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Hernia operation...intensive care....can anyone help??

(15 Posts)
oneyummymummy Wed 04-Feb-09 21:10:32

Posted this earlier but realised that the subject wasn't telling much, so people wouldnt know what I wanted help with, so Ive re-posted hoping someone will be along soon.....

My Anut went in to hospital last week for a hernia operation. This is her second one, and there were a few problems by the sound of it, she went into theatre at 4pm and didn't come out until 2AM to next morning, now she is in intensive care. From the limited info that I have, it had wrapped around part of her bowel, and the repair they had made last time hadn't worked.

Now, I don't know much about these sorts of operations and she doesn't want anyone to visit now.

Is this normal to be in intensive care? And for this long? We cannot get any more information than this at the moment, and Im starting to worry a little.

Anyone out there that might know a little more?

SalBySea Wed 04-Feb-09 21:13:13

people can end up in intensive care as a result of ANY type of op, so yes, its "normal" for want of a different word

Can be for all kinds of reasons, bad reaction to drugs, not recovering from the anaesthetic well, bleeding etc

SalBySea Wed 04-Feb-09 21:22:09

Do you know if the she is actually in "intensive care" or if she is in an intensive care unit which also has "high dependency" beds.

That can tell you a little about the seriousness of her condition. If she is in "high dependency" she is just one step up from normal wards. "intensive care" beds are for people who are more critical, but sometimes both types of patients are in the Intensive Care Unit

normansmum Wed 04-Feb-09 21:25:47

Yes it is normal after this sort of op.

From limited info it sounds as though she had some sort of obstruction. this can lead to sepsis. She's been in theatre for 10 hours for a very serious op so they will want to keep a close eye on her blood pressure - it may need supporting with drugs and fluid. Also she may be having problems with her breathing so may require ventilating. It is normal to find people in itu for a good few weeks after this sort of op. And support for breathing and BP is normal in these circumstances.

Sorry I cant be of more help,
Is she awake? Is it possible for you to go and have a chat to staff? they will be able to tell you more.(if she agrees)

oneyummymummy Wed 04-Feb-09 21:41:37

I know that she was 'supposed' to go to a normal 'ward' after the op,that was the initial plan, but never went there, instead she went to a high dependancy unit, with a few nurses for a few more patients. Then she got moved into intensive care, and now has 'her own' nurse. I think she can talk, but not awake much from what I can understand. She doesn't want anyone to visit so wouldn't be able to talk to the nurses.

From what I have read, hernia ops are quite routine and patients 'normally' can go home after a few days and just 'take it easy' for a few weeks.

foxinsocks Wed 04-Feb-09 21:44:34

was it definitely a hernia op? sounds like there's something she doesn't want people to know (or maybe she just doesn't like visitors!)

normansmum Wed 04-Feb-09 21:47:19

Hernia ops are routine but it sounds that shes had obstructed bowel which usually results in itu admission as it has a very high risk of sepsis. This can take few weeks to cure. sorry I'm not being reassuring sad (ex itu nurse)

normansmum Wed 04-Feb-09 21:50:29

Thinking about it twisted bowel, but leads to same problems and is a complication of hernias.

Northernlurker Wed 04-Feb-09 21:59:23

If she is elderly and/or a bit frail before the op that will mean she takes longer to recover too. This op wasn't supposed to take as long as it did and so obviously something unexpected occurred. The unexpected takes a lot more getting over than the perfectly routine. My friend's dad had to have a very serious operation twice - the first as an emergency with weeks in ICU and the second as a 'routine' case - 1 night in ICU. I know it's easy to say but try not to worry. Have you rung the unit - they are limited as to what they can tell you because of confidentiality but I'm sure they will give you a sense of the general trend things are taking.

Regarding visting - I wonder if they had to do a colostomy or someting similar when they operated on the bowel - people can be very embarassed about that sort of thing and it might explain why she doesn't want anyone there?

oneyummymummy Thu 05-Feb-09 09:03:18

It was definatly a hernia op.

normansmum yes thats what they said...a twisted bowel, the hernia had twisted it, so she waqs being sick all the time and couldnt keep much down. So is ICU normal after this kind of situation? She may have a colostamy (sp???) bag, but she doesn't like anyone to worry, so she is giving us limited info through my uncle.

normansmum Thu 05-Feb-09 11:52:55

ITU is normal after this. the bowel doesn't like being messed with and is prone to infection after an op like this. It can take a few weeks to get out of ITU and it takes at least 6 months to get over an ITU admission. She may not be in hospital this long but be prepared for a long stay. She probably doesn't feel like seeing anyone bar your Uncle at the minute so don't worry about that.

Having been a nurse on ITU and a relative I would say that its your Uncle who needs a lot of support at present. HTH.

ThingOne Thu 05-Feb-09 15:34:46

I was in a high dependency bed for more than a week after bowel surgery and I was young and fit. I didn't have any sepsis either. Bowels really don't like being played with. I looked pregnant for about six weeks after my op as my tummy was so swollen.

I hope she gets better soon. I think I am the resident mumsnet colostomy expert and happy to answer any Qs. A colostomy is nothing to worry about - just something to get used to.

Look after your uncle for now. Is he getting proper meals? Often visiting hours mean visitors leave home before they'd normally eat and get home too late to bother. Are you near enough to make him some stuff for the freezer so he can just microwave it when he gets home?

oneyummymummy Thu 05-Feb-09 18:28:35

Thanks for all your advice Mnetters...My Aunt was moved from ITU back to ward today, so shes obviously on the mend enough to not be in intensive care!

My Uncle is ok, They have three children who are helping lots.

I still expect she will have to be in there for a while, but at least being moved out of ITU is a step forward and shows she is getting better.

Thanks x

Northernlurker Sat 07-Feb-09 10:57:03

Great to read she's improved. Hope she continues to mend well.

oneyummymummy Sat 07-Feb-09 19:51:30


My Uncle says she's looking a lot Auntie says she doesn't feel any better!

But at least shes been moved, it must mean that she actually is getting better! smile

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