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LAPAROSCOPY QUESTION- PostOp ....

(7 Posts)
ClutterJunkie Mon 26-Mar-07 16:50:43

i had a laparscopic gallbladder operation 2 weeks ago- and am feeling great

but....one of the cuts (though healing great) has one hell of a lump beneth it...its the one highest up and centre - the umbilical cut and the 2 side rib ones have healed great ...but this lump hurts.

i know they said 3week recovery- and each day has got better and better...but is a lump under an inscision anything other than what i assume o be bruising?

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 26-Mar-07 17:20:17

I would contact the hospital dept in question and ask them about this to put your mind at risk.

Are you due to be seen by them anyway for a follow up post operation?.

ClutterJunkie Mon 26-Mar-07 17:24:52

no- no followup- they said i had to contact GP with any probs...

its just i was very visibly bruised from the surgery- so i assumed this was just bruising- but now the visable bruising has gone...and the skin around the other 3 cuts feels totally normal....that i've started to wonder about this lump- the cut is 1" long- the lump is approx 2" diametre- and totally under the skin- cannot see it - only feel it.

ClutterJunkie Mon 26-Mar-07 18:24:06

could it be an infection? There was no blood etc on the dressing they took off when the stiches came out...so i assumed that means no infection...dh says its probaby 'scar tissue' healing under the skin...like a scab internally...

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 26-Mar-07 18:25:21

Laparoscopic surgery is becoming more and more popular. Also known as same-day surgery or "belly button surgery", it is less invasive, leaves less scar tissue in its wake than traditional surgery, and has a quicker recovery time.

It is performed under general anaesthetic in the hospital, however you are generally released the same day. During the operation, your abdomen will be filled with carbon dioxide gas,. This inflation gives the surgeon room to manoeuvre around and to clearly visualize your organs. The surgeon will also insert a slender, viewing instrument called a laparoscope through an incision in your belly button. A second small cut is made in your abdomen to allow for the insertion of other surgical instruments. These instruments may be used to manipulate your organs, or to actually treat the medical condition you are being treated for.

Sometimes one or two other incisions might be required in order to deal will all manifestations of your disease. However, all incisions are only about one inch in length. If a stitch or two is needed, they should be self-dissolving and should require no special post-op care.

Pre Op Assessment
When you go for your pre op assessment make sure you ask all your questions then, and don't sign anything until you are happy with what they are going to do, eg, is it just to look?, if they see anything are they going to treat it there and then? if so how? Laser? Excision? etc

If for instance your ovaries are in a mess when they go in, if you don't want them removed then make sure this is written down on the form before you sign it. This may sound a bit over the top to some but you should make your wishes clear from the beginning, that way you come out with all organs intact.

You can ask for some anti sickness drug to be given to you during the op so you don't feel sick from the anaesthetic when you wake up. You may not be offered this, so ask.

If you are scared of needles you can ask for some cream that they can put on the back of your hand to numb it before the needle goes in.( they use it for kiddies) it has to be put on at least 30 mins before though.

Ask if you can get a videotape of the procedure (if you want one). This can be pretty gross or pretty fascinating depending on your viewpoint, but it really helps you to visualize and document what's going on inside your body, and it can be invaluable if you end up changing doctors in the future. You will have to supply your own tape.

A few Days Before Op
Get all the shopping, washing, and chores done if you have any before the day, the last thing you need is to be worrying about the ironing. Buy food that is easy to prepare or cook something and put it in the freezer so you have ready made meals. Buy all the sanitary pads you may need. Clear your calendar of any major engagements for at least two weeks afterward to allow lots of relaxing and napping, you need to be resting. Make sure friends and family know you may need help for a few days.
Make sure you have plenty of pain killers in stock from your GP, just in case you need them.

The Day Before
The day before, eat light and healthy, and drink lots of fluids. You may not be allowed any food or liquids after midnight, so you may want an evening snack to prevent that starved feeling in the morning, especially if your surgery is scheduled later in the day. Your doctor may ask you to do an enema in the evening to clean out your bowel. If more severe endometriosis is suspected, a full bowel prep may be required. (Follow your doctor's instructions)

The Day Of The Op
Remove and secure jewellery and contact lenses. Remove nail polish. Have a bath/shower and wash your hair, you wont feel like doing that in the next couple of days. ( it maybe easier to do all this the night before)

Engage a responsible adult(s) to drive you to and from the hospital, and to spend 24 hours with you after you return home.

Don’t forget to wear loose clothing on the day and knickers that don’t go along your bikini line or you naval, something in between. Slip on shoes make life easier too.

Take your own sanitary pads, stick with what you are comfortable with, hospital ones can be a bit…well you know! Best to stick with what you are used to.

Take a walkman to listen to your favourite music, or some mags to read to keep your mind occupied while you wait.

Prepare For The drive Home

Take a pillow, hold it over your belly especially when going over bumps as this will minimize the shock and pressure to your sore tummy.
Take a towel or blanket to put between the seat-belt and your abdomen to cushion yourself.
Take some plastic bags or container in case you feel sick on the way home.

At The Hospital
Before you go to theatre the consultant and the anaesthetist will come to see you, this is your last chance to talk over any worries you have, and double check that everyone understands what will happen. Remind the Surgeon about your video if you are having one.

After The Op
After surgery you may feel fine, but more than likely you will have some degree of discomfort. If you feel you need more pain relief when you wake up don’t be afraid to ask for some. The Hospital will not usually discharge you until you have at least had emptied your bladder.

You may be nauseous

Unfortunately nausea and even vomiting post-op is very common. If this is your first experience with surgery, or simply the first time you wake up "sick", tell your nurse as soon as you realize you’re feeling ill. Don’t suffer in silence, there is no need for that. Also if you realize you’re going to vomit, try and get someone’s attention, they will get you a basin and assist you in sitting up if needed.

You will be in some degree of discomfort
How much? No one can say. It will depend on your own pain tolerance, but also exactly what was done during your procedure. Your pain will probably be limited to your lower abdomen. And much of it will be muscular due to the stretching that occurred when they filled your abdomen with gas. You may also have incisional pain. Additionally, you may have other pain related to areas that were cut or lasered or shifted during your operation. As a rule a diagnostic procedure will generally cause less pain that one in which areas were treated with laser or sections have been excised.

You might have shoulder pain
This is a result of carbon dioxide gas being trapped under your diaphragm. The irritation gets referred up to your shoulders and this can feel anything from a mild ache, to truly painful. It can also vary considerably from one operation to another. The pain will gradually lessen as the gas is reabsorbed into your body and eventually expelled. It should be gone within 48 hours. Peppermint cordial or tea is said to help this.

You will be bloated
This is due to the gas the surgeon used, but it will also be a result of the healing process.
Peppermint is supposed to be good for relieving any shoulder/chest pain and bloating you have. This pain varies, it depends how much gas they get rid of before they sew you up, ask them to get rid of as much as possible, yes, I know they will, but if you mention it they might just push that extra little bit out before they stitch you up. Moving around may help your system get rid of excess gas. Bloating as a result of the healing process will simply need to be waited out.

You will be experiencing some vaginal bleeding:
This will probably be limited to spotting or the equivalent of a light menstrual flow. Use a pad rather than a tampon. This should subside in a few days, if it gets worse or you are worried by it then check with the GP.



Pain Relief
Your consultant may send you home with a prescription, or send you home and tell you to take something over-the-counter. In either case, if the pain relief they have recommended isn’t working, call your GP and ask for a prescription for something stronger.. There is no need to suffer. It is also okay to ask your GP for a script in advance of the surgery so you are prepared.

Bowel Problems
Constipation is common after a Lap, you can ask someone to go to the chemist for you and ask there advice. Lactalose is said to be gentle, and pineapple juice can ease things along too. Orange juice can be a bit strong and may cause diarrhoea.

Stitches
Most hospitals use dissolving stitches now, but for some reason they don’t always dissolve. If after 7-10 days your stitches are very uncomfortable, getting tight or pulling, you can visit the nurse at your GP surgery and ask her to have a look and maybe remove them for you.

What can you do
Get up and walk around as much as possible (if you are allowed, check with hospital). Even if it’s only to walk to the bathroom every hour.
Showers can also be comforting. If you are unable to stand though for any length of time, ask your partner for support, or try sitting on a water-proof stool. Check with the hospital how soon you can shower.

For the first 24 hours, spend as much time as possible lying down or sleeping. Lie in whatever position is most comfortable. If it helps to keep your knees bent upward, prop your legs with pillows. Ask for assistance sitting up at first if you need it - those stomach muscles are very shaky right now. Keep a full glass of water with a flexible straw within reach so you won't have get up or call for help every time you're thirsty. Leave the TV remote control within arm's length. Ask your partner to rub your shoulders, brush your hair, or even paint your toenails! Feel pampered!

When to call the Doctor
Your Hospital will probably give you guidelines upon discharge. If they don’t, ask for some.
If excessive bleeding occurs, generally defined as soaking a pad in an hour
If the navel becomes reddened or has any discharge
If you have a temperature of 100.5 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
If you are experiencing extreme post-op pain
If you are having any symptoms which worry or distress you

The most important thing is to take it easy, and don't push too hard. A laparoscopy can knock your feet out from under you. Your recovery will be easier if you take care of yourself and don't try to rush it.

ClutterJunkie Mon 26-Mar-07 18:30:52

thanks for that...very good.

tillyann2013 Wed 05-Mar-14 23:28:00

Great advice Attila, thank you grin

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