• recovery and quality of life after surgery to remove gallbladder, lymph nodes near the vena cava and aortic artery, and parts of the liver

    Asked by Joy535 on Monday, October 15, 2012

    recovery and quality of life after surgery to remove gallbladder, lymph nodes near the vena cava and aortic artery, and parts of the liver

    I'd like to hear about quality of life and recovery after this major surgery. What should I expect if the surgery is successful? How long will it be that I'll need care? Will my quality oflife and that of my family really be worth it all?

    5 Answers from the Community

    5 answers
    • FreeBird's Avatar
      FreeBird (Best Answer!)

      Those are good questions to ask your oncologist and surgeon, who are more familiar with your personal case, and your overall health. It helps to have someone with you to help remember things because there's so much coming at you so fast. I can't know, but can imagine how incredibly difficult and emotional it must be to make an evaluation like that, not knowing what to expect. Early on, before my dad knew his cancer was related to the pancreas, we thought the liver tumor might be able to be operated on, but were advised against it. I think you really need help to go over the pros and cons, and the probabilities, with a professional who is honest, straightforward and more experienced to feel comfortable with a decision. I wish I had more knowledge to advise on which way to go. For you, it may be completely different. I think the only possible answer for anyone who is not experienced and in a position to know the details of your health, is I don't know. I wish you the very best.

      almost 3 years ago
    • Joy535's Avatar
      Joy535

      Thank you so much for your answer, FreeBird. It's always good to hear from someone outside of the family. I have my last chemo treatment on Friday; and then I will have another CT scan on the 29th. I will get the results of that CT scan from my chemo Dr. on Halloween. I have a world class surgeon who has already operated on me and my husband, and who we trust completely. I know between asking questions and listening to him and his PA, who is also more than wonderful, my knowledge and decision will seem easy. I am very fortunate to have my husband, who is my caregiver, and my daughter, who will take notes and who asks intelligent questions, with me at most of my Dr. appointments.

      almost 3 years ago
    • agrogan's Avatar
      agrogan

      Hi I had a liver resection on Oct 2011 because of metastatic colon cancer. My galbladder was removed also. I stayed in the hospital 5 days with an epidural for the pain. I was walking arround the next day because of the wonderful epidural that allowd me not to feel any pain. My recovery at home was a uncomfortable because of the large incision. I had to sleep in a reclyner for a few days and then in bed proped up by pillows. It's hard to sleep but if you take it easy you will be able to walk arround your home a little bit hunched over. The liver recovers and compensates for what ever you loose. I had the entire right side of my liver removed not just a small portion. It''s been a year since the surgery, I have a horrible scar they did a terrible job stapling me closed,and it feels a little numb arround the incision. I went through 6 months of chemo afterwards. And right now I'm reccovering from thyroid cancer surgery that was found during scans for the colon cancer. It's not an easy route but it's the only route to bring health back.

      almost 3 years ago
    • Joy535's Avatar
      Joy535

      Thank you, Agrogan, for taking the time and patience for answering my question about recovery and what to expect after surgery, especially since you are still dealing with the after effects of your surgery as well as this new thyroid cancer. You understand that what I'm most concerned about right now is exactly what I'll be facing in the days and weeks after the surgery. Thank you for being so frank and honest about it. I am beginning to understand that recovering at home will perhaps be the most challenging. There is no bed or bathroom in our small main floor living space. We live in a tri-level house with our recliners, eating, kitchen, and music/TV relaxing all on the main level. My bed and bath are upstairs, and my husband (who is my wonderful caregiver) sleeps in his bed and bath downstairs (in what we call "the dungeon"). I'm afraid of epidural's, but I suppose I could be convinced; it would be wonderful to pain free so I could recover more easily.

      What did you use for pain relief when you got home, and how long was it before you could stand upright and participate successfully in physical therapy to get your strength back?

      almost 3 years ago
    • agrogan's Avatar
      agrogan

      Hi Joy535
      I was afraid of epidurals too. I had 4 children without an epidural. The epidural only numbs the area of your abdomen they work on, so you are free to move and walk. At home the pain medications was vicadin. You will realize that you use your abdominal muscles a lot when you move. I have a one story house so I didn't have to use stairs. I will recomend moving a recliner for you to sleep on close to a bathroom either in the main level or bedroom. Once you feel like sleeping in bed you will be less sore and able to move arround maybe in 1 to 2 weeks. So make the reclyner comfy and have a table next to it for your water, food and medications. Total recovery does take the 6 weeks, the doctor will tell you more about this. Hope this helps God bless you.

      almost 3 years ago

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