I have an outstanding support person coming with me, the surgery is outpatient (it's early in the morning to increase the likelihood that I'll be feeling well enough to go home the same day) and I'll be recovering at home, I'm taking two weeks off of work, Dr Travias is optimistic about getting it covered by my insurance, and it seems like my ducks are mostly in a row at this point. But I still have some questions for folks who've been there.
In case it affects people's responses: my surgery will be entirely laparascopic, barring any unforeseen problems, and I don't have endometriosis, PCOS, fibroids, or anything else problematic in that area, as far as I'm aware. I'm having a complete hysterectomy with oopho-salpingectomy - the ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, and cervix are all going away. (YAY!)
I've heard that wearing jeans isn't a good idea immediately post-op, but for how long? I don't have any pyjama or tracksuit bottoms, and I'd rather not have to buy clothes that I probably won't wear for more than a week. I have a pair of sweatpants, but they're in excellent condition and haven't been worn a ton so the waistband is still pretty strong elastic. That seems like it would be harder on me than jeans, given that my jeans are loose (I normally wear a belt but could easily dispense with that for a while). What sort of trousers did you wear immediately after your hysto, the next day, and in the days following?
In a similar vein, I know I'll need to wear pads for probably at least the first couple of days. How long did you have spotting, how bad was it, and how long did you find it necessary to wear pads? I normally wear boxers, and of course pads will necessitate wearing briefs. I do have some briefs, but they're a little snug on me as I haven't worn them in ages. I'm a small person with not a lot in the hip area, so I need the briefs to not be too loose or they'll just fall off me - or at least not hold the pad where I need it - but I'm concerned about the waistband causing me discomfort or pain. The sooner I can be done with pads and back into my boxers, the happier I'll be, but I do not want any spots on my boxers, so even a small amount of spotting will keep me in briefs until I'm confident that it's gone.
I'll be catheterised during surgery. I've never been catheterised before. They'll put it in after I'm knocked out and remove it before I wake up, which I'm very glad about, but I know there will probably be a bit of discomfort from that when I wake up. What can I expect in that regard? Did you find that it only bothered you when you went to pee for the first time, or was it a persistent discomfort? Was it painful at all? I have a very low pain threshold so I'm anticipating a mild burning sensation when I pee and maybe a vague soreness the rest of the time, but that it won't last more than a day.
Also regarding pain - what was the abdominal pain/discomfort like post-op? How long did it last, how severe, etc. Dr Travias will prescribe Percocet in case I need it, but I'm hoping to get by with over-the-counter stuff - Percocet knocks me out and I don't want to be asleep or zombified for days on end after surgery. Given my very low pain threshold, though, I don't know how realistic that is. I know that there will be some gas left in my abdomen and that getting up and walking around will help that dissipate, and I've heard that the pain feels rather like menstrual cramps (joy), but I don't really know what to expect otherwise.
For those who have had surgeries besides their hysto: When I had my top surgery (chest reconstruction), the anaesthesia took a full six months to drain out of my system, during which time it made me significantly depressed. I spoke to Dr Travias about that and he was unsurprised and said that for some reason it tends to be healthy people with lower body fat who are most affected by anaesthesia for some reason, so I could very possibly have a repeat performance this time. I really don't want to be depressed at all, let alone for six months. I contacted the surgery centre where I had top surgery, and they told me what they used to knock me out - it was a cocktail of Nitrous Oxide, Sevoflourane, Fentanyl, and Versed. I'm going to speak to the anaesthesiologist prior to surgery (they're supposed to call me), but has anyone else had a similar reaction to one or more of those drugs, and did you find that a change in the drugs used during any subsequent surgeries made a difference?
And more generally: What do you wish you'd known going into surgery that you didn't find out until afterwards? Anything at all.
Thanks in advance! I'm nervous, but increasingly excited for this to happen and be over and done with - I've wanted it for a very long time. And the more prepared I feel, the less nervous I'll be and the more I'll be able to focus on my excitement, so any and all advice is very much appreciated!