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after laparotomy questions
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after laparotomy questions

hi..my background - just had vertical cut laparotomy 7cm long incision to remove 24cm cyst 2 weeks ago.

1) is it normal to experience gas pains and difficult bowel movements?  everytime i wake up in the morning, my stomach feels like its full of gas but it's very difficult to pass.  

2) when were you able to wear normal pants again - like jeans.  up until 2 days ago, i coudn't even wear underwear because it hurt.

3) when do you feel "almost totally healed" enough to go back to work?  my job requires constant lifting - i'm a bridal consultant (wedding dresses are heavy!)

4) just curious - how long was your hospital stay for a laparotomy?  and when were you able to get out of bed?  and when did you have your staples removed?  
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Avatar_f_tn
hi there. I had both ovaries removed 2 wks tomorrow,with a verticle cut(bikini line)with 20 staples.
Question 1=Yes ,i still get pain with wind and with bowel movements.
Question 2=I tried to wear  jeans a couple of days ago(with zip and button undone)but found it both irrated and hurt so have gone back to jogging bottoms.
Question 3=usually told no heavy lifting for 3 mths,due to having to cut through stomach muscles.
Question 4=my stay was from thursday till monday. Allowed out of bed briefly sat but mainly sunday. not allowed home until bm.Staples removed on the wed(due to be removed on tuesday but could not get app with pn)painlessly.
I am from the uk so think you will find all the answers will vary from person to person,hospital to hospital and country to country.Good luck on your recovery.Dawn
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi there!

I just had a vertical cut (above the belly button and all the way down) 8 weeks ago today to remove a basketball sized cyst and left ovary.  I was in the hospital wed-sat.  I was back in jeans about a week and a half later (Gap Stretch) and had my staples in for 2 weeks.  I did have a couple removed about 10 days after because they were starting to look infected at the staple points and had a large pocket of fluid drained through the incision.  

At this point, I have been back to work for 4 weeks, but my job does not require lifting so it was ok for me to go back to work early.  I was really tired though when I got home in the evenings.  

At this point I feel mostly back to normal except that I still have a small point in the incision that continues to drain and I feel it. It also stings sometimes and I still get a weird kind of pain about 2 inches above where the incision starts that is just tender.  The nurse said I will have pains and feelings in weird places for months as everything starts to heal and reconnect.  

I will say though that the first 4-6 weeks, I felt like I was making huge strides and trying to constantly do something new each day, (put my own pants on, tie shoes, pick up toys) but these last 2 weeks it feels as though I have not made many strides.  That last 20% of recovery I hear takes months.  But the 80% went pretty fast.

Hang in there!  And take it easy!  But I will say getting up and getting back into the real world really worked for me.  As soon as I could I got back to soccer practices with the kids and normal daily routines. And sitting in a chair at work really strengthened the tummy muscles a lot quicker than my couch. =)

Good luck!  Hope this helps a little. =)
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi there!  I'm 3 weeks post op after cyst and ovary removal, diagnosis endometriosis.  My surgery was outpatient/laparoscopy.  My recovery may be a little different than yours mainly b/c my incisions aren't as big.
As far as your questions go:
1 - yes, gas is normal and so are hard BMs.  I suggest eating foods that will help, not bind, like whole grains and dried fruits.

2 - I have worn jeans but the button hits me right in my belly button incision.  I tried a bandaid but it doesn't help much so I'm back to my work out pants. After 3 weeks of my incision looking good I got a little infection so no jeans for me until it heals up.

3 - You may feel totally healed but your body isn't.  I have found this to be the biggest problem for me and my family.  Yes, I'm better to the point of not being in bed all day but no, I'm not back to normal.  I have mistakenly thought I was "normal" and tried to get back to my usual routine but it sets me back.  And, about that lifting...I stupidly lifted a 24 pack of water yesterday and it set me back a week.  My stomach is sore and a little crampy.  So...I'd say do not lift anything heavy for at least a month.  Take time to heal and remind people that you have had major surgery if you need to.  And, don't feel bad about saying it.

4 - Like I said, I was outpatiend with laparoscopy so my biggest incision (out of 3) is only 3 inches long.  I have internal staples and had steri strips for about 9 days.

Everyone is different so I'd say listen to what we all have to say and you'll fall somewhere within. There are some wise women posting on this site.  Take care and I wish you well.

Lori
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I am also two weeks post op.  

I still get very strong gas pains here and there.  When I have a bm it hurts really bad, almost to the point of tears.  

I haven't had the guts to try jeans yet because my incision site still hurts.  I wore a skirt last week that had a zipper, I went to the post office and to dinner and when I got home it felt like the incision site was on fire.  And I can understand the underwear thing, some nights I have to take them off because my site hurts.  

I was in the hospital from Tues. to Fri. I didnt' have staples I had clips and those were removed that Friday.  Then they put the steri strips on and I removed those the following Friday. The nurses at the hospital insisted I get out of bed when my catheter (sp) was removed.  My discharge papers also suggested walking for at least ten minutes daily.  I've made it a point of walking 10 - 20 minute in the morning and the evening.  I feel better when I'm being active.  

I hope this helps.  Thanks to everyone else who have listed their experiences, it helps me feel normal.
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Avatar_n_tn
thanks to you all for telling me about your experiences.  i am definitely feeling better and better each day.  the progress i made during the first 2 weeks was tremendous.  now, the healing process is a little slower.  some days, i feel sudden pain in my pubic and bikini line area but i guess that is normal.  as a whole, i feel more pain inside than i do on the incision site.  the first day out of surgery, i felt so much pain that i wondered how i would survive the next couple weeks.  but, my body recovered rapidly.  the worse was getting a cough during my third day that lasted for a week.  everytime i coughed, it felt like my incision was going to rip open and my internals were going to explode.  i guess the worse is over and i just have to be patient and not over-exert myself.  i have a 6month old baby and it's very hard to resist holding her sometimes!
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Avatar_f_tn
I know its hard not to pick up your baby but please listen to me. I had a 12mth old when i had hysterectomy(same incision as now)and i lifted her. 4 years later i was on a waiting list for bowel and bladder repair. I dont think a lot of us realise what they have to cut through in order to get these aliens out. Its the inside which takes the longest to heal.Dawn
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