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Laparotomy recovery process

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Mothermason Tue 07-May-19 19:19:51


I really struggled to find much info on real life stories of the recovery process from this a laparotomy so I’m writing it down while bed bound in the hope it will help others. I have a 16 month old and my main concern was how much day care id need for him. I managed to get him Covered for a month Monday - Friday with my husband around at the weekends, hopefully this should help others in similar situations.
DAY 0 - surgery
I had a planned laparotomy to remove a borderline ovarian tumour which was 8x8cm and an ovary. The day of the surgery I went in at 7am and by 9.30am was called to walk to the operating room. This is the only bit you really need a dressing gown for. It’s just for your dignity. Personally after child birth and many other Invasive procedures I don’t feel I have much left so I opted to go without one. You can also wear slippers here. I didn’t bring any so wore my trainers, which is fine if you didn’t want to take slippers for your hospital stay.

I got told i could have an epidural to help manage the pain after the op, I only had about 30 mins to decide. I really didn’t want one at all but after a quick google it did seem a sensible way to manage the pain, so when I went in I said yes. I knew what to expect as I’d researched it prior to labour, although I’d never had one. It was okay, not my high point exactly but that’s a separate thread all together I guess. So he did that and then knocked me out and in I went.

I woke up in the recovery room and was sick pretty much immediately, fell back asleep. Woke up again and got wheeled in the bed to the ward. Had a catheter in so you don’t need to worry about moving this day. Mainly drifted in and out of sleep, got woken regularly to do obs and be given pain relief.

DAY 1 - recovery
Woke up feeling okay ish. The nurses help you get out bed, remove the catheter and use the toilet. I managed a good wee straight away, which they look out for. Slept a lot, had regular pain relief. Oromorph and paracetamol. Just took it when they offered.

DAY 2 - recovery
Was told I could go home, if I felt ready. I was surprised as I was told 3-5 days in hospital but felt okay about going home. Left around 4pm. Must admit I immediately missed the hospital and regretted going home but that was partly to do with the fact my husband came down with a bug, so I couldn’t let him in the house and risk getting it, so I was alone! I think in hindsight that extra day would have been good but I felt bad as i know they need the bed space and I was okay. Didn’t really take much pain relief. Got given injections to give myself at home, some laxative and some pain relief to take with me. My mum came up to help me. You couldn’t be on your own!

Day 3 - recovery
Slept okay in own bed. Took some pain relief in the night. Needing to open bowels but struggling, so took a laxative. Sure I’ll feel better when that’s sorted. Managed to open bowls later in day. Stayed in bed most of the day, getting up at intervals. Was sunny so sat in the garden for a bit.

Day 4 - recovery
Woke up after a really good sleep only waking once around midnight for some pain relief, so that was nice. Got out of bed straight away but it definitely does still hurt so stayed up for an hour and got back in bed. Feeling very tired and bored of being ill. Didn’t spend much time in bed today.

Day 5 - recovery
Been out the house for a bit. Feels okay walking about. Still having a couple of naps as very tired. Lost our cat today so ended up walking a lot more than I would have normally as I helped look for him. Really wouldn’t recommend this! Still should be doing minimal walking I’d say. I must have walked for about 2 hours in total, probably should have done around 30 mins.

Day 6 - recovery
Felt that extra walking today and have decide to take it really easy. Walked up the road for some lunch and that was it. Spent a lot of day on sofa. Had a nap. Only needed 2 pain killers.
(We found the cat) Cut still looks the same, staples out Tuesday. Haven’t lifted anything heavy still and don’t feel like I could even consider anything more than the kettle. Haven’t made a meal (hence all the lunches up the road!) I should add here I’ve had my mum stay since I got home to help out which has been a huge help. Cleaner starting Tuesday.

Day 7 - recovery - one week after
Felt quite good today. Managed to sleep on my sides last night and with the one pillow not 3 propping me up. Didn’t need pain killer when I woke up. Will continue to take it easy. Will update in a few days as I figure most days are the same.

Day 9 - recovery
Been working but still very tired. I can work from home as work for myself so can dip in and out. If I had to go to an office I don’t think I would want to be back yet, just feeling very tired and a bit muddled.

2 weeks post laparotomy
The cut is looking really good and can barely see it, the only bit you can see is where the staples are and they are just like scratches that will disappear. Shocked at how quickly that looks okay compared to what it looks like at first. I feel okay, I’ve been up to the shops, doing light chores, cooking meals. Still not 100% but probably 80%. Have childcare the rest of the week but feel hopeful I’ll be fine for next week to be pretty much back to normal. Have been working at home but I do feel slightly brain dead and am still napping 1-2 hours everyday! I literally cannot keep my eyes open so if you get signed off work, use that time to rest! My body clearly does need it.

3 weeks post
Feeling completely normal. Not about to go back to the gym or anything but I was told 8-12 weeks recovery and I’m feeling fine. Back to work and finally the feeling of needing to sleep all the time has gone so not been needing naps in the day.

It’s hurts a lot to cough, be careful when drinking for it not to go down the wrong way!

Eat lots of fibre to help bowls.

Take thin dressing gown to hospital as it’s always hot

I got some new trousers in a size too big as I thought I’d want it loose. Actually you need trousers in your size but that sit comfortably above the belly button and stay there that are loose. Hareem style are ideal. Loose are better.

Mint tea - great for the gas pains you will get after. Take some tea bags into hosp and just ask for hot water.

Hope this helps others and good luck x

OP’s posts: |
LarkDescending Wed 08-May-19 11:57:58

Sounds like you’re doing great! My rather desperate thread after an emergency laparotomy 18mo ago seems to have disappeared - things got better for me in the end but it was a hard road. Glad to hear your procedure and recovery have been smooth - all the best going forward.

Mothermason Wed 08-May-19 19:08:28

@LarkDescending thank you! Just wanted to write it all down incase it helps others xx

OP’s posts: |

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