Pre Op Questions
on 2/19/21 7:27 am
I have a few quick questions as I am in the final lap of my requirements for surgery! (woohoo)
I know this is going to be very subjective, but i have never had a child or any major surgery... How bad is the pain upon recovery? The first week after, how much pain should i be in?
Also, I hear a lot about the gas in the week after surgery. Any thing that you found to be helpful in dealing with the gas situation?
What are some "must haves" following surgery to make life easier. Anything you wish someone would've suggested/told you about after surgery.
Trying to prepare myself as much as possible.
most people have very little pain with these surgeries (I had RNY, but it's true for most VSG patients, too). I didn't even open the bottle of pain pills they sent me home with, because I just didn't have pain. If you're one of the unlucky ones who do, you'll have the pain meds - just take them as directed to keep on top of it. It'll last a few days at most. But with any luck, you'll have little to no issues with pain.
re: gas pain - the best thing you can do for that is walk.
on 2/20/21 11:44 am, edited 2/20/21 3:46 am
As a VSG patient, I think I had more gas discomfort than most people and I don't think my nurse was crazy about giving me the pain meds I wanted considering my chart (admitted marijuana user, bipolar disorder, etc). That being said, I had never been in the hospital overnight, never broken a bone, and only had to go to the ER once in my life at that point (for sunburn as a kid).
So I was probably just feeling that newbie pain. Walking is the best thing you can do, I was walking around constantly even the day of surgery. Be a rockstar about your walks and that's your best bet.
The pain goes away pretty quickly. I mean, those first couple of days especially, you're going to feel like a seriously wounded turtle that got flipped over on its shell. You will have no core to work with, but you get so much better so quickly. You will still feel weak and probably a little unsteady/uncertain of yourself as you heal internally over the course of a few weeks.
Honestly the worst part of recovery for me was the shots I had to give myself (to prevent clotting or to counteract something else going on with something I had to take or something- someone jump in if you remember why we took those shots). I had to take two shots a day for something like 28 days, and I had to give them to myself in the abdomen. Those ~56 shots were way worse than anything else I experienced. (I am not a masochist and a stabbing motion to myself was surprisingly hard to make myself do). Not all programs have you do something of that nature, though.
Also, if you have a lot of medications, be prepared for some nastiness when you're in the phase where you crush your pills. That was also possibly worse for me in the bigger picture than the surgery pain that went away so quickly.
Also, I don't know if all surgeons do this but I was given something during surgery that made it to where my incisions never bothered me much at all. I was shocked at how unaware I was of even the locations of my incisions unless I took my shirt off, they were completely numb. By the time that numbing stuff wore off, my incisions were sturdy enough to not bug me much at all, save maybe the biggest one.
luckily, I didn't have to do those shots...
also, they did crush my pills in the hospital, but once I got home, I could swallow all my pills home except for those horse-sized calcium tablets and one other (might have been ursodiol - I can't remember). So for calcium I just got some chews. For those other big pills, the PA at my surgeon's office said I could hold off a week or two before taking those, so I did - and at that point, I could handle them.