Rachel’s Robotic Hysterectomy

daVinci Robotic Hysterectomy
Age at Surgery 47
Location: Austin, TX USA9 fibroids, 2nd trimester sized uterus, excessive bleeding/fatigue. Saw 2 different doctors before making final decision.

DAY 1:
• Woke up with no pain but also in and out of coherence (with other surgeries I was clear as a bell immediately)
• Went home 5 hours after surgery
• Slept
• Woke to take pain pills throughout night
• Lots of gas in body, mostly in shoulders
• Needed help to bathroom and in bathroom and walked around a bit (with help) each time
• Peeing felt extremely weird – super slow at times
• Took stool softner
• Could not stand completely straight up due to pulling sensation in surgical area
• Very bloated – cannot fit into my clothes
• Using on-Q at same to lower rate than hospital setting

DAY 2:
• Woke up with a little pain – I could tell where things had been cut away. Kind of that feeling when you cut your finger … but where your part(s) used to be. Probably a 3 on a scale of 1-10 pain.
• Severe dry mouth (to the point I couldn’t hardly swallow food) and blurry vision from anti-nausea patch; remembered nurse said to take it off if it was bothersome, so I did
• Began throwing up within an hour of taking off patch and continued to throw up for 3 hours until I finally went to the ER due to not being able to keep pain meds down and pain increasing to a 7 with slight fever at this point
• Stayed in ER for 4 hours – pain got up to a 9 before being given IV for pain and nausea
• Came home and slept with pain at a 2 when I got home – no nausea
• Needed help to bathroom and in bathroom
• Still could not stand completely straight up due to pulling sensation in surgical area
• Took stool softner
• Very bloated – cannot fit into my clothes
• Increased on-Q setting to slightly above what it was at hospital setting

DAY 3-9:
• Day 3 it snowed (big deal in Austin)
• Day 3 on-Q out and it was removed – there were 2 lines instead of 1 to remove
• Took first shower with help on day 3
• Pretty much a blur due to pain meds
• Had to take extra medicines to have a bowel movement – had one on day 4 or 5 and it was not painful at all, things were fairly consistent in this area – continued to take stool softner
• Kept an anti-nausea patch on every day (had 3 prescribed from ER) until 9th day
• Felt a lot of strange sensations (pulling, twinging, sharp) in surgical area when moving around – walked around room a couple of times each time I got up to go to the bathroom
• Pain varied from 2-4 and starting to gradually improve each day – mobility without tons of strange sensations improved as well
• Gas feeling in body disappeared
• Bloating is starting to subside but still cannot fit into my clothes
• Began to be able to stand straight up off and on
• Needed help to bathroom and in bathroom up until day 7

DAY 10:
• Took off final patch and felt slightly nauseous for about an hour – took dissolvable anti-nausea pill which seemed to help where it did not help with the first vomiting episode
• Becoming more worried about strange sensation when I pee – kind of like a UTI but not exactly, and more on the left side
• Still taking stool softner
• Still moderately bloated and unable to fit into my clothes
• Could take a shower by myself
• Pain between 2-3

DAY 11/12:
• Continued to improve
• Pain consistently at a 2
• Still taking stool softner
• Could consistently stand completely straight up
• Only taking ibuprofen for pain
• Moderately bloated
DAY 13:
• Went to work (desk job)
• Pain at a 1
• Still taking stool softner
• Only taking ibuprofen for pain
• Moderately bloated
• All vaginal bleeding stopped

DAY 14/15:
• Saw doctor who advised I’m progressing nicely, will see again at 6 weeks – no squatting or lifting anything over 20 lbs (I did not lift anything over 10 lbs); doctor did say I am at increased risk for hernia due to vomiting issue though it’s still not likely (~1 in 100 chance)
• Confirmed no UTI in regard to strange peeing sensation – strange sensation improving at this point but still apparent
• No longer taking any medication, not even ibuprofen
• Pain at 1 only when moving around
• Still feeling strange sensations every once in a while when moving around
• Bloating is getting even better and able to fit into some of my clothes

DAY 16-25
• Feeling no pain at all regardless of movement but still feel strange sensations in surgery area occasionally
• Bloating is continuing to subside and by day 25 I am close to back to normal
• Strange peeing feeling is almost gone
• One of the 4 areas of derma-bond has flaked off midway (about day 20)
• More energy

DAY 25-30
• Could finally sleep on my side, mostly right side as left was still a little too sore
• Bloating is only at the end of the day now, otherwise back to normal
• Strange peeing sensation totally resolved with the exception of here and there slightly
• Able to drive without pillow between seatbelt and me
• Moving around much more freely – a lot more energy
• Finally able to comfortably go out in public for recreation (dining, shopping, movies etc.)

DAY 30-40
• 85% back to normal in all aspects
• Went to sauna at gym
• Can sleep on either side now
• Bloating is still visible at the end of the day only, it is minor though
• Another derma-bond stitch has flaked off – still have one on my belly button and the one to the left of it
• Strange sensations when moving are almost non-existent now

DAY 40-60
• Day 42 was follow-up doctor’s appointment (6 weeks post-op)
• 95% back to normal (still personally would not exercise vigorously or move heavy things)
• Given green light to do anything I like but to transition slowly
• All derma-bond gone with the exception of some in the belly button still – incisions look tremendously better than they initially did
• Bloating only periodic and almost always at the end of day
• Began yin yoga being selective of positions as some cause that strange sensation
• Belly button derma-bond is gone in 7th week – belly button still not back to normal (small incision had to be made lateral to my belly button, not just in)

CONCLUSION: By day 60, I’m 98% back to normal – so much more energy than prior to surgery, at least 50% more energy at any given time and sometimes as much as 100% more energy! The 2% not back to normal is due to:

—don’t feel comfortable lifting heavy things
—can’t completely get back into my yoga routine yet (excessive stretching is very uncomfortable)
— I still have to unbutton my pants when I sit (only if they are tight, but I normally wear my clothes tight) due to the discomfort on my belly button

I would not say this is any easy surgery as is so commonly said. I think the surgery used to be much worse and that there are worse surgeries, but IMO this is a difficult surgery with quick recovery considering how invasive it is (even with it being laproscopic). Keep in mind I’ve never had children, but I have had a bunionectomy as well as a broken arm – this was more painful and a tougher recovery. I also had stage 1 endometriosis in addition to an adhesion on top of the fibroids/uterus and tube removal. The additional small lateral incision (in addition to the incision in my belly button) from my belly button has been the most uncomfortable of all of my incisions. I think it will be at least another month or so before I am 100% healed – I’ve read that it’s wise to wait 6 months to return completely back to normal in everything.

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