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general all around questions pre& post op general all around questions pre& post op

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Unread 03-04-2002, 11:24 AM
general all around questions pre& post op

Hi Ladies, I'm mari and am scheduled for a TAH on friday the 8th. and the nerves are starting to get to me. I have a million questions, but I'll only ask a few. How long is the surgery? My surgeon is very worried about me bleeding during the procedure because of the size of my fibroids, is this a problem I should be concerned alot about? How lnog will I be in the hospital, my doctor says 2-3 nights? That doesn't seem very long to me. What will I have for pain management in & out of the hospital? Iwas told at my pre-op appt. on friday that I would have a PCA machine, but what will be in it? I didn't want to ask the doctor and seem like a total idiot. How long will it be until Ican do things for myself again & how much help am I going to need? This is important because I care for my husband with ms full time at home and I need to know what to look for, my son is moving home for a couple of weeks to help lift & care for his father, please just let me know everything that you think I need to know, I really do not want any surprises than you. I have asked my doctor most of theses questions but to be very honest, I'd rather here it from someone that has been through the process. Thanks so much, and hopfully I'll be talking to you al alot in the next few weeks.Please try and get back to me if posible asap. mu surgery is 4 days and counting. Have a good day everyone. mari burket.
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Unread 03-04-2002, 11:58 AM
general all around questions pre& post op

Hi Mari, and welcome!

First of all, take a deep breath! I know this can seem VERY overwhelming, but you can get through this. We'll all help as much as we can!

My TAH for large fibroids lasted about 3 hours, but this can vary widely based on your individual circumstances. I had my surgery on a Thursday morning, and went hom Sunday night. Again, this can vary depending on your recoery and overall health, but I think my stay was pretty typical.

Pain management is DEFINITELY something you need to talk to your doctor about BEFORE you go to the hospital. There are so many different things they can give you. Unfortunately, in my case, everything they tried made me vomit violently, so I finally went without pain meds. However, I'm sure they will be able to keep you more comfortable. Just discuss your needs and concerns with your doctor, and make sure you get all your questions answered.

Regarding your recovery, you will definitely have lifting, bending and other restrictions for at least 6-8 weeks. Again, this depends on your doctor and your particular circumstances. I hate to keep saying that, but we really are all different in our surgeries and recoveries. I was a 28-year-old in excellent physical condition, and I couldn't lift ANYTHING for 6 weeks. Even after that, I got very swollen and sore if I lifted much at all for about 4 months.

There are some hints I can give you that may make your recovery a little easier:

Once you're at home, you'll need to have some comfortable clothes to wear. I found men's pajamas very comfortable, because the large, drawstring waists came up well above my incision, and the button-up tops didn't have to go over my head (hard to get my arms up). You will probably want to have large, "granny-panties" in a size or two large than you normally wear (you will be swollen and sore!).

Have a tummy pillow handy at all times! This would be a small pillow that you hold against your abdomen when you have to sneeze or cough. Keep it where you can grab it with only a second’s notice! I had a sneeze sneak up on me once when I couldn’t grab my pillow – ouch! It felt like my insides exploded.

Have plenty of no-preparation foods on hand, like fruit, soup, cereal, snack bars, etc. I had absolutely no appetite for a couple of weeks, and my frantic husband finally convinced me to drink some Ensure, which went down ok. You may want to have some of that in the fridge for times you just don’t feel like eating, but need nourishment.

Also, buy PLENTY of juice! You will need to drink LOTS of liquids when you get home to help with the gas. I got bored with the same type of juice, so my husband bought lots of different types, and put them in small containers for me (I found it difficult to lift and pour large containers for awhile). Don't drink anything carbonated, and don't use a straw (makes the gas worse).

WALKING is very helpful with the gas! Walk as often as is comfortable (my walks were VERY short and slow, but I did several a day), and it should really help get your bowels working smoothly again.

I also found a shower chair very helpful. Standing up long enough to shower wore me out! You could also use any plastic chair that will fit in your shower.

VERY IMPORTANT: have anything you might need at waist-level. This includes toilet paper, pads, clothing, cups, food, plates, etc. Believe me, you will NOT want to bend or reach for anything! The house may look cluttered for awhile with everything sitting out on counter tops, but it's worth it!

If you’re going to be alone, make sure the phone is where you can reach it at ALL times! Several of us have gotten “stuck” (couldn’t get off the couch without help, problems in the bathroom, etc.), and have needed to call for assistance. I kept a tiny cell phone in my pocket all the time. That way, I could even call my home number from inside my house if I needed my husband and he couldn’t hear me!

Also, it may be helpful to have some cash on hand. If you have to ask a friend/neighbor to run to the store to buy some milk, for example, it’s easier if you have some cash to hand them!

Once you’re feeling a bit better, you might start getting a bit bored. Unfortunately, you will be very limited in what you will be able to do. These are some things I did to pass the time, along with some suggestions from other hystersisters:

Reading LOTS of books
Writing long letters to friends and family (real letters, not e-mail!)
Organizing photo albums
Drew out plans for the garden
Bought a tape to improve Spanish skills
Watching lots of movies
Crafts, quilting, etc.

Good luck, and keep asking your questions!
Unread 03-04-2002, 12:07 PM
general all around questions pre& post op

HI Mari !!

First of all....welcome to Hystersisters! You will find this website so helpful!

I will try to answer as many of your questions as I can. I had a TAH/Burch repair about 5 months ago. Remember, these are only my experiences. Your Dr. is really the best source for information relating to your particular case.

My surgery lasted about 2 and 1/2 hours. It was pretty uneventful. I was in the castle for 3 nights. I had the PCA pump with Demerol until day 2 in the castle. Then I switched to oral pain meds (Vicoprofen), which is what my Dr. sent me home with too.

You should really plan that the 1st 2 weeks you will not be up to doing too much. You will have many restrictions placed on you by your Dr. (lifting, bending, etc.). Pretty much, laying flat with occasional sitting and walking will be best. After 2 weeks or so, you will start to feel better and have more energy. My restrictions were in place for 6 weeks from surgery.

I hope this helps. Please feel free to email me if you like. Keeping posting and reading, it will really help !!

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