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Advise regarding post-op from da vinci hysterectomy patients Advise regarding post-op from da vinci hysterectomy patients

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Unread 04-03-2011, 11:43 PM
Advise regarding post-op from da vinci hysterectomy patients

Hello from Alaska. I've been here reading every little bit of pre-op information I can find, which may surprise you as you read my profile and find I am a registered nurse. But unfortunately GYN is not my highest knowledge base by far. And it's a whole different ballgame when you are going to be the patient.

A little bit about me. Three years ago I was diagnosed with Cushing's Disease after two years of being very ill and having doctors tell me there was nothing wrong with me. I had brain surgery to remove two pituitary tumors one which was around the optic nerve and affecting my vision. I made it through that and have been feeling pretty darned good until about 7 months ago. To make a long story shorter, I found out last Thursday I have cancerous cells on the cervix and a mass in my uterus and will be needing a hysterectomy. I am 47 years old, so I am not too upset about the fact that I will be losing these parts, however, I am a nurse and I also own a bed and breakfast here in Alaska and my busy season is coming up. My worry is how long will I be "down and out" before I will feel somewhat human again. I have taken care of post-op TAH patients in the hospital, but that doesn't take into account what happens after they go home. Also I plan to have my procedure completed by a surgeon in Anchorage who does the da vinci proceedure and I have read that has a shorter recovery time. So I am looking for the experiences of those who have been through it.
I found a wonderful support group on line when I was going through the brain tumor surgery and it truly helped me during some rough times. I'm glad I found this sight. Thank you in advance for any advise. Tamera
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Unread 04-03-2011, 11:58 PM
Re: Advise regarding post-op from da vinci hysterectomy patients

I am a registered nurse also and even though I worked for a Gyn 13 yrs ago, I found I truly knew nothing about hyst recovery. I had the davinci (5wks ago this Tues) and am 40. I can honestly say I had delusions of how I would bounce back immediately, as I did following my c-section. Well it was a rude awakening as this kicked my rear. Not pain wise, just energy level and the restrictions. I was released to drive at 2 wks but I still felt like poo so it was meaningless. I felt the best last week at 4 wks post op. 3 was ok but I still tired easily. I am out and about now but I do limit myself because my body let's me know when it has had enough even though I feel good.
Unread 04-04-2011, 12:38 AM
Re: Advise regarding post-op from da vinci hysterectomy patients

You may want to either postpone your surgery or hire help for your B&B. I'm 49. Had the Davinci hysterectomy on Feb 24th. I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFIDS), which includes hypothyroidism.

It's major surgery. I'm still tired and sluggish. I have managed to drive once. Walking still hurts. Right side is still tender.

I think Da Vinci offers less blood loss and quicker wound recovery. Veins, muscles, ligaments and arteries are still cut. It still takes 4-6 weeks to be on your feet WHILE treating yourself gingerly. Overall, healing may take a good year.

You should look at all the tasks you have at your B&B that requires energy and using your ab muscles (which will be weak and achy). . . lifting, going up stairs, cooking, laundering, etc. Even if the doctor says you can do EVERYTHING, you won't be able to.

Good luck!

PS: My doctor is an expert, too. That is why I chose him given my other medical condition.
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Unread 04-04-2011, 02:57 AM
Re: Advise regarding post-op from da vinci hysterectomy patients

The da vinci robotic is an amazing surgery. I didn't feel like I had surgery except for the incision, but it does deceive you. Major surgery, your insides need to heal. Your bladder, bowel, and intestines have to settle. I took many naps after the surgery and always made sure to walk. I think I did too much too soon though. I still spotted at five weeks and one of my incisions separated. Best advice is to schedule your surgery. You need to take care of yourself right now. Do not delay. If possible, try to get things done before the surgery or get some summer help to do the lifting and cleaning. I'm not sure of your bed and breakfast operation but your health is very important. I regret not going to the doctor sooner. It took weakness from severe anemia. If not, I still wouldn't have gone to the doctor, ending up facing extra treatment if I was lucky. Waiting for the path results, thinking of not seeing another year was a wake up call. I have to focus on my health now. Good luck and God bless.
Unread 04-04-2011, 07:24 AM
Re: Advise regarding post-op from da vinci hysterectomy patients

Also, don't be surprised if your procedure changes. My TLH was converted mid-surgery to a TAH. Which is quite the horse of a different color!

Get in help for the B&B. Don't you dare postpone your surgery. You gotta take care of you!

Unread 04-04-2011, 09:18 AM
Re: Advise regarding post-op from da vinci hysterectomy patients

I had my DaVinci on 3/18 and am 58 years old. I have been pleasantly surprised at the low level of pain I have had. It has been kind of like a bad period at its worst. I have only taken Motrin since the hospital. I haven't done much but rest because I think my body needs it. I can drive now and have been out a few times but 3 hours is my limit. So all in all it has been pretty good. Because I was already in menopause I have already been through all of those issues. I guess the worst part for me was the catheter which was in for 24 hours - grrr. I have been drinking lots of cranberry juice to keep my bladder healthy. Anyways good luck to you AlaskaNurse.
Unread 04-04-2011, 09:27 AM
Re: Advise regarding post-op from da vinci hysterectomy patients

Well a few days ago I posted a question here asking if my experience was normal because I am 2 weeks postop Davinci and I'm still having more pain than I expected. Not that it's not improving some, but it's enough pain to affect my sleep and daily life - getting up and down is still painful and I seem to tire easily. I expected to be one of the women that bounce right back just like I did from previous C-sections but now I see that my expectations were pretty unreasonable. Perhaps I am healing better from this laproscopic surgery than I would be from a regular hysterectomy, but it is definitely a rougher road than C-section. To top it off I am now bleeding, which scares me, but my doctor assures me it's not enough bleeding to worry about at this point.

My personal opinion is that you can't predict if you will be one of the women who heal quickly or not and based on many experiences here I would plan on not feeling well enough to do everything you need to do for your B & B and make arrangements accordingly. If you do have a fabulous recovery then great, but at least you have plans in place if not so you are not overly stressed if it doesn't work out that way.

Not knowing your circumstances I can't say whether or not you should delay your surgery. I think only your doctor should make that decision.

Take care of yourself and prayers for a good outcome!

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