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What to expect before and after?? What to expect before and after??

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Unread 04-16-2012, 09:39 PM
What to expect before and after??

Hello Sisters,

I was sent here from my Aunt who looked to you all for support 2 years ago.
I'm having a full Hyster (Overies will be saved) on May 29th. via Da Vinci surgery. Can someone please tell me everything I will expect? Catheter? Vaginal packing? Stool prep? Hospital stay? ect. Also any advice before and after would be very helpful.

I'm a 32 year old stay at home mom of 3. (DS 10, DS 8 & DD4) The boys are in School but DD is home with me all day. Any advice for me on how to care for her while recovering? I'll have my DH home with me for only a day or two. Then I'm on my own. He gets no paid time off at all! My parents both work and my inlaws are out of the picture. Any advice and answers will be very appreciated <3

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Unread 04-17-2012, 11:21 AM
Re: What to expect before and after??


From what I have noticed, every dr has different plans for before and after surgery. Not everyone's preps and recoveries are the same. With that said I can tell you mine.

I had a TLH on 4/12 at 2pm. I had no diet restrictions the day before. Was only told no food 8 hours before and no liquids 4 hours before. No stool prep either. I got to the hospital and I was a mess. I stayed busy all morning so by the time I got there 12:00pm I was starving, had a massive headache and was extremely naseaus. I was worried the dr would call the surgery off...that is how bad I felt. I signed some paperwork and waited in "surgery waiting" to be called back for pre op prep. At 12:30 they called me back alone. I gave a urine sample, undressed, got an IV, blood work, and answered questions. Within 15 minutes of having the IV I felt great. The nurse said the headache and naseau were normal. My husband was allowed back once I was all set to go. Then we waited for the dr to come in and she answered any questions I had. Mysurgical nurse came in and piut some leg compression things on my legs so they could keep pump air into the compression things and keep my legs moving. Finally the anestesiologist came in and asked a few questions and had me sign some paperwork. He was late and by 2:30 I was on my way. The nurse stopped in the hallway and got some heated blankets to keep me warm. The OR was cold. I moved over to the OR table, the anestologist put something in my IV and I was out.

I woke up felling like I was going to get sick. I was in a lot of pain from the catheter and my legs were shaking. Those first 30 minutes were rough. As soon as I could walk I convinced the dr to take out my catheter (it was put in when I was asleep) . I have had many catheters and only 2 hurt.....this was one of them. As soon as it was out I felt great. I ordered soup and a sandwich for dinner because it was 7pm and I was starving. They brought my husband back for about 15 minutes to talk to me and then had him go back to the waiting room until my hospital room was ready.

The overnight stay wasn't bad. I had a private room and my husband stayed with me. I was pretty much out of it all night long. I got up to pee a lot and kept drinking lots of water, but slept. By morning I felt so much better. I had a light breakfast of fruit and yogurt. I was up for some tv time so I watched a movie and fell asleep several times. My dr came in at 10am to discuss my recovery and go over the surgery details. She had planned on having me stay until dinner time, but since I felt great she let me go at noon. I had lunch, took a shower, and was released.

I am 29 SAHM too to 4 kids. 8,6,4,1. I will get you more details about recovering later. This is already really long and I think I am going to take a nap. I hope this helps some, but like I said everyone seems to have different things happen to them. Oh, I had no packing and the dr glued all 3 of my incision holes shut. I have had minimal bleeding that I only notice when I wipe.

Good luck!!
Unread 04-17-2012, 02:26 PM
Re: What to expect before and after??

Thank you so much for sharing your story! Glad your surgery is over and your recovering well. I can't believe I have to wait and ponder over this for 6 full weeks. I'm so nervous now and it's all I can think about! I had all at the same time a hysterscopy, laperscopy, appendix removal and novasure surgery in May of 2010. I remember all to well what it's like to be filled with gas and have glued up incisions on my tummy! This will be the 3rd time having the same old incisions cut back open with an extra new hole to boot. I had a tubal pregnancy back in 2006 That was the first time I went through being a pin cusion.
Once again thank you so much for your response and I wish you well and hope you heal quickly <3

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Unread 04-17-2012, 08:48 PM
Re: What to expect before and after??

hey sbealko! We have the same hyster-date! I'm having a TAH at the West Los Angeles Veteran's Hospital. I'm here gather the same sort of info and asking lots of questions. Hope we can share experiences on the other side of the castle.

Unread 04-17-2012, 09:58 PM
Re: What to expect before and after??

Hi Grannykat!

It's so nice to know that you're not alone isn't it? I'm so happy to have someone to share this journey with! Are you also having the Da Vinci (robot) for your surgery? I've heard both good and not so good things. I just have to keep reminding myself that each and every individule is different.
I live in Michigan and will be at St. Joseph Mercy.

Please keep in touch!

Unread 04-18-2012, 12:01 AM
Re: What to expect before and after??

sbealko- Welcome to HysterSisters! I will be having the same type of surgery as you on May 9th. I completely understand how difficult & frustrating the waiting can be. By the time my surgery day arrives I will have waited over 2months from making the decision to have it. It even took my Dr's office almost 2 weeks to get in touch with a date for me.
Make sure you check out the pre-op hints from other sisters section & the surgery checklist. These are full of great information & ideas.
I know it is hard to start preparing so "early", but know that if you start now you will feel "ready" when the time comes & not have the "extra" things to worry about. Start with a list of things you really need & want to get done
and then maybe add a 2nd list ( just for any food you may want to prepare &
freeze). I have a few lists going right now- none super specific but working on that. Since your profile mentions a family, maybe start planning what things can get done on what days.
Most of all- take good care of yourself, try not to read things that will just scare you, keep, in mind everyone has a bit of a different experience or how they respond to situations. I have enjoyed reading pre-op questions people have posted & even read post-op posts as well (i look at both daVinci & TAH as for me there is abt a 50/50 chance of having to go TAH bc of my particular "issues".
I hope I havent overwhelmed you. I dont know if you have already heard of this (I hadnt until yesterday while reading a reply to a post)- there is a part of this group called "hystermisters" for husbands & other family to check out if they have questions- I thought that was awesome!
Anyway, I am planning on posting my experience "at the castle" & post-op as I feel able.
I want to wish you all the best in this preparation time & with your surgery & recovery!
Time to start pampering!
Unread 04-18-2012, 12:15 AM
Re: What to expect before and after??


Wow, I seriously did not know about the "histermisters" That is wonderful. I am just so very thankful for this site and how supportive everyone is twords one another. My Husband was even impressed! I don't feel alone at all and am happy to be here also for others like yourself. I wish you the best with everything also. Please post when you can after surgery so I know how you're doing!

T.C <3
Unread 04-18-2012, 12:29 AM
Re: What to expect before and after??

You will need help with your 4 yr old after your surgery.

I have a 5 yr old, and I am not physically, mentally, or emotionally ready to care for him for more than about an hour or two at a time.

You will NEED to rest and relax and focus on YOUR HEALING only.
Unread 04-18-2012, 04:25 AM
Re: What to expect before and after??

I had my surgery on 4/13. There were no dietary restrictions other than nothing to eat or drink 8 hours prior. My surgery date was postponed twice (once while I was in the hospital with the IV in) so I had to go through the whole emotional rollercoaster three times. I will tell you I was terrified. I take blood thinners so I had to be put on fragmin injections 5 days prior and this caused a lot of worry for me. I was both afraid that my blood would be too thin and I would bleed out on the surgery table and I was afraid that my blood would not be thin enough and I would have another pulmonary embolism.

That wasn't the full extent of my worries, I started to worry about my teeth being damaged during intubation. About not waking up from anesthesia or waking up too soon. It was almost as if I was looking for reasons to be afraid. I am not going to waste your time by telling you not to worry because believe me it wouldn't have worked for me. One helpful bit of advice I received was from someone who also suffers from nausea after anesthesia. I have been under twice and was sick for a couple of days after each time. I did tell the anesthesiologist and he said he would give me something for that. It must have worked because my nausea was very short and I was eating solid food by my second meal after.

My memory of the actual surgery itself is this. I remember being wheeled into the room and moving over to the surgery bed. I am overweight and immediately started to wonder (worry) about how I was going to get off that bed after surgery. I knew I wouldn't be conscious and worried that they might not be able to lift my dead weight. If it was a problem I never knew. The "robot" was pretty impressive and with the lights I felt a bit like I was in a science fiction movie. My Doctor made a joke about Hal from 2001 and next thing I remember was someone talking to me very loudly in recovery.

There was some pain but mostly what I remember was an overwhelming need to pee. I was pretty much in and out then and that is when I experienced most of my nausea. I really don't remember much about being brought to my room. I think my husband was already there but I am not sure. They told me they would give me something for pain as soon as they got my chart from the Doctor but for the most part all I really felt was the discomfort of needing to pee. I had compression boots on which they kept on me for pretty much the entire time I was there.

I told my husband that who immediately went to find the nurse. She was very nice and told me that I had a catheter in so to "let her rip". My surgery was scheduled for 1500 and I was in my room between 1900 and 2000. I was given an injection of dilaudid at around 2200. That pretty much ended any discomfort I was feeling. Bladder? What bladder? I was up most of the night watching tv and made a few phone calls. In hindsight I am not quite sure how coherent I was but I don't seem to have done any more damage than I would have under the influence of a couple of glasses of chardonnay.

They gave me two more injections of the dilaudid, about 4 hours apart. The medication seemed to be purely a personal choice. I wouldn’t say that I have a high pain threshold but after the first night I seemed to be ok with just a pill at bedtime. For my first meal I was given vegetable broth, jello, and juice. I didn’t have much of an appetite yet and this was all fine with me. At lunch they gave me some kind of beef and gravy mixture with potato gnocchi and green beans. I also had soup and ice cream. I ate the soup and the ice cream. I had a couple of bites of the beef and potato. I didn’t feel sick to my stomach but I just didn’t have much of an appetite. My husband eats enough for pretty much everyone on the floor of the hospital so he had no trouble polishing off the rest of my lunch.

Overall I was in the hospital for 2 nights. They kept me a little longer because of my blood thinners and previous pulmonary embolism. I do have pain but not unbearable. I pretty much just take something at night to help me sleep. I find the belly binder to be comforting and am still wearing that all the time. Each day moving around is getting easier and easier. I don’t have kids so I really can’t speak for how it would be to have to take care of a baby or young child. I have been lucky and my husband has pretty much waited on me hand and foot so I haven’t had to do much in the way of housework. I helped him make macaroni and cheese yesterday because his skills in the kitchen are nominal at best.

If at all possible I would say for the first few days you are going to need some help. Bending was (and still is) a bit difficult. Probably try to make sure everything you are going to need is going to be at waist level. Microwave meals might also be a good idea. Things that I took for granted like being able to bend over for a pot or drain a pot of pasta were an issue. Most importantly be careful. No lifting or exerting yourself. The most important thing is to heal. Good luck to you.
Unread 04-18-2012, 12:54 PM
Re: What to expect before and after??

Originally Posted by sbealko View Post
Hi Grannykat!

It's so nice to know that you're not alone isn't it? I'm so happy to have someone to share this journey with! Are you also having the Da Vinci (robot) for your surgery? I've heard both good and not so good things. I just have to keep reminding myself that each and every individule is different.
I live in Michigan and will be at St. Joseph Mercy.

Please keep in touch!

I'm having a TAH, although I'm not quite sure why he chose this method. Pretty sure the VA doesn't have the robot / DeVinci equipment. I've had 3 other abdominal surgeries over the years and they have created quite a bit of scar tissue, so this may be the reason. You better bet I will be following instructions on how much to lift, etc during my recovery so as to limit scar tissue formation.

We will keep in touch! I expect to be in hospital from 2-5 days.


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