Surgery worries

Well been to see consultant and had pre op assessment today so things moving fast. Didnt know what to expect but was shocked when consultant went through procedure. Knew id be cut but didnt think it would be as big incision as described. Suppose thinking bout it should have realised if they are scraping abdomen needs long incision. Also said id be stapled in hospital upto a week and in icu for couple days. Knew it would be debulking and be big operation but realisation setting in so quite scared. Anyone else had this done? Any positive or helpful replies much appreciated.

Love Sam xx

20 Replies

  • Hi Sam I hope the surgery goes really well . You will find most of the ladies here have had this surgery as it is mostly routine for ovarian cancer on diagnosis . It is a big scar !!

    I was in itu for 2 nights with an epidural for post op pain relief which is wonderful.

    Managed to get home after 4 days. You will need to get plenty rest post surgery . One of the common side effects is constipation so ask nurses for advice on this. You do get over it but I know it is a scary thought.

    Best wishes

    Ally xx

  • Thank you so much for your reply. Starting to get my head round it slowly. Xx

  • I had TAH, tubes, ovaries, cervix etc all taken away - don't know what debulking is. Was in theatre 5hrs and up sitting in chair when my daughter visited the next morning at 11. Walking day after - very slowly and not very far. Home 5 days later and did nothing for 6 weeks. Vertical scar from under breasts to pubic bone. Hope it all goes well for you x

  • Thank you for reply, wow you had good recovery, sitting up for visitors next day! Xx

  • Perhaps get your GP to prescribe a laxative to take in with you. I had laxido/movicol from my GP and it worked really well. Surgery stops your bowels working for a time and the painkillers make you constipated. It's very important to get your bladder working as well, so drinking plenty as soon as you can, will help. That will also help your bowels. They won't let you out until you are walking about passing urine and have a bowel movement. Try and eat as soon as you can, even if it's just a small amount.

    All the very best for a speedy recover.

    Love Kat xx

  • Hi, thanks for reply. Thats a good idea regarding gp and laxatives. Ive heard peppermint tea is good for wind too.

    Upwards on onwards xxx

  • Hi Sam Had my op in August and was terrified. As I keep saying (and I am not exaggerating it was not that bad). Firstly they manage pain with an epidural for up to 3 days post op then they switch to medication which works. The scar is quite big but very neat, nurse pulled my dressing (thin strip of gauze about one inch wide) of me before a shower on day 2. The reason for ICU is as its 121 nursing and monitoring but you should not be in pain if you are they will sort it out I promise you it wont be as bad as you think. They say up to a week but any luck you will probably be out by the 5th day. The worst part for me was the post op constipation but even that resolved itself within 24 hours and I blame myself for saying I did not need all the laxatives they tried to give me. Also as soon as I was home did not need pain relief just had 2 paracetamol at night. You will be OK. I remember having my tonsils out when I was a teenager and I think that was far worse, correction I don't think it was, it was! Good luck try not to worry but I know that's easier said than done. As I have said (some of the ladies will think she's off again but I want to help anyone whose scared and give my honest opinion of the op. I even went on FB a few hours after op and sent my hubby to buy sweets!

  • Hi, thank you for reply. Wow really not that bad?? You seemed to cope really well. I know its gotta be done but just keep having the odd negative thoughts, which suppose is normal in our condition. They dont seem keen on epidural but say use 'pain bombs' which are in the tummy and give slow continuous release of medicine over 48 hours. This is so patients can move about easier.

    I hope I can cope half as well as you. I really appreciate your honesty. Thank you.


  • I had an incision from my belly button down and two years later (today) although still a scar it's okay. Fingers crossed for you, and keep up regular pain relief it makes all the difference.

    Best wishes


  • Thank you for reply, much appreciated xx

  • I had this operation last November, I was terrified. I can honestly say it wasn't bad at all. The epidural is fabulous, I had no pain as I accepted all the medication they gave me. The hospital gave me all the medication I might need at home and I had no problems. The worst thing for me was looking at the staples as they were big, but all I am left with is a scar which I can barely see. Try not to worry too much, just remember to take it easy and take your time to heal and you'll be fine. xxxx

  • Hi, thank you so much for the reply. Each time I read a reply from someone it makes me feel a bit better. Everyone seems to say it wasnt so bad. Think it was just the shock of hearing the word debulking and description of what they were going to do. And also the size of the incision.

    I will take it easy, ill be on here catching up lol.

    Sam xxx

  • Hi Sam, also thought I would mention I had dissolvable stitches which sound much better to me than staples. In fact did not have any follow up appointment so they were obviously not expecting me to have any problems. Did show my scar to ONC when next had chemo (less than a month later) but it healed by then just a neat thin line. I started driving as soon as it said could in the leaflet they gave me as that was important to me, get my freedom back hated not being able to drive and felt I could have driven earlier but thought I should stick to the rules because of the insurance aspect. Good luck, when is your op by the way?

  • Hiya, still awake just! They said will be staples.

    Operation is 30th october. X

  • Hi Sam I had the same operation 6 weeks ago. I posted honestly about my recovery last week. Kaz had the same thing too I think, and also posted about her remarkable recovery in response to you. It is scary but you will heal. I am feeling fine now, back on my last 3 chemos with a much more positive and hopeful outlook than prior to the op. The body is amazing. Let me know if you want to chat.

  • Hi Sam, I had surgery in 2011. It was a bit frightening thinking about it but it's amazing how skilled the surgeons are and what they can take out to give us the best chance of a good recovery. I found the staff and other patients in my ward were amazingly supportive and that really helped.

    Surgery has advanced tremendously so in fact we're very lucky that these operations can be done. I know you'll be in good hands so try not to worry too much. Have you been assigned a Clinical Specialist Nurse? Some hospitals are very good at this and you can contact them to chat about the things that are worrying you. Equally there's a brilliant Nurse-led support line provided by Ovacome: 0845 371 0554. I know they will reassure you.

    Plan to do no housework and no lifting for six weeks after you come home. Pack some nice treats for your hospital stay. You'll be surprised how quickly the time goes and you'll be back home starting your recovery.

    xx love Annie

  • I had TAH & both ovaries & tubes & omentum removed plus a large tumour in 2008. I didn't go to ITU, but stayed overnight in recovery for 121 care, & went back to the ward in the middle of the next morning. Pain relief was good. Wind & bowels were a bit of a problem at first, but soon got sorted. I went home 5 days postop. Like many others, I had a very long scar, but I soon got used to it, & it does fade with time, & then doesn't look so bad.

    Wishing you well.


  • Hi, I had TAH, and both ovaries and tubes, omentum, cervix, appendix and two sections of my bowel were removed. I have a scar from just below my breasts down into my pubic area. I had thirty staples (I counted them one by one as they were taken out, lol). I was in surgery for 9 hours and was kept in special care for 24 hours as I needed one to one care because of the work they did on my bowel. I had an epidural for a few days afterwards so I didn't feel any pain. Once the epidural wore off I did have some discomfort due to trapped wind which also made me sick so I was given morphine (lovely stuff, I was floating). I had to stay in for nine days in total because my bowel went into a sulk and they wouldn't let me home until everything started working again. Before my surgery I was worried about how I would cope but I surprised myself. I just went with the flow, did as I was told and I was fine. Six months after my surgery we went on holiday and I wore a bikini. My two sons aged 10 and 14 at the time didn't bat an eyelid and I didn't hear one negative comment from anyone. The thought of surgery is frightening but you will be fine. I was lucky in that I didn't need chemo as my disease, despite being stage 3A, was borderline so I was back at work after eight weeks. Best of luck, you can do this, Love Kerry xx

  • Hi Sam, I had surgery in June 13, full abdominal hysterectomy, removal of both ovaries and omentum, scraping of bowel due to spread and also the peritoneum (lining of the abdomen). I wasn't in ICU afterwards but everyone is different. I had an epidural for pain relief and I wasn't too uncomfortable. I had surgery on a Wednesday morning and was allowed to go home on the Monday afternoon.

    Comfortable PJs were excellent for hospital and I also wore them for the first few days at home too. I then moved on to jogging bottoms, steered clear of jeans.

    No heavy lifting, not even a full kettle. Instead put a couple of cupfuls of water into your kettle. You will find ways to adapt. Accept any offers of help made. You need time to recover.

    It won't be as bad as you are imagining. Try not to worry too much. Get a few good DVDs in so that you can watch them. Remember to take a wee rest each day too.

    Good luck with surgery and remember to let us know how you are getting on. Ann xo

  • Hi I had the same worries about the op but the surgeons are excellent and yes it's a big scar. I had 30 staples which seemed a daunting sight when I came round but all in all you will heal well and and hopefully feel well soon. My op was November 2013 and we have just come back from a weeks cruise on the Mediterranean so first of all plenty of rest, lots of putting yourself first and keep positive.

    Mopsie xx

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