Ureteral reimplantation in adults is less common than it is in children. While the surgery may be similar in both cases, recovery is more difficult in adults and possibly more painful.
Here’s a list of some of the things you can expect:
Surgery duration: around 2 1/2 hours.
Hospital stay: 5 days plus home visits.
The site of the incision may have the following after the operation:
- 4 tiny tubes going to the incision,
- 2 drips for delivery of antibiotics,
- 2 drips to delivery an anesthetic,
- 2 catheters – a foley (in the urethra) and a suprapubic (through the groin area and bladder),
- a drain into a little plastic ball
Other equipment may be used:
To avoid blood cots patients may be made to wear socks from ankle to knee connected to an automatic pump which massage the legs.
The first couple of days can be pretty miserable or in other words “imagine the worst time you had to tinkle and hold it, multiply that by 10 but you never get the relief of going. Those are the bladder spasms and mine were unending the first two days.”
On the 2nd day nurses may help patients to get up and walk.
Pain relief which may be used
- Detrol LA (tolterodine) to help bladder spasms
- Dilotid drip – self administered on demand
- Percocette (later on)
- Vicodin (longer term use at home)
About 8″ for a regular ureteral reimplantation, one 1″ incision from a drain in surgery, plus 2 more little scars from drains and one 1″ scar from the suprapubic catheter.
The Foley may come out on day 3 or 4. The suprapubic may stay in place for longer. Every doctor and type of surery may require catheters’ to stay a longer or shorter time.
What to wear
Because of all the tubes coming out of the body it becomes difficult to get out of bed. The hospital gown is the best piece of clothing because if it gets dirty from leaks or whatever it can easily be changed.
No food the night before (your anesthesiologist will tell you what he/she wants).
Clear liquids may be introduced up to 24 hours after the operation and depending on the reaction to the liquids some solids may be started.
Bring your own pillow – the pillows and bed protectors have vinyl covers
Use a draw sheet instead of the pad hospitals normally use under patients in the middle of the bed, which will hel stay cooler.
Removal of the drain and catheter
Very painful, make sure you hit your pain med button or take a pill beforehand. The drain tube is 14-18″. The suprapubic is not as long but is thick at the end so prepare yourself. It only hurts for a couple of minutes.
Bladder spasms may kick it an any time but they are a given after the removal of the catheter. They may just last from 1/2 day to up to a couple of weeks if you’re unlucky.
Driving afterwards is not an issue, use a small pillow to pad the lap belt.
Take it easy for the next 2 or 3 weeks. Bladder spasms are worse if you get tired.
Bring tampons to hospital. They will probably have none.
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Another story from ureteral reimplantation surgery in an adult.
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