• I need some practical tips for my upcoming Whipple Surgery.

    Asked by magdem on Friday, December 28, 2012

    I need some practical tips for my upcoming Whipple Surgery.

    The surgery will take place out of town, so my husband won't be able to 'just run home' and pick up what I've forgotten. The doctor has not been able to tell me how long the incision will be so I'm wondering what kind of clothes I'll be able to wear after I leave the hospital. They expect my stay in the hospital to be 8-10 days and then 1-2 weeks in a hotel room. I don't want to pack too much, but I do want to take the things I'll need. Any tips you, who have gone through this, can provide are much appreciated. Thanks in advance and wishing you all a wonderful New Year.

    6 Answers from the Community

    6 answers
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      Whipple procedures can vary widely, from laparoscopic surgery the traditional surgery involving the removal of several organs. If you don't know already, you need to get information from your surgeon about the type and extent of surgery he will be doing. In any case, I would suggest you pack several night gowns/robes. It is likely that you will have drains and lose clothing makes them easier to contain and drain. I would also ask your doctor about dietary restrictions. That will be taken care of while in the hospital but since your will be staying out of town for follow up after that, it is likely that you may not be able to eat normal meals but may need to eat several small snacks throughout the day (similar to having a gastric bypass).

      almost 4 years ago
    • Harry's Avatar

      I didn't have this procedure, but my mother did. She was in a rehab facility after she left the hospital. Like Nancyjac said, figure on loose fitting comfortable clothes. You will have limited mobility the entire time even after the tubes are removed.

      almost 4 years ago
    • JMS's Avatar

      I echo the response from nancyjac about the need for loose clothing when you get out of the hospital. She also mentioned the laparoscopic form of the Whipple, which is what I had. Externally, I have six 1/4 to 1/2 inch scars across my abdomen; and I spent a total of five days in the hospital (I had the surgery done at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore). I don't know if your hospital offers this form of the surgery, but from the information I've been able to gather, recovery does seem shorter and easier than the traditional cut(s). The other thing I found is that my newly rearranged digestive system didn't work quite like the one I had before - in the sense that I don't get much warning of what's about to come, so be forewarned about this, especially at first. As for food, I ended up wanting small meals, mostly soups and toast, for the first few weeks following surgery. Good luck - and I'd be happy to respond to other questions as they arise. JMS

      almost 4 years ago
    • Onoi11's Avatar

      On average, how much body weight does one lose after Whipple surgery?

      almost 4 years ago
    • kelley_gleason's Avatar

      I've had 5 surgeries for my cancer, and I have to say the Whipple was one of the hardest. I wouldn't anticipate needing a whole lot of stuff, as you really don't feel so great. I finally figured out after several surgeries to think more about my mind and sanity. Things that help when I'm in pain, things that are comforting, things for boredom. I included things like music, special blanket, entertainment to distract my mind. Loose clothes are best, pj bottoms and loose shirt. Best of luck to you.

      almost 4 years ago
    • joyce's Avatar

      All of the advice below is good, so i'm going to offer some advice for your husband. My husband also had the whipple out of town so I had to stay in a hotel for two weeks while he was in the hospital. I was very scared and lonely, so I would recommend that if at all possible he have someone stay with him part of the time. The good news is that p, although the surgery, chemo and radiation were tough, it is 15 months post diagnosis and he remains cancer free.

      almost 4 years ago

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