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Robotic Hysterectomy... how will recovery differ? Robotic Hysterectomy... how will recovery differ?

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  #1  
Unread 08-12-2009, 09:06 AM
Robotic Hysterectomy... how will recovery differ?

I'm having a RALH/RSO in October. Most of what I'm reading about recovery is for abdominal hysterectomies, and all I really see about the robotic surgery is that it's 2 weeks vs. 6 weeks recovery and less complications... etc. I'm curious though... how much help am I going to need around my house afterwards if I'm doing the robotic surgery, and for how long? I live alone, and my family is all 1500 miles away. I am getting tired of asking people for help since I've had a few other surgeries this year already.

I realize the incisions will be small (I've had 2 other laparoscopic surgeries, so I'm familiar with what that will be like). Will bending over and stuff still be restricted? Will all the work that's done "inside" be painful? I have a fairly high pain tolerance and like my independence, but that doesn't matter if necessary activities are going to be forbidden for awhile after surgery. Any experience those of you who've had the robotic surgery can share would be very helpful. Thanks!

  #2  
Unread 08-12-2009, 10:05 AM
Re: Robotic Hysterectomy... how will recovery differ?

HI Foxpup,

I had a partial hysterectomy, a sacrocolpoperineopexy (for pelvic floor problems) and a TVT bladder sling. Some of my surgery was robotic. I know the sacrocolpoperineopexy was robotic. Before surgery he told me he might do the hysterectomy part as straight laporascopic -- without the robot. I don't think it matters that much in terms of the answer I'll give you.

Because of the extensive repairs, I think my recovery will be longer than yours. It will be four weeks on Friday, and I am still very much recovering. At this point I am doing work from home, doing an occasional brief errand out. Next week I have to attend meetings, and the following week I have to start teaching.

I really had very little trouble bending or twisting. Only for the first few days in the hospital did I have trouble getting out of bed. In fact, I remember in the first week I sat up from the couch using my stomach muscles -- probably not a good idea, but that's how little the stomach incisions hurt.

The worst pain was/is for me digestive. If you've had other lap surgery, you might already have an idea of what that is like. I have had diarhhea/painful bowel movements ever since, though it is slowly getting better. I think that problem is compounded by the posterior repair, which you won't be having.

I came out of surgery anemic and was put on iron tablets (I just got the green light to come off that yesterday). I certainly don't have the energy I had before, but even with the anemia, I think I"m doing ok where fatigue is concerned. It's over 100 degrees here every day, and I can manage a 30 min walk outside without too much trouble. I sleep late in the morning, but I don't feel the need to nap -- though I do sometimes rest.

As far as help is concerned, I'd say my biggest need was food that I could eat. I wish I had made a big pot of chicken soup before surgery. I needed driving help only for the first week.

Everybody of course is different. I'd suggest you read the DaVinci hysterectomy stories and look for a situation that best describes yours.

Good luck.
  #3  
Unread 08-12-2009, 10:06 AM
Re: Robotic Hysterectomy... how will recovery differ?

I would recommend getting some help! I had a total hysterectomy using DaVinci July 17th. I did not have a lot of pain, but I was weak, tired and moved slow. It was a great help to have someone to pick up items that were not light or that had dropped; help with meals and hold the leash when I walked the dog. It was good to have help changing sheets and washing clothes. It was comforting knowing someone was near by if I needed help. By day 3, I ventured out on very, very short walks in front of the house. Within 7 days I drove a short distance.

By the second week I didn't need the help as much. This Friday will be week four and I'm dirving, working, socializing and everything else you can think of, but I still rest, eat well and listen to my body because I understand I'm still in recovery. Could I have managed by myself? Perhaps, but I wouldn't be focusing on my job- working toward a full recovery. Hope this helps!

Even if you've had other surgeries this year, allow others to help you at this time in your life!!!
  #4  
Unread 08-12-2009, 11:43 AM
Re: Robotic Hysterectomy... how will recovery differ?

Hi there, I am two days post-op from a Da Vinci hysterectomy and you should definitely ask for some help. It's not terribly bad, but having had an open abdominal surgery in the past, I can honestly say this is a LOT better than being open. You will be sore afterwards, but you should also know you shouldn't bend after having this surgery. I cannot. I'm getting better a little by little by doing some things on my own but my DH has been great with helping me.
  #5  
Unread 08-12-2009, 04:36 PM
Re: Robotic Hysterectomy... how will recovery differ?

Foxpup

I had a daVinci surgery in November. I definitely needed assistance for the first couple of weeks. Yes you will have restricted activities like bending, lifting, etc. because although you have smaller incisions you still had the same things removed as with an abdominal surgery.

As far as recovery time, that is a very personal thing. I didn't go back to work for 6 weeks and was exhausted the first 2 weeks back. Others have gone back in 2 weeks. In my opinion it all depends on how extensive your surgery is (keeping ovaries, lymph node biopsies if cancer dx) and whether you experience menopausal symptoms. Also are you in pain now, I wasn't before my surgery so having pain afterward just messed up my mind. Also I was a very slow healer.

My gyn onc said that for the first 6 months some studies show that daVinci patients are on a faster track than abdominal patients after 6 months they are the same. However as with all things "your mileage may vary" since we all heal differently and have personal experiences.

for a successful surgery and uneventful recovery.

G.
  #6  
Unread 08-17-2009, 09:22 AM
Re: Robotic Hysterectomy... how will recovery differ?

Thank you all for sharing your experiences. It's good to know what I will be facing, and what I will not be able to do for awhile. It's harder to have someone around here 24/7 since I'm 1500 miles from my family and my friends are all busy themselves. I know everyone's experiences are different, and every heals differently, so it's great to get several different perspectives. Still trying to decide exactly what help I'll want/need, so I'm interested in hearing more from other sisters who have had a RALH!

Thanks! Hugs to all...
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