Hi, I am 26 years old and recently had an ultrasound which showed a 9 cm dermoid cyst on my left ovary. I will be undergoing laparoscopic surgery to remove the cyst.
I have never had a surgery and I am very nervous. I would really like to hear from your experience what to expect both before and after surgery.
What kind of preparation for surgery will I do at home? What kind of preparation will I have in the hospital? How long do I have to wait after surgery to leave the hospital? Do I get to go home right after I wake up? Is anything done after I wake up? What is recovery like? Will I need someone to be with me the next couple of days or can I manage on my own?
Thanks so much for any insight you may have. Any information will really help to ease my mind.
I just had laparoscopic surgery to remove a cyst and ovary about a month ago. This being your first surgery, I can understand your being nervous. Had I not been through several surgeries going back to when I was a kid, I would have been very nervous as well. I can give you my experience, other women on this forum may have slightly different experiences.
I was told not to eat after midnight the night before surgery. They didn't even tell me to eat light, just no food or drink after midnight. They didn't tell me this, but typically they don't want you taking any blood thinning medications, including aspirin about a week before surgery. You will have a pre-op with your doctor and you should ask about this. I was also scheduled a week before my surgery to go to the hospital and get tests done. I told them my medications and any other health problems. They took some blood and also did an electrocardiogram. They went over instructions with me then.
Arrange to have someone drive you to the hospital and bring you back home too. The morning of my surgery, they ran some more tests, monitored my blood pressure, took my temperature. They had me wear special socks to prevent blood clots, I was also given some medication by the nurse to prevent blood clots. A little while before my surgery they gave me some medication to sedate me a little and inserted an IV. They wheeled me into the OR, I was awake for a little bit while they did preparations. After they took my glasses off, I don't remember a thing. The next thing I knew, I was waking up from the surgery. I was in some pain, but they gave me some medication to relieve the pain. It felt like bad menstrual cramps. The doctor came by and told me everything looked good and what he had done. I was still in a haze then. Some time later they had me get dressed and sit in a chair. I did have to pee and they helped me to the bathroom. They also had me drink some juice which later made me sick due to the anesthesia. They called my friend to pick me up. I had my surgery at noon, was home by 5.
The first night home, I was sick from the anesthesia. I had pain medication but tried to hold off on that. One thing you might want to do is ask the doctor if you can get the pain medication a few days before surgery, then you don't have to stop off after surgery to get it.
I didn't have anyone helping me at home. But, if you can, especially that first night, it would be good to have someone stay with you. The hardest part was getting my food. I was in pain the first couple of days, and walked kinda bent over. I made food ahead of time so all I had to do was heat it up in the microwave. They don't want you to drive for the first week to two weeks, so try to get everything you need beforehand if you don't have anyone to do it for you. I had my surgery on a Friday, by Wednesday, I was feeling okay. Pain diminished, but I still got tired easily. One thing is to try not to be a hero and just rest, rest, rest as much as you can. By Friday, I was feeling good and went out to lunch with a friend. That was a week. My sister was very concerned and wanted to drive in from another state, but I told her I was okay. I knew if I could get through the first couple of days, I'd be okay. I think I took 2 pain pills out of my whole bottle of vicadin. After that, there was a little pain, but not bad. I quit taking the Vicodin early because it was causing constipation. Once I stopped, no more constipation. I took one advil after that for the pain. I would say give it 2 weeks before resuming normal activity.
This has been my experience. I had no complications and no reason to stay overnight in the hospital. About a week and a half after surgery, I went to see my doc, and he said everything was looking good, explained what the final pathology report said. He said during surgery he checked everything, took a frozen section, everything looked benign then and final pathology report confirmed this. He then said no vigorous exercise for another month.
Looking back, I would say the whole experience wasn't bad, and I would tell you not to worry. The nurses I had took very good care of me, and I felt more than ready to go home when the time came.
You have asked very good questions and I would ask these to your doctor the next time you see him or her. Let me know if you have any other questions or concerns.
Outdoors girl nailed it. That was pretty much my experience. Except that I was the last surgery of the day and it was more complicated than she thought. I stayed overnight but it was still outpatient since it was less than 24 hours in the hospital. I would add that you are concerned with nausea from the anesthesia if you like. They can do great things to prep you so that you are not sick. I thought it was just something you have to deal with. Nope. The last 2 surgeries I had, they gave me something that worked really great and I woke up feeling fine. If you can have someone with you the first few nights, it's helpful. Rest and rest some more. I was going out to lunch about 4 days after, but moving a bit slowly still.
One more thing about recovery which I don't see discussed here much...
The instructions I got from the hospital listed what I could and could not do. The instructions said I could shower, but not when I could start showering. The nurses were also vague about the bandages. They told me they would fall off in a few days. They did not. My surgery was Friday, by Sunday night, I was dying for a shower. So I tried to rig up something so my bandages wouldn't get wet. Didn't work, so I had to remove the big one after the shower. Unfortunately, I didn't have any big bandages to replace it. I needed something, so I rigged something up. I did leave my steri-strips in place. A few days later I walked to the pharmacy and bought some big bandages - wish I had had them beforehand. I probably took the shower too soon, but I felt so much better after. I really needed to get all the hospital **** washed off me. I felt like a person again. When I visited the doctor a week and a half later, the steristrips were still on. He told me to remove them while I was in the shower. So, you may want to ask more specifically about when exactly you can shower again and what to do about the bandages.
Good point from outdoorsgirl. I was allowed to shower the 2nd day after my surgery and was to leave the steri-strips until they fell off. Unfortunately, the ones on my belly button kept that area from drying out all the way which left me open to a staph infection. I pulled them off on the 8th day and yuk! If I did it again (which I hope I won't) I would leave them but inspect everything and maybe even blowdry the belly button area (ask doc first). I have had a lap before and that didn't happen.
I just had laparoscopy for a suspected dermoid on left ovary and suspected hemorrhagic on right ovary 4 days ago. My experience differed a bit:
1) No food or water 8 hours before surgery. Doctor recommended 'light' diet for 2 days before (soups etc) and an enema the night before. He said it was easier without the colon in the way.
2) Pre-op sounds about the same. They put in an IV, review your chart with you; you meet with the anesthesiologist. Doctor comes in and marks your tummy (required by law now). The anesthesiologist injected something into my IV to relax me while they wheeled me to OR. I barely remember OR. I remember switching over to a new guerney. As soon as they told me to take a deep breath with mask over my face, I was out. They put special wraps on my legs to prevent clots while in ER (they told me this, I don't remember it). They also put in a catheter once you're out.
3) Post-op was low-key and short. I woke to them saying "open your eyes" repeatedly. As soon as I did, the nurse whisked out my catheter. I was really groggy and out of it for probably 15 minutes struggling to figure out who/where/what I was. Doctor came in and talked briefly to me, showed me some pictures. I drank some water. I was sooo thirsty and my mouth was like cotton. They had me stand and switch to a reclining chair. I visited with my mom and husband a little. I walked to the bathroom and peed. They took out my IV shortly after that and went over my d/c instrcutions. My surgery was at 7:30. I was in post-op by 10:45 and leaving the hospital at 1pm. (My surgery was a little longer than normal because it used the robotic-assisted arm which takes longer set-up time)
4) Pain: Lots. Turned out I had 4 cysts on left and 2 on right (still don't know what type, will talk with doc's office tomorrow) and the doctor said 'they were difficult to remove", so my ovaries probably suffered a bit of trauma. I took my first pain pill at home around 7pm; the meds they gave me in the hospital must've worn off. I was in quite a bit of abdominal pain. The first night 1 x 7.5/750 vicodin wasn't quite cutting it (i had that already from previous ER visit) so I switched to 2 of the 5/325's my doc gave me at the hospital. I had to take those every 4-5 hours for the first few days. I kept trying to make it longer or not need them, but I couldn't. I had terrible shoulder/chest pain which I've read is from the CO2 they pump you full of. My abdomen was very very sore, difficult to sit up, had to log roll. Couldn't sleep on sides at all because of shoulder pain. Anytime my colon moved because of gas I yelled out in pain (first day or so)
5) Incisions: 4. One in belly button, two on each side slightly above where ovaries are and one longer one (probably 1.5 inches) above bikini line. Glued shut, no stitches. No drainage. Bruises around them by day 2. Was allowed to take a shower the next day.
6) Bleeding: Aunt Flo like bleeding for the first 2-3 days. It seemed more the more up and around I was. I'm on day 4 and haven't bled today.
Haven't had any nausea but the anestheologist put some kind of patch behind my ear which was supposed to help with that. I was out in the car a bit yesterday and today and got carsick both times right off the bat. It's weird.
Today, day 4, is the first day I didn't feel like I had to take pain meds on a regular basis. I think I'll switch to advil now.
Good luck... it sounds like a lot, but it's really not too bad. :)
I have had two lap surgeries- one to remove my gallbladder, and one as a staging surgery after an ovarian tumor.
For the gallbladder one, I didn't have to do any bowel prep the day before, just couldn't have anything to eat or drink after a certain time. It was outpatient, and I was sore for a couple days but mainly back to work in 4 days and pretty much normal after 10.
For the staging surgery, I had to do bowel prep which was by far the worst part of the whole thing. I had to drink two bottles of mag citrate (gives you the runs- majorly) and then had to do an enema as well. I didn't sleep at all the night before thanks to the bowel prep, and when I got to the hospital in the morning I was so dehydrated, they had a hell of a time getting an IV in me.
I stayed in the hospital one night, and was much more sore than the gallbladder one. I had 4 or 5 tiny incisions. I missed two weeks of class- it was a rougher recovery as a whole. But the pain really wasn't that bad and I was mostly back to normal in about 3 weeks.
Lap surgeries are so much easier than open ones with the big incision- you should be fne- but if will feel like someone is punching you in the gut for a few days. Good luck!
Oh and another thing- be sure to have a family member or very good friend with you. The day before, discuss any questions that might come up and write them down so when you are discharged, they can ask and write the answers down, as you will be too stoned to remember.
I justt had a lap surgery last friday. The CO2 is TERRIBLE. No one told me that it would be so painful. They just said I would feel some pressure on my chest. It was more like someone stabbing me in my right shoulder and someone sitting on my right lung while having pnemonia (pneumonia). So very painful, at least for me. Luckily that only lasted about 2 days. The 1st 24hrs were the worst for me. I have had hip surgery before, so it's not like I have'nt had surgery before. After the CO2 started passing my pain minimized a lot.
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