The doctor recently found a large ovarian cyst (about 20cm) and it needs to be removed. She has mentioned both laparoscopy and laparotomy. I was told due to the large size of the mass it would be difficult to remove it through laparoscopy but it is not impossible. Based on what I've seen online, I wonder if she is being too optimistic...
Anyway, I am new to a city and it is not easy to find someone to stay with me after the surgery. How long after the procedures would I need someone to stay with me and when would I be able to get around independently, assuming that I will have a laparotomy? Are there usually many follow-up procedures post-op? How long do I have to wait after the surgery to fly (about 4 hours, direct flight)? It would be much easier if I can fly and get to a place where someone can be there.
I think you're smart to go into this assuming a laparotomy. You need to find out how long they plan on keeping you in the hospital. I'm in Canada and was in for 5 days but I have heard of some in the U.S. heading home next day. The longer you are in the hospital the better if you are on your own. After a laporatomy you will not be wanting to walk (except for a bit around the house to break up gas) or do pretty much anything for the first 2 weeks. Being on your own can work if you prepare food ahead and freeze and get all your prescriptions and meds (including motrin and GasX or Ovol and perhaps some Gravol) purchased beforehand. I went for half of my staples out at a week and a half and the other half within a week of that.
After the first 2 weeks you will start feeling better but will still need to limit your activities and continue to get lots of rest.
I can't imagine feeling up to flying like that but it isn't impossible. You would need to arrange for transport (usually no driving for 4 weeks) and wheelchair and assistance at the airport. Good luck with everything.
Thanks for the response TrudieC! I am also in Canada but it seems like every hospital is different so I guess I will have to wait and see how long they will keep me. Thanks for the tips to get some of the things purchased in advance. My surgery is next week so I guess I will have a busy weekend stocking up my house, cooking a storm and getting ready!
As for the flying question I think the doctor should be asked. Everyone is different regarding blood clot risk from surgery and some are given a course of blood thinners briefly if required. Long flights can increase blood clot risk a bit.
I have documented my laparotomy story and it should give you some idea what to expect regarding how you will feel afterwards. It is in the "about me" section of my profile.
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