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What to expect after surgery?
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What to expect after surgery?

I have a 20cm dermoid cyst on my left ovary, i am awaiting surgery to remove the cyst, ovary and fallopian tube on the left side. Because of the position of the cyst i have to have a vertical laparotomy, i was just wondering if anyone who has been through the same thing can tell me about the recovery after surgery and what to expect. I am 21 and have never had any type of surgery before.
Thanks
Tags: Recovery, Cyst, left, ovary, surgery, dermoid, vertical laparotomy, laparotomy
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23 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_f_tn
Anyone?
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Avatar_f_tn
I had my surgery last monday. Everyone is different but according with my experience after surgery you will have pain but it is not that bad the first day I did not feel any pain because I was on strong medication. Then you will feel pain everyday in the firts week , but you will be fine with all  the medicine.
The recuperation is about 4 to 6 week that is what my doctor said to me but I can tell you that tomorrow is only my first week and everyday I am feeling better and better I walk around the house very slow but I walk, when I feel tired I go to bed watch tv a lot . You well need someone by your side I think for the first week very important and organize everything before surgery try to be prepare because you will be fine but most of the time will be in bed try to walk even if you feel pain is good for the gases that you will have after surgery.
I was very scared before surgery this is my 1 surgery in my life so I was terrified but now I feel better that I had a done and the hardest time was the waiting time before surgery so I can tell you that you should relax that everything is better then I thought :)
Every  person is different  but in general I thnk most of the people experiment the same .
Good luck if you need anything let me know.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks so much, it makes me feel better to hear what other people have been through, i know everyone is different but it just gives me an idea of what to expect after surgery. Yeah your right about the waiting time for surgery as its giving me more time to panic but im sure i will feel alot better once its out as im experiencing alot of pain especially back pain and my stomach is distended to the extent that i look pregnant, im having trouble getting my clothes to fit!
Thanks again.
  
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Avatar_f_tn
I am glad you feel better about the surgery believe me , I was crazy before the surgery and it is not that bad you will see. You going to be fine you are very young your body will recovere very fast .
Let me know how it goes . Good luck .
Try to relax do not think to much in that you do not need to do that. :) :) relax relax relax :)
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Avatar_f_tn
I am glad you feel better about the surgery believe me , I was crazy before the surgery and it is not that bad you will see. You going to be fine you are very young your body will recovere very fast .
Let me know how it goes . Good luck .
Try to relax do not think to much in that you do not need to do that. :) :) relax relax relax :)
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Avatar_f_tn
I hope so! My surgery is scheduled for the 12th April i will let you know how everything goes and please keep me updated on how your recovery is going. How many days did you stay in hospital for?
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi ! I stayed in the surgery center only 1 night my surgery was in a outpatient surgery center so maximum time that one can stay there is 24 hours. I am sure in the hospital you can stay more days and that is good because they will take care of you.  nurses are very sweet in those places you will be fine.

My recovery is going good today I have 8 days after my surgery and now I am walking more, the pain is almost nothing, I was able to cooked yesterday very slow but I did it :). Of course not driving yet.

I will be waiting news after your surgery please let me know.
And relax everything will be fine . Good luck .
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Avatar_f_tn
Oh right i've been told i will be in hospital for 3-5 days so will get help whilst there.
That's really good to be able to do that much so early on i was told bed rest for the first 2 weeks and only getting up for short walks around the house.
Yeah i will let you know as soon as i am out of hospital, how is your scar healing? Did you have a bikini line one or a vertical one like im having?
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Avatar_f_tn
I think 3 to 5 days will be perfect for you in the hospital they will help you a lot.
They told 2 weeks off  of everything , but every day I feel  that I can do more my doctor told me that I can try to do litlle things like I told you.
Walking is good but at the beginning you will feel tired even now I feel a litlle tired.
My scar is heeling good sometime I feel a burning sensation. I think Is the healing process.
I had a bikini line is like c section.  
I hope the best to you.
Try to enjoy this days before surgery if you can ,because then you will be at home 24 hours at day for the first 2 weeks . I am missing my regular life but I know the best thing for me is this ,be at home resting, wacthing tv .
Good luck and do not worry everything Will be fine.
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Avatar_f_tn
Most people stay in hospital 3-5 days after laparotomy, but it depends on the hospital policy.
Lolacu's experience sums up what most people experience. Mine was far from normal and wont put your mind at ease, so Ill not go there.. The surgery itself is the easy part, the anaesthetics just put you to sleep and it feels like you wake up a second later. Some people are drowsy, some have nausea, most are fine. You will have a drip the first day and receive painkillers through the drip for a few days. Depending on the hospital you will either have a painkiller drip with a button to boost the dose when needed or a mixture of tablets, IV and injections. You may have a catheter the first two days or so. You wont have bowel movement for 3-4 days as it takes a bit longer for your bowels to wake up again, drink plenty. Your painkillers will also make you constipated, so make sure you get some kind of laxative before you leave the hospital.
The two first weeks are the most painful time, dont fall behind with the painkillers. Muscle pain continue for another two weeks or so, after that the pain will be minimal and manageable with very little to no painkillers. You will need to take it easy (no heavy lifting etc) for at least 3 months, your doctor should mention what you can do after surgery or at the post op appointment.

Remember to do your exercises, they help you heal by improving blood circulation and I found it helped the swelling a lot as well. If possible, see the physiotherapist before your surgery, it is easier to learn the exercises when you are pain free. If not, make sure you see her the day after.
Part of your belly might be numb for months after the surgery, the feeling usually return but it is the very last thing in the healing process, probably 6 months down the line.

Waiting and worrying is definitely the worst part. Good luck, I hope everything goes well.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks Lolacu like i said it's nice to hear that you are doing so well after surgery and i hope my recovery is like yours.

I think the being put to sleep is the scariest thing for me as i have never had anaesthesia before, i know the recovery is going to be hard and painful but im sure i will get through it, this forum has helped me alot as i now know what other people have been through. asdf125 i will take note of what you have said about the laxatives and seeing the physiotherapist before my operation if possible. Would you say the pain is manageable in the first two weeks with the painkillers or is it agony? I have quite a high tolerance to pain anyway.

Thanks for your help and i will keep you all updated after surgery.
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Avatar_f_tn
I was scared of the anaesthesia as well, but going to sleep is so quick and easy. If you are very anxious you can ask for some sedative while waiting in the hospital, it works wonders.
I think I have quite a high pain tolerance as well, it can only help!
The pain is definitely manageable with the painkillers, but it is quite sore to move about. You definitely shouldnt be in agony. I was aiming to be comfortable and pretty much pain free when lying still but expecting pain when moving. It is really tough to sit up and get out of bed the first couple of times, but you will cope better than you first think and you will be better by day 2. Once you are up, walking, sitting etc will be sore but not as bad.

The midline incision is more painful than the bikini incision (I had both!), I found the bit above the belly button was the worst of the lot, probably due to lack of numbness. It is uncommon to have an incision that long, so dont worry unless your doctor told you s/he will have to make a long cut.

About scarring, generally surgical scars heal quite nicely as long as you can avoid infections and other complications. It should eventually just be a very thin white line. It takes about a year for the scar to stop healing/changing completely.

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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for your help, aslong as i'm not in agony i will be able to cope with the pain. How long was it until you could go out of the house and do things for example go out for a meal or too a friends house? I'm planning on spending the first 2 weeks in bed with just walks around the house.  

My doctor never mentioned how long the incision would be so im hoping its not too long, even though the cyst is quite large. How long was yours?

Okay, i wish a bikini incision could have been done to hide the scar but because of the size and position of the cyst they have to do a midline incision. But if it's just going to be a white line eventually i suppose im not too bothered, thanks
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Avatar_f_tn
Ok, well my experience was abnormal.. so.. expect an outcome like Lolacu.. Also I dont appear to follow any statistics, which only makes things worse! If you have a bad time, we can compare notes lol!

My cyst was 3 kg, 24x17x12cm mucinous borderline tumour, basically it was huge and filled with a mucus substance, which could cause a rare type of cancer if leaked, so it had to come out in one go, hence the long incisions. My midline starts about halfway between the chest bone and belly button, goes around the belly button in a small semi circle and stops just where my pubic hair starts. The length of the incision is about as long as the cyst, so if your cyst stops near or below the belly button, you ought to be safe from the long incision.The most common midline would be from just below the belly button to the pubic hair/pubic bone.
If your cyst is large and badly located, you may be better off with a midline anyway. My bikini incision cant actually be hidden. To attempt to get the cyst out that way, my surgeon had to make the incision higher and longer than normal bikini incisions. My jeans barely cover it and it is about 15 cm long, although I havent actually measured..

Due to the extend of the incisions and haemorrhage, I was very sore and got exhausted very quickly. Christmas was about 5 weeks after my surgery and I coped with that, although I still tired easily then.
Everything will be painful at first. Walking, car journeys, sitting, wearing normal trousers, etc, it will be hard to enjoy a meal out . I would recommend not to plan anything for 4 weeks, or until the muscle pain go away. After that you should pick up and be able to get out of the house and enjoy yourself a bit more. Expect to still be tired and sore though. Just take things as they come and dont push yourself too hard.
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Avatar_f_tn
Oh im so sorry you had to go through all that and you ended up with huge incisions! But im glad you have got through it and are okay now. The doctor said my incision will be from my belly button to my pubic bone, so not as long as yours, so hopefully won't be as painful as yours. Thanks for everything my surgery is tomorrow afternoon, im not as nervous now as i just want the cyst out as its causing me alot of pain. I will let you know how it went as soon as im home and can get on the internet.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks, yea Im much better now. Good luck tomorrow, I hope everything goes smoothly.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi there -

Just thought I'd say I am having a 16x12x10cm mucinous cystadenoma taken out tomorrow morning as well.  I'm hoping for laparoscopy but know it might end up laparatomy.  I wish you all the best!

anxiousinseattle
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi just an update, so I had my surgery on Thursday I was very sick for two days after due to the anaesthesia but I came home on the Sunday and I'm feeling a lot better. I can manage to walk around the house and have a shower and I have opened my bowels. My incision goes from just above my belly button to my pubic bone and is closed with dissolvable stitches and steri strips it is hardly swollen at all which is surprising. Everyday I have been feeling a little bit better and I'm enjoying time at home relaxing and watching tv. If anyone has any questions about my surgery or recovery so far I will be more than happy to answer them. Thanks to everyone who has helped me through this.                                              
anxiousinseattle how did your surgery go?
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Avatar_f_tn
Sorry to hear you had nausea, it is so hateful and painful. I had it too, but it was "only" bad the first 12 hours. Good to hear your surgery went well though. Was your left ovary removed or did you get to keep it?

I think the midline is less likely to trap the swelling, it can only be a good thing. All the best.
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Avatar_f_tn
Yeah the nausea was horrible they even gave me anti-sick medicine before I was put to sleep aswell. No i lost the left ovary and tube cause the tube had wrapped around everything causing the blood supply to be cut off to the ovary so it had died. I should still be able to have children with only one ovary, but if I can't it's not the end of the world as there are other ways around it.
Yeah the only swelling is abit at the top of the incision near my belly button.
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How did your surgery go? I just found out I have a 50cm ovarian cyst and it will have to be removed with a verticle cut like yours all the way from right under my breasts to my lower stomach type area. Ihave to get a sonogram Tuesday and blood work. How long did you have to wait for surgery? Also how are you healing? I hope you are well.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi wow 50cm i thought mine was large at 20cm!! My surgery went really well and they removed the cyst, ovary and fallopian tube with no problems. I waited 4 or 5 weeks for surgery but i doubt you will have to wait that long as yours is a lot larger than mine and could be pressing against other organs. Also if there is a chance of it being cancerous they have to operate within 2 weeks. Do you know what type of cyst it is yet? Mine was a dermoid. I have healed really well and felt fine after 6 weeks
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Avatar_f_tn
I am having a bikini incision. I am completely freaking out. I have tomophobia (extreme fear of surgical procedures) I have never been put under and really scared. Dr gave me Xanax but it isn't helping much...I can only take low strength because I have 3 kids 2,3 and 8 and can't be zonked out all day.

My questions for those that have had it done are...
What was preop?
What did they do from the time you go to hospital to when you left?
Was a family member with you the entire time prior to surgery and in recovery?
Did you have to use and enema?
When did you go home?  (dr is saying he would rather me manage my own blood sugar so if I can control pain without iv drip and get up to pee he would send me home same day (my surgery is at 5:30am)-is this realistic?
How long were you down?  (I was told to expect to be down for 8 weeks..and on 100% bedrest for 2 weeks except for bathroom)
Did you get a catheter? Did you have a tube in your throat?  Were you awake for anything like that?


*~~~Here's my situation:: I have had a dermoid for 15yrs that was always about the same size (tennis ball at largest) I started having pain 6mos ago and finally went in for U/S...now I have a mass the size of a newborns head.  Now dr is not 100% this is the same dermoid as he saw no trade markings of it such as the teeth and hair, etc...  It is a very large mass of tissue with a string of fluid present.  It is wrapped around my Left ovary and tube. Dr is planning to remove ovary and tube...more if needed.  He said no laparscopy due to size and concern of rupture....years ago that's was how they said they would've taken the dermoid out but I never went through with it bc of my surgery fear.   I had all natural childbirths just to avoid rising chance of a csect...now I am getting cut anyway. He said the choice is surgery or death if this ruptures bc pus in it is like battery acid.   So my surgery is set for Nov 15.  I am also a type 1 diabetic and so scared of healing poorly and just all that can go wrong. :(
He said due to my high anxiety I will be first surgery and they will put me in twilight sleep before I go into the surgery OR.

Well anyone have any stories to share???  I am seriously freaking the heck out here.  I just want a full picture of what to expect from night before to healing...
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