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What to expect What to expect

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  #1  
Unread 03-16-2002, 10:43 AM
What to expect

Hi.....I've been reading through posts, etc. trying to get my brain functioning. I have a few questions and I know the answers are probably out here but please help:

I have a follow up appt this Thurs with my doctor from a lapo and hysto procedure done last week which showed one cyst larger than my uterus, two other large cysts, fibroids, endometriosis and an ovary adhered to my uterus. It was determined the best thing to have done was a hysterectomy, which we will discuss in more detail this week but I didn't even ask the right questions for this last procedure because I've never had surgery before....

Some questions:

Do they give you an enema? (YUK!) I've never had one but I can say YUK!

I've done a lot of reading and just from this last procedure, had a really hard time getting on and off the couch - I saw a suggestion to "use something" to help pull yourself up....what am I suppose to use, besides another person?

After being in the hospital for 3-5 days, my husband plans on being home for 2 days to help me (he would stay home more, he's wonderful really but we're trying to plan).....should I be able to hobble around to make it to the bathroom, etc? What are some of your experiences?

Any food suggestions after surgery? I saw somewhere to eat blan foods for a week or two.....made the mistake of having HOT SPICEY PIZZA five days after this last procedure....all I can say is OUCH.

Should I purchase some LARGER underpants and get nighties instead of pj bottoms?

Could you shower with assistance when you came home? I know you can't take baths.

Is the catheter removed BEFORE you wake up from surgery like it was with these procedures I had or is it left in and what does it feel like when they remove it if it's left in....I'm really nervous about that.

What kind of pain meds are usually prescribed after the procedure? I know everybody is probably different but after this procedure I had, I was sent home with motrin and percoset....which percoset only made me sleep and motrin did not do much of anything - anybody have suggestions? I don't have any allergies.

SILLY QUESTION - I should have my hair cut right before the surgery right because I won't be able to sit in a beauty salon chair too soon....sounds vain but I'm curious. I have "simple" hair to manage, nothing fancy but I just remember that two days before this procedure I had done, I had auburn hilights put in my hair and for a little bit, I felt better.

I will discuss everything with my doctor this week but I find that getting the "inside story" from people going there or been there is so helpful. I really appreciate this site even though I just found it the other day but I'm so happy I did. It could not have come at a better time.
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  #2  
Unread 03-16-2002, 11:04 AM
What to expect

Donna -

I'm sure you will find when you look further through this site that everyones experience and doctor is different but here are some of the things that I have learned and been told about my surgery that is coming early Monday morning.

I do not have to have an enema - yea! I've never had one either.

In the hospital I have read that loose pajamas are better than a gown since the gown can wrap itself around you making it harder to get around. After you get home and get around I have been told that spandex bicycle shorts are the best because they help hold your stomach and abdomen in and makes it feel more secure. I have yet to go buy some at Wal-Mart but maybe I will get around to that tomorrow!

As for the catheter - I can tell you that they will hopefully put it in after you go to sleep but it will stay in after you come out of surgery because you will not be able to get up immediately. I would think that it will be later that night or the next morning before you get out of bed. I know it was that way with both of my c-sections. I have been told that this will feel alot like having a c-section (we shall see). If so - it was a breeze for me.

Good luck to you with your doctor visit and with the upcoming surgery. If you are anything like me it will just be nice to wake up and be able to move around and go through my day without pain. I've almost forgotten what it was like!!



Chanan
  #3  
Unread 03-16-2002, 11:57 AM
What to expect

Donna,
To answer as well as I can-
Enemas- depends on Doc what kind of prep they want
Getting up - lay on your side push up on elbow
Usually the Doc won't release you unless you can manage basic activities like walk, shower, use toilet, etc.

I bought 3 pair of larger size undies very good idea for me.
My Doc also gave me a belly binder which helps hold your tummy.

The morning after my surgery the nurse got me up, escorted me to shower and then left me alone so again it depends on you and how you feel.

Cath is usually removed 24 or so hours after surgery - I felt a pop and a weird pulling sensation but no pain.
As for pain meds, if you read the post op board you will
see lots of different meds - depends on
I had my hair cut shorter so I would not have to mess with it at all and it would still look decent.

At top of this board there is a post of ? for your Doc
They really helped me plus I added a few of my own.

Also I bought Thru the Land Of Hyster that is still helping me.

If you need more help at home maybe after DH goes back to work there is someone who could just stop in and visit for a few hours. You can't really make firm plans for after surgery coz everyone heals differently.

Good Luck Paula
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  #4  
Unread 03-16-2002, 12:15 PM
What to expect

Hi Donna!

My TAH was on March 5th. I'll share with you some of my experiences:

I didn't have to have a pre-op enema. Each doctor is different and it's important to follow your doctor's instructions about pre-op bowel prep.

The second day after surgery the nurse had me stand and walk a short distance. I did walk to the bathroom. Of course I was sore from the surgery, but the nurses told me that the walking is important...and they were sure right! I've been able to get to the bathroom by myself since with little or no problem.

I can tell you the larger sized underpants were definitely needed! I bought cotton briefs two sizes bigger than my normal size (and I'm normally a string bikini woman!) I have been able to wear drawstring pajama bottoms...I love those sleep bottoms by Old Navy, and I'm living in those right now. Some ladies prefer button front nightgowns, others like short nightgowns or sleep shirts so that they don't get tangled up in bed.

I've been able to shower alone at home with no problem. I did have my fiancee handy the first time just until I knew how I was going to do.

My catheter was removed the morning of my second day post-op. I barely felt it coming out and it didn't hurt a bit.

The pain meds I was prescribed were Motrin and Percoset. I've been taking only OTC Motrin since I got home, though. You might want to talk to your doctor about other pain med options if those don't work well for you.

A and a ,

Your Hyster Sister,

Chris
  #5  
Unread 03-16-2002, 07:19 PM
What to expect

Hi Donna!
My doc did order me to do a fleet enema the night before my surgery. Its no big deal. I was alright doing it because I wanted my colon sorta empty for a few days. I took my own stool softners to the hospital and I continued taking them for a few days so when I had my first BM (which happened 5 days later) I would have no problemo. All that went fine.
Getting off the couch and out of bed wasnt so easy for the first few weeks for me. I had my dad's walker and used it for a day or so. Other times I had to have someone help me up. I was glad to get over all of that. If you have a recliner, that may be helpful.
I was out walking to my mail box 2 days after I got home. I cant sit still so as long as I felt alright, I was up on my feet. I think that helped me recover so quicky but thats just me. My doc told me to add 30 mins in the mornings and the afternoon each day to the time I was up walking. By the time I went for my 2 week check up, I was driving and walking pretty good. Slow but good.
For a few weeks after surgery, everything I ate went right through me. I ate mostly soup, cereal, juice, crackers and pretty bland stuff. I just didnt feel like eating anything real heavy for a while.
Larger pants and panties are good! Anything with elastic and maybe a size bigger for the first few weeks.
No problem taking showers but shaving your legs is a tough one! I had to get my husband to help me with that because bending isnt easy or suggested for a few weeks.
My cathatur was removed the next morning and I didnt feel it when the nurse did it at all. She also disconnected me from the IV at the same time. Then I was able to take a shower.
I had my hair cut before surger just because it was in the summer and I didnt want to have to deal with it anytime soon after coming home. I also got a pedicure. Pamper yourself as much as you can!
Hope some of these answers are helpful to you!
Good luck!!!
  #6  
Unread 03-16-2002, 08:29 PM
What to expect

Hi, Donna - I'll throw in my 2 cents - as they say, your mileage may vary, cause we're all different, but here's my experience:

I had some of the same stuff as you - and one of my late ovaries was adhered to my late uterus!

I had no enema. I did have a bowl prep - had to drink 2 servings of a rather vile tasting laxative and be on liquids all day before surgery. Some drs do this, some don't. It may depend on the particular situations you have.

Pulling yourself up is a combination of getting in the right position and using your arms and legs, rather than your stomach. After your surgery, ask your nurses how to do this - they helped me

I definitely got myself around after I got home. Two days post op I was wandering the halls of the hospital - slowly and carefully, but I did it. It is VERY important to get up and walk some to help with recovery and with gas/constipation. If you'll be home alone after a few days, there are a number of things that will help - for example, before you go to the hospital, put things in small containers, at waist level, so you don't have to lift heavy things or bend.

Personally, I'm eating my regular diet, but avoiding gas producing foods as much as I can, and DEFINITELY avoidy spicy stuff.

Some women find they need larger underpants - you want to make sure that whatever you have is not going to bind across your incision. I just wore some large sweat pants for the first week at home. Again, you don't want pj bottoms that would cut across your incision (may depend on whether they're doing it vertically or horizontally.)

I actually was told I could take baths (most women have been told no, and I haven't), and I took a shower the morning after surgery, with the nurse only helping me in and out of the tub, which had a high side. One thing you can do is stick a plastic chair in the shower - I found that nice at the hospital, but didn't need it at home. You can get one of those stacking plastic outdoor chairs pretty cheap.

My catheter stayed in till the morning after surgery - which I was actually glad for, cause I was purposely drinking a LOT and would have been trying to get in and out of bed when I really wasn't ready to. It felt a little weird when they took it out, but not painful. I was apprehensive, too!

I had the two meds you mentioned, but there are others, so talk to your dr and tell him/her of your problems with these, and they should be able to find something that will be better for you.

I say go for whatever will make YOU feel better about your hair and you (probably won't be an issue, but just check with the dr about hair coloring). It's not silly or vain - you want to do what will help you have a positive attitude.
  #7  
Unread 03-17-2002, 05:53 AM
What to expect

Hi there
I just had my procedure last tuesday and came home at noon on Thurs. I will keep it short..
Panties: I had a few pair of white cotton fruit of the loom that feel really nice one size bigger than usual

Enema none, but I ate lightly on Sun and did clear liquids on Monday.

My cath came out the next morning, it doesn't hurt jsut feels funny.
I got up the night of surgery at about 10 and walked to the bathroom to brush at midnight.

I got up the next morning and went to the bathroom independently. I was self care from then on.

I washed my hair on Monday at 11 in the morning my friend stood by to help.
I showered on Thurs at 6 am by myself and then begged to be released
I used a night shirt and slip on slippers.
I also brought all sorts of good smelling stuff with me, lotions lip balm etc from bath and body shop.

Go easy on eating after, going to the bathroom for the first time can be tough.

For pain: I used morphine until 2 am the following morning, then toradol IV to which I added lortab by mouth once I was eating.
At home I am using advil and 1 lortab at night for sleep.

You will be suprised how easy things go if you wish it so.
I did get a hair color and trim but could easily have it done this week too.

Any more ??? feel free to send a private message.
Good luck you will be fine
  #8  
Unread 03-17-2002, 06:29 AM
What to expect

Hi, I'm almost 3 weeks post-op and I will try to answer your questions!

Do they give you an enema? (YUK!) I've never had one but I can say YUK! Depends on your doctor. I had to drink some stuff by "Fleet". I mixed it with Welch's Grape Peach juice and didn't taste it at all.

I've done a lot of reading and just from this last procedure, had a really hard time getting on and off the couch - I saw a suggestion to "use something" to help pull yourself up....what am I suppose to use, besides another person? I used my elbow then you just gradually get up.

After being in the hospital for 3-5 days, my husband plans on being home for 2 days to help me (he would stay home more, he's wonderful really but we're trying to plan).....should I be able to hobble around to make it to the bathroom, etc? What are some of your experiences? To be released from the castle I had to be able to walk on my own, pee on my own and take my own meds. I would think you would be fine to go to the bathroom and back to the couch. What about food? Is he going to be coming home for lunch to cook for you?

Any food suggestions after surgery? I saw somewhere to eat blan foods for a week or two.....made the mistake of having HOT SPICEY PIZZA five days after this last procedure....all I can say is OUCH. I don't remember eating anything spicy, I drank and still do drink tons of water...I ate a lot of salad during the first week home, helped with my bowels.

Should I purchase some LARGER underpants and get nighties instead of pj bottoms? I loved my pj bottoms, big enough to get over the staples. I wore the hospital gown on surgery day, next day I wore my own as my catheter was out. I went around "commando" as it was more comfy.

Could you shower with assistance when you came home? I know you can't take baths. I had to have hubby help me in and out of the shower, as our tub has a high side. Besides that I was fine in the shower alone.

Is the catheter removed BEFORE you wake up from surgery like it was with these procedures I had or is it left in and what does it feel like when they remove it if it's left in....I'm really nervous about that. They took my catheter out the day after surgery. I had to pee so badly, I didn't have a problem going on my own. It doesn't feel like anything...not painful, just like you have taken off a ring on your hand. I had a JP catheter as I had drainage from my incision. That one didn't hurt either when they took it out the next day.

What kind of pain meds are usually prescribed after the procedure? I know everybody is probably different but after this procedure I had, I was sent home with motrin and percoset....which percoset only made me sleep and motrin did not do much of anything - anybody have suggestions? I don't have any allergies. I had Vicodin after the surgery. I didin't use my PCA pump with Morphine all that much. Made me too doped up. I was sent home with Motrin 600 and Vicodin. Along with stool softeners, take those each day/night as prescribed and stuff for gas pains. I never needed the gas pain ones and I stopped taking the stool softeners after I forgot one and everything came out okay the next day.

SILLY QUESTION - I should have my hair cut right before the surgery right because I won't be able to sit in a beauty salon chair too soon....sounds vain but I'm curious. I have "simple" hair to manage, nothing fancy but I just remember that two days before this procedure I had done, I had auburn hilights put in my hair and for a little bit, I felt better. I postponed my "spa day" I had been planning anyhow once I knew that the surgery was in a week! I plan on getting my hair cut and colored after my 6 week appt. If you want to get it cut, go ahead! It could be easier for you to manage in the mornings once you are home.

If you have more questions, please email me, it's always on!

Sara
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