What will happen after the operation?
You will wake up in the recovery area in your bed and when the nurses are happy with your condition a nurse from the ward will come to take you back to the ward.
You will have a drip in an arm vein. This is to keep you hydrated until you are drinking properly. You will feel 'groggy' during the first night after your operation any may have some pain. There are painkillers, which can be given by mouth; these can be enough to stop your pain. If this is not enough to keep you comfortable, a painkiller machine (PCA) may be put up for overnight. A nurse will show you how to press a button to release the painkiller.
You may experience minor shoulder or stomach pain for up to two days following surgery. This is due to the gas used to inflate your stomach during surgery. Patients often describe this as a 'wind like' pain.
You may feel sickly following your operation but medication can be provided to control this.
Remember that people recover at different speeds so do not worry if you are do not seem to be recovering at the same speed as others.
The day after your operation the tube (catheter) and wound drain may be removed depending upon the individual. if you are comfortable and do not feel sickly you may be allowed to eat and drink.
What problems can occur?
You will experience some pain and discomfort, this will settle and painkillers are available to help reduce this. If you are relatively young and medically fit there is only a small risk that the operation and anaesthetic will affect your health in any way (less than 1 in 1000).
If you do have other health problems such as a bad chest or angina, then the risks are slightly higher, but precautions will be taken.
The urologist performing your operation will tell you that there is a very small risk of having to perform open surgery if he has difficulties.
Are there any alternatives to this surgery?
The only alternatives to this kind of surgery are conventional open options.
What are the benefits?
The benefits of having this kind of surgery are a shorter stay in hospital and early return back to normal activities.
What can I do when I get home?
Take it easy and build up your strength gradually over 4-6 weeks. Start with short walks and gentle exercise until you are fully back to normal. Try to eat a healthy diet with plenty of fluids. Fresh fruit and vegetables are important to keep your bowels regular as this operation can make your bowels 'lazy' for a few days.
Avoid heavy lifting, strenuous exercise and heavy housework during this period. Once you feel that you are back to normal, it is safe to do household tasks and to drive. If you work it depends on you and the type of job you do, but 4-6 weeks convalescence is recommended.
A review appointment for twelve weeks will be arranged to check on your recovery from the operation.
If you have any problems following your discharge from hospital you can contact your GP for advice. You will be given a letter for your GP when you leave the ward. A district nurse will be asked to visit you at home to check that your stomach wounds are healing.