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Old 02-13-2012, 12:11 AM   #1
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da Vinci Robot Hysterectomy Feb 14 - Diary

I'm having a da Vinci Robot assisted hysterectomy this Tuesday, Feb. 14. I saw a post a few years back where someone made a diary of their progress after surgery and thought I'd do the same.

I'm 44 and my issues are prolapse, lots of small-medium fibroids, thickened uterine lining, and retrocele. I'll be having a hysterectomy and keeping my ovaries, and posterior repair. The surgeon uses mesh to connect the top of the vagina to the front of the sacrum to fix the prolapse, and he is having great success with this procedure. Not sure if I'll be keeping my cervix or not - I've had a terrible time with cervical polyps that keep growing back and I'd love to have it taken out, but my surgeon said he likes to keep the cervix as it creates a strong area to connect the mesh to, and if he takes it out there is a greater chance of future problems with the mesh.

The day before surgery (Monday) is going to be tough. I have to be on a clear liquid diet all day long, nothing else. My surgeon said he needs as much room in the abdominal cavity as possible to work, so he needs to have the bowels completely empty. Between 3-5 p.m. I have to have a 10 oz. bottle of Magnesium Citrate followed by 64 ounces of Gatorade. I'll be on a major sugar high!

My surgery is scheduled for 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday and I have to arrive between 10-10:30. Plan is for two nights in the hospital. I'll post again after I get back from surgery and let you know how it went and what I'm experiencing. Send some prayers my way!

 
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Old 02-17-2012, 05:35 PM   #2
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Re: da Vinci Robot Hysterectomy Feb 14 - Diary

Well, made it through the surgery and got home last evening.

The magnesium citrate was some of the worst tasting stuff I've ever had! Yuck! It did the job to clean me out though. It was really rough only being able to basically be able to have sugar water all day long, and the next day I didn't go into surgery until 12:30 p.m. so I wasn't feeling the greatest by then.

The surgery lasted 3 hours, and I have 6 incision locations in my abdomen. One of the RN's told me that the surgeon will use 4-10 incision sites depending on what tools are needed and what needs to be done. I was able to remove the bandages from those incisions today and take a shower. 5 of the incisions are about 3/4" long with a single stitch, and the other one near my belly button is about 1" long with 2 stitches.

I had a catheter placed during surgery and got it out the next morning. I was able to urinate on my own so I didn't have to go home with a catheter as that can be a complication experienced by some women.

My surgeon said he found 4 torn ligaments which is the reason for my prolapse (happened during childbirth), and he kept my cervix in as he said the risk of future problems with the mesh are too great when you don't use the cervix to anchor it into. Also, he said the recurrent cervical polyps I'm plagued with usually disappear after menopause so I shouldn't have to deal with them the rest of my life. I kept both ovaries. Pathology was already back and showed lots of benign fibroids, but no cancer or precancer.

I was on a pain pump for about the first 24 hours, and I would rate the pain as much less with this surgery compared to some spine surgeries I've had. The 2 areas I'm finding painful are the belly button incision and the posterior repair I had done.

The main problem I'm having right now is terrible bloating and constipation. I haven't had a BM yet after surgery. I called my surgeon a bit ago and he recommended I take 2-3 tlbs of Milk of Magnesia and a ton of water, and he said that would make me go this evening or tomorrow morning. I sure hope he's right!

On the way home I had my hubby run into the store and buy me some panties in the next size up because I knew with this bloating I wouldn't be able to fit into my normal size. Gotta love hubbies who will go in a store and buy women's panties for you!

I am wearing a pad, but am only having a very small amount of drainage/flow right now.

 
Old 02-20-2012, 10:25 AM   #3
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Re: da Vinci Robot Hysterectomy Feb 14 - Diary

Today I'm 7 days post op and feeling much more back to my old self. The first several days after I was really tired and napping in the middle of the day. Seems my energy level is much better now.

The milk of magnesia treatment my surgeon recommended did the job and got my bowels cleaned out and took care of the terrible bloating I was having. I definitely recommend drinking lots and lots of water/fluids after surgery, using a stool softener every day like Colace or Miralax, and eating lots of fruits/veggies to keep things moving along. Also, having moist toilet paper wipes is very helpful.

After surgery I was having abdominal gas pains/cramping, but that has improved greatly now. I hardly have any pain at all from the surgery if I'm not moving. When I do move, the incision just above my belly button hurts as well as the posterior repair area. I had a hard time coughing after surgery due to the incisional and abdominal pain. It's very important to use the breathing machine they give you in the hospital regularly to keep your lungs clear.

I have stiff plastic stitches in the 6 abdominal incisions, and the ends of those stitches are poking into me and bothering me. I can't wait to have them removed.

My hubby caught a cold a couple of days ago, and now my nose is running and I have a sore throat. I can't imagine having to cough with the incisions and internal abdominal pain. I really hope it's a mild cold as I tend to develop bronchitis.

It really does feel strange having the prolapse repaired and everything lifted now. I've been prolapsed for over half of my life, and this will be a new normal for me. Everything is still swollen and a bit painful when moving right now, and I can't wait to find out how it feels after the surgical pains/swelling subside.

I faxed a medical records request to the hospital to get a copy of the operative report and pathology report. I learned to do that for every surgery after having several back surgeries. There are some things you can find out from them that the doctor may not tell you, and having a copy of the op report can sometimes come in handy years later if you have new problems or need another surgery in the same area.

I have a post op appointment in two days and I'll report back after that.

 
Old 02-28-2012, 11:47 PM   #4
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Re: da Vinci Robot Hysterectomy Feb 14 - Diary

My post-op appointment went very well and I got the pokey abdominal stiches out. My abdominal incisions have healed very nicely and don't cause me any pain or discomfort anymore. Was told the internal stitches will take 6-8 weeks to come out.

However, I came down with a UTI over the weekend - not fun! This is the first time I've ever had one, and I certainly don't ever want another one. I suspect it's because of the catheter I had after my surgery. Went to my primary care doc today and they tested my urine to confirm the UTI. I had a terrible urge to urinate all the time, and when I would go often there was hardly anything even there. There was a constant discomfort in my bladder area, and some burning when urinating. Got put on an antibiotic, and have to call in a couple of days after the culture they are doing is done so they can confirm the antibiotic they put me on will kill the actual bacteria causing it.

I've basically only been wearing a pantiliner for the past week, and there is still a bit of brownish-tinged discharge but nothing major.

I'm really amazed at how good I feel for having major surgery just 2 weeks ago. I'm trying to resist the urge to be more active as I don't want to go backwards. I am still more tired than normal, and the UTI probably isn't helping with that. Bowel movements are still painful, and I'm taking Colace and Miralax every day to help. I'm struggling to drink a bunch of water - I've never been able to come close to the 8-10 glasses per day they recommend.

I just got the copies of the operative and pathology reports I requested from the hospital - I highly recommend you all request them. I vaguely remember my surgeon mentioning a couple hours after my surgery there was a cyst he popped and drained, but was surprised to see on the op report it was a 3 cm cyst on my right ovary. I thought I remembered him saying it was on my cervix lol! Also, the pathology report said that 20% of the volume of my uterus was fibroids - seemed like a lot to me, and no wonder I was in such pain for several days every month!

 
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