor agree to allow me to guide his fingertips to the painful mass, and I almost fell to the ground when he told me it was likely my right kidney.  This was confirmed by ultrasound.  The next challenge: no one would actually tell me that your right kidney should not be in the front of your abdomen when upright!  Really?  Anyone who has taken basic anatomy knows that your kidneys are affixed to the back of your abdominal wall in fatty tissue.  I was referred to a Urologist who did an IVP to confirm hypermobility, but it was inconclusive.  I saw another Urologist at the UW-Madison hospital yesterday, and he will schedule a 'more current' kidney scan, as he does not feel the IVP is an effective test.  I am familiar with nephropexy, the surgical procedure to reattach your kidney where it belongs.  It carries with it a 20 - 40% chance of recurring after 5 years.  After 13 years of 'talking to walls', I am thinking I would just prefer to donate at this point  I will let you know my progress.  Thank you all for posting.    I know the living hell you are experiencing.  Best wishes to you all.

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by barbeee2415, Nov 27, 2012
TEST for NEPHROPTOSIS= IVP,,, xray with dye contrast several shots lying then several STANDING,,
                                               RENAL LASIX WASHOUT, this test is radioactive contrast injected while you stand perfectly still for a hour.  It measures your kidney function and gives a clear picture of what it is doing. Mine was lying sideways lodge in my ribcage explained the horrific pain.
                                               ULTRASOUND,,,,  this is done lying down or sitting up... I perfer doing it sitting up the whole time cuz once you lay down it goes back to the normal position and might not fall back down to a bad spot.

I am 46 had nephropexy surgery twice,,, 2003 then 2006 i jumped off the truck and it tore off, 2006 it was put in a mesh net they made then stitched deep in the muscle. (very painful)... I had total right hip replacement and have fallen hard twice the kidney is not attached any longer...

I have Mixed Connective Tissue Disease Of Vascular Nature.... born with it family has it was diagnosed in 2004-05... My surgeon one of the Greatest ones I've ever had. Dr. Thomas Jarrett Professor of Urology at the George Washington Hospital in Washington DC,,, performed the 1st surgery at John Hopkins and the 2nd at DC...I will NEVER give up... and he promised me that he will not either... I have felt the pain free life and I refuse to not have it again....

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by runnergirlSue, Dec 14, 2012
I am reading through these posts, like many of you, and thinking "that sounds EXACTLY like me"! I have had chronic abdominal pain (starts in upper right quadrant under ribs and radiates at times down to the pubic bone). I have had EVERY test run, including an exploratory laparoscopy. I have been treated for IBS, endometriosis, common bile duct dilation, abdominal tears, osteitis pubis, and pelvic floor dysfunction (with no success). I have seen 16 doctors.

My pain is worse upon exertion, and most intense when I sit too long. I do find relief when laying on my right side and sometimes on my back. I have given up my life - I am not the same fun-loving person, and I even had to quit my job. I use to run competitively and work out at an intense level every day. Not anymore.

I had in IVP this morning with standing pics, and it showed nothing. Can anyone else think of ANYTHING that should be tested for or considered? This has been going on for six years, and I cannot keep living life like I am 80 years old. (I am 42 and very thin).

Any input would be VERY appreciate. Good luck to everyone on this site. I know how you feel.

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by Paige1oak, Jul 18, 2013
I have a floating kidney, I found it 3 years ago and found out what it was a year ago and now i'm fine but I do through up a lot more and it does bother/hurt me often but I'm ok.

But what You need to do is get a ultrasound standing up and laying down. Tell you have a floating kidney! and have them feel it right away! During the ultrasound make sure the ultrasound tech makes note how close your kindly is to your skin when standing up. Also pee test(may need more than one) will give evidences!  And there is a small sugary to fix it!

Also wearing a tight band around your waist or even a tight sport shirt is a temporally fix.

Good Luck and don't give up!!!!!

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by Kitty_66, Jul 27, 2015
I I'm suffering with really bad pain on my right side it put me in hospital for 3 days I had blood  in my urine  they gave me a CT scan and said I've got a horizontal lie on my right kidney and a 6mm cyst they said nothing to worry about but I'm still in pain can you suggest what I should do

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