Topic: how to help after surgery

Went to appointment yesterday and my mom will be having her bile duct removed and maybe part of her liver next Friday. Was wondering what to expect and how to make things easier for her when she gets home. sorry if this was covered but couldn't find anything about this.

2 (edited by Kate G Sat, 01 Sep 2007 03:38:19)

Re: how to help after surgery

Well, as I recall from a year ago............
My Mum had her gall bladder, common bile duct, and a portion of her lower liver removed.
It took AGES, for one! She was in surgery nearly 8 hours.
After that, she was in ICU for nearly 2 days.
One of the worst things was, that she was not allowed water for about 10 days after, and was only allowed to suck cotton wool 'lollipops' soaked in water.
Also the Greek docs gave all patients that had had major surgery, a little gizmo, that had to be used several times a day. It had to be blowed into quite forcefully, and this apparently helped bring up crap in the lungs. Coughing and hawking was much encouraged!
3 days after the op, the Docs had her out of bed, keen to get her moving again. It was hard work. The first day she shuffled round the bed and back. Every day we bulit it up, next day walking across the ward and back, thence to the corridors etc. She wasn't in any great pain, except for the first 3-4 days, but that was allevaited with drugs.
She also had a catheter, and it was nearly a week before she, sorry for this, had a poo again. Oh yes, I also remember the docs waiting anxiously for days, for her to fart!!!! Operation Tuesday, first fart on the Sunday! Much celebration for all concerned!
Also she had various attachments, little drains, about 3, coming out of her side, plus the catheter, plus a long tube that went down her nose to her stomach. I think the catheter was the first to go.
Anyway, bottom line is, she was weak after the surgery, but determind. Exercise is one of the keys to a quick recovery I believe.
Mum had a few minor complications, but it left her in hospital for 6 weeks. Nothing scary as such, a leaky bilary branch or something. But I would say after 3 weeks, she was fairly much back to normal, and was gagging to leave the hospital and get on with life.
OK, so that was all a bit of a ramble, I am just remembering what I can.
Feel free to ask about anything that I haven't covered.
Having written all that, if you look up member Ron Smith, and check his entries, he had a resection, earlier this year I think, and he was in and out of hospital in NO time, I think it was a week or something! Amazing. He was treated in UK. My Mum was treated in Greece. I guess things work differently in different countries, to a degree, and also obviously, no 2 patients will react in the same way to what may seem very similar surgery. I think Ron is in his fifties. My Mum was 67. I would imagine age will have a bearing on recovery time too.
I remember it was tough, but the relief we felt knowing the tumour had been removed, made it all very worthwhile at the time.
It is apparently about as major as surgery can get. Having said that, the guys who operate know what they are doing, and I have never heard of anyone having any major complications after surgery.
You must be really anxious and worried. I know I was, far more so than my Mum I think! She just wanted to get it over with!
Much love to you and your Mum, and I hope all goes well.
Do keep us posted!

Below is the link to the thread from Ron Smith I mentioned.

http://www.cholangiocarcinoma.org/punbb … php?id=407

and here is one he wrote after surgery LAST year too!

http://www.cholangiocarcinoma.org/punbb … php?id=291

Also here is the link to a thread I started when Mum was in hospital last year, which may be worth reading.

http://www.cholangiocarcinoma.org/punbb … php?id=134

Re: how to help after surgery

Thank You soooo much. My mom is 69, and stubborn so we'll have our work cut out. She will be recieving treatment in Detroit Michigan. I'm glad I found this site now I know what to look forword to.

Re: how to help after surgery

These are the two things that I learned from my experience:
When you are allowed EAT! even if you dont feel hungry. I couldnt eat because the smell of the cooked food made me sick and I was just picking at things. NOT good. I did not get enough in me to activate my bowels. When I could eat, it was too late I was constipated. I had to spent 5 extra days in the hospital eating, walking, taking 3 different stool softeners so I would use the bathroom and only then could I go home. So eat so you pooh and go home!

A good pillow is key...not to prop you up, but to hold against your incision when you cough. Coughing was so painful...it was the worst bit of the experience. After about 7 days in pain, a very old school nurse told me about holding the pillow against my stomach when I coughed technique. It offered so my relief, though still uncomfortable, it cut the pain 300%. I had one of those pillows filled with foam balls like a very small bean bag. I could not reccommend it more!

Best of luck on the recovery!

Kris

Cancer is a word, not a sentence.

36 year old patient with buckets of hope

Re: how to help after surgery

Any news? How did it go?
Been thinking of you!