Debulking Surgery

Hi! I have Stage 3 C ovarian cancer, and after the 3rd chemo will have debulking surgery during which what is left of my ovaries and fallopian tubes ( I had a hysterectomy 24 years ago ... Uterus and cervix were whisked away), omentum, lymph nodes and possibly peritoneum will be removed. CT scan shows my bowel, stomach, gallbladder, stomach etc are free of secondaries, thank God. I'd love to have info about this op, particularly the recover period. I am 63, pretty fit and very positive :) Thanks. Take care and stay strong. Xxx

17 Replies

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  • Hiya...I had my op on 3 Dec. I am beginning to feel much more able to do stuff now...walking was never a problem but bending stretching etc took a bit more time. My wound took about 6 weeks to heal fully but it was probably good because it slowed me down a bit!

    Will probably get back on a horse in April after doing some core stability work!! (I am 56)...hope that helps...although we are all different xx

  • Thanks Lyndy. Back on a horse ...you are amazing :) Take care xxx

  • Hi there, I would always advise bring a few nighties for the first day or so post op as they are easier to manage. Hand cream a nice book or magazine and some hand and face moisturiser. Post op when you go home take it easy, small steps dont lift anything heaviers than a cuppa and no hoovering. You will be a little sore but make sure you get pain relief on discharge. Wishing you the best with the op

  • Thanks Suzuki. Not sure I will be able to wear nighties unless they are uber-modest as I will be having the op in Dubai and modesty rules big time here. Probably buy a couple of tents :) Take care. xxx

  • Oh dear that wasnt a good suggestion so, you probably have the gowns down to the floor for the op. I wish you the best

  • Listen to your body, I tried to do too much too quickly. Some of the best pieces of advice I had were, roll a towel to support your tummy when walking around, and take ear plugs for the noisy ward.

    Recovery the doctors describe as six weeks, I would say nearer eight. I was 46 when I had the operation and it floored me at first. Tiredness more than anything and then an infection in my wound.

    Best of luck

    LA xx

  • Thanks Lily-Anne. Good advice re the towel. Sorry you got an infection ... it happens so often. Take care. xxx

  • I had my surgery just over 4 weeks ago. It went really well. The first few days were hard as my BP kept dropping everytime I tried to get up but as soon as that settled there was no stopping me. I think the biggest thing that helped my recovery was I changed my diet. I stopped dairy, very little meat and lots and lots of fruit & veg. I didn't suffer at all from constipation that I imagine would be horrendous and is very common.

    I am only 42 but stage 4 as I had a pleural effusion but thankfully I was also clear with the same areas as you.

    I also started chemo last week only 3 weeks later and I'm heading off for a skiing holiday on Sunday although I'm just planning on pottering on the baby slopes with my 5 year old.

    Good luck I'm sure it will go well.

  • You poor thing. I can't imagine what all this is like with a five year old to look after as well. I hope you have a wonderful holiday. Try not to get too tired and look after those muscles - they've had a bashing and although they might look ok on the outside they need time to knit back together on the inside. Anyway I'm sure your team have told you all that so have fun!

    Beth x

  • Thanks for the feedback. You are amazing :) Enjoy the holiday ... your 5 year old will love having Mummy on the same slopes :) Take care. xxx

  • Have a nice holiday with you little girl but try and take it easy too

  • You might find it much the same as your previous hysterectomy. It does take a while to recover fully and I would just echo others' thoughts ie don't do too much too soon and definitely have a hoovering holiday - you have to get something out of all this! I remember feeling as if I had a big metal zip up my front until the staples were removed and I wasn't looking forward to that bit but in fact it was fine. Try massaging the area morning and night with Bio Oil or lavender oil - it really seems to help to minimise scarring. Oh and do the exercises they give you to strengthen the muscles and help them knit back together again. I did Pilates before all this and thought my muscles were pretty strong yet still I ended up with a hernia possibly as a result of some over strenuous weeding before everything had healed properly. So the moral of the story is either be more diligent with the exercises or get in some volunteer weeders. Or preferably both.

    Hope it all goes well.

    Beth x

  • Thanks Beth. Will certainly use Bio oil ... love the stuff. At 63 I reckon it will take me a while to bounce back physically but mentally I am strong and have the most amazing support group. No need to weed here ... not a lot grows in our garden in Dubai :) Take care. xxx

  • I was 65 and in excellent health when diagnosed with stage 3C. I find it hard to believe now but I know it's true cos it's in my diary - I did the vacuuming a few days after getting out of hospital. I don't imagine I did anything else much in the day. I suppose I just took it slowly. My 2nd op (3 months apart) was not nearly as painful as the 1st as they use the same place for the incision, so the scar tissue is already in place. At the same time, they did a much smaller incision to install a port to administer the chemo - that small incision was much more painful than the "boob to pube".

    Best wishes - Pauline

  • Thanks Pauline. Your input is reassuring. Take care. xxx

  • I had my op March last year. I was 66 then. I'm stage 3 oc. The op went very well,a very smiley consultant came to see me in recovery! Pain relief was brilliant and only one stitch! The rest was glued. As I have a horse was important to know when I could get back in the saddle. Was told 3 months- after my last 2 chemos and scan. Stuck to this and started the exercises they gave me,much like Pilates. Hubby did all the heavy stuff like vacuuming and ironing, I just did my exercises plus walking every day,up to 3 miles a day when I felt stronger and the weather allowed. End of June final scan was NED (for now at least) no hernias so allowed back in the saddle. It seemed like a long time but you do need it,as other ladies have said,just to gradually build up your strength and energy levels. Looking back it was worth doing as I was told!!!! Not usually one of my strengths. You will be fine! Like me just do as you are told, x

  • Thanks for the input. I've just been told that I will have 6 rounds of chemo ( not 3 as I was told originally) before the debulking op. Evidently this is the norm in the States and Europe and as my oncologist and surgeon were trained in the States and Europe, I am going along with what they recommend. Only one stitch? WOW! Where did they cut you? I've been told I'll be cut from belly button to pubes and across. I've had two C-sections, a hysterectomy and a tummy tuck so the surgeon isn't keen on opening those scars again. So glad all is well with you. I am learning to do as I am told but it doesn't come easy :) Take care and thanks again for your advice. Jeanne xxx

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