Questions about healing and pain from an ovary removal via laparotomty...
I am one week post surgery. Last week, I had surgery to remove a softball sized ovary and a large mass (football sized) that was behind my ovary. I had suffered with back pain for the last 2 years and when my pcp referred me out because he thought it may be a woman problem, I did not expect the pain of this recovery. The gyno told me to think of the surgery like a c-section. In some ways it was. They opened up my c-section scar for a 3rd time, which in itself is hard!
I did not know about the additional football sized mass when the doctor went in. He decided on laparotomy because of the size of my ovary. When he explained the surgery before hand he had basically told me that he would remove the ovary and do explorations to see what else may be causing the problem. I have no freaking idea how a CT scan and ultrasound had missed a FOOTBALLL sized mass, but when he went in, he found it directly behind the ovary.It was pushing on my back as well, and he thinks this is what has been causing my back pain for so long.
But my problem is that I didn't expect to be in so much pain. After previous c-sections, I had been up and walking after a few hours. The hospital wouldn't let me walk until almost 15 hours after surgery. When they did, it was minimal and then back to bed. The pain was excruciating. Nothing like what I had felt when I had my babies. One week later and I still have to rely heavily on my husband. My 2.5 yr old can barely sit on my lap without causing me to wince. TMI warning, but I can't wipe myself in the rear. I can't fully bend to put on socks or pants.
I make myself walk, but it's more of a hunched shuffle with a walker or cane. I can manage around the house but for outside walking, I need to have someone with me. I can't pick up anything too heavy and by that I mean, I went to pour myself some milk and almost dropped it.
I can't lay on my side, step into the bath, or get out of a recliner without help.
It's only been one week but I feel like an invalid. I am still on the codeine. I wouldn't consider not taking it and normally I stop taking that stuff after a day or two and switch to tylenol or advil. To be honest, I'm scared of what the pain could be without the pain killers. The good news is, the wound from where they cut me open looks fabulous. It's not like I have an infection - at least I don't think I do. I have no fever or anything like that. I think it's just removing what they did from me. It was way more than I thought was coming out.
I am going to the dr. on monday. I would like to hear back from anyone that has had this and their experience. Thanks!
Yes, it is a very difficult recovery. I was in the hospital 2-3 days, then basically laid on the couch for 3 weeks. The first week was the hardest, somewhere around day 8 I was able to get off the pain killers (I was pregnant, so trying to get off them ASAP). My cyst wasn't nearly as large. Definitely give yourself plenty of time. Even after 3 weeks on the couch, it was another few weeks of not being 100%. I used the motor cart at the grocery store, etc, tried not to do too much.
Hang in there Willalee!
I am 9 weeks post-op from a vertical laparotomy, myself. I still have pretty bad pain when I sneeze, cough or it I need to strain at all for a BM. I started walking on a treadmill last week, but have to be careful not to get too aggressive with my stride or swinging my arms. I can really feel it! I went back to work at 6 weeks post-op. The first week was only two days, and I was completely exhausted. I think it was until week 4 where I wasn't completely wiped out just from showering. Week 5, I started taking short walks in the neighborhood - started with a 1/2 mile walking quite slow - could definitely feel it.
Like jbesmom, the first 3 weeks for me were pretty much all rest between the bed and couch. I would definitely notice it if I overdid it. The smallest things took so much energy, and back hurt for compensating for the abdomen. I also stopped the pain meds right around the 8 or 9 day mark.
Do know it does get better, week by week. I can't believe how far I've come! My doc gave me a tip to get as much protein as possible in the early weeks to help the ab muscles repair. I drank whey protein shakes every other day, and ate greek yogurt. I never liked yogurt because of the sour taste, and now I eat it 3 times a week - the Greek Dannon light is really mild. I feel like the extra protein may have helped.
That's great your incision looks good. I was also fortunate to not have any infections with mine. I am overweight, so was very scared about keeping it dry enough.
Continue to get good rest, and don't force yourself to overdo it. You will see progress :)
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