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Crohn's Disease Forum » Surgery » Just told I'm having surgery


03-24-2016, 02:36 AM   #1
TexasPete
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Mahboula, Kuwait
Just told I'm having surgery

New to the forum.

I am a teacher and live in Kuwait. I was just told by my GI that I need a total proctocolectomy. Yaaaaay. I'm in the process of finding out if there are any surgeons in Kuwait capable of handing the job, or if I'll have to travel to Europe or North America. I have a few questions. Or a lot, maybe.

1) How long should I plan to miss work? I don't want to have the surgery at the beginning of summer and lose my 70 day vacation, but I also don't want to miss a whole month of work. I think if I plan well, I can arrange something in the middle of those extremes.

2) What should I expect as far as flying and travelling in the first 6 months? I didn't move to a dry country to stay in town during my breaks - will I be comfortable flying 4-6 months after surgery?

3) I saw there is a post on questions for your doctor. Can anyone think of anything else I might ask since I'm in a different country?

4) Supplies. I'm in the process of finding out what supplies are available here versus the states. It looks like I'll want to try lots of things out to find what works, but I don't know that there is much variety here. Where might I look online? I could have things shipped to my parents and forwarded to me.

I'm a bit lost as to what to do next while I wait to meet my potential surgeon (in about two weeks). I really do believe it when I read that people are generally happy about the surgery. I'm mostly concerned with the actual procedure and immediate aftermath - I'm a baby regarding pain. Particularly catheters. I'll pay extra if I can avoid those things. They're the worst.

Sorry if I posted questions I should have figured out elsewhere in the forum - I'll get the hang of it soon. Thanks in advance for any help/advice.
03-24-2016, 07:34 AM   #2
Lisa
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: New York

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Hi Pete - welcome to the forum although I'm sorry to see you will be having surgery!

Here are some links to help you navigate to locations where you should find answers to some questions and a lot of information!

Questions for the Dr - http://www.crohnsforum.com/showthread.php?t=27387

After surgery - http://www.crohnsforum.com/showthread.php?t=70040

And look through the Surgery sub-forum itself... http://www.crohnsforum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=71
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While my experiences may not be what everyone has had- I feel it is worthwhile to share any and all experiences that may be beneficial to others.
03-24-2016, 06:11 PM   #3
Eridon2002
Senior Member
 
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Saint Louis, Missouri

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Hi TexasPete, there is a lot of information in the surgery section. What I've found is everyone's experience is different. For some it's smooth sailing and recovery is quick, for others there are complications that increase hospitalization and recovery time. I had a resection of 22cm of my splenic flexure and descending colon on Feb 16th. I have a temporary ileostomy for a few more months till the reversal surgery.
As to your questions:
1. Recovery time can widely vary. I had less colon removed so my recover time was shorter than yours likely will be. I was in the hospital for 10 days because I had vomiting and trouble getting the pain under control. As soon as I went home I rapidly got better day after day. I was able to do some 1/2 workdays and computer work in week 3 post surgery. By week 4 I was basically back to regular work. Week 5 I have started back to traveling(I'm in sales).

2. I go on my first flight this coming Monday. My suitcases are heavy with literature and demo equipment so I am going to have to be careful about lifting them(I'm checking them). I'm not sure how the ostomy bag is going to react to the cabin pressure. I should probably wear one with a filter to be sure it doesn't blow up like a balloon.

3. I would recommend getting the best surgeon you can find. Ask him how many of these types of surgeries he has done, risks, recovery time, possible complications, what follow up with the GI doctor you should do to try and get into remission post surgery. I grilled my surgeon and even sent emails to him with questions that arose after our consultation.

4. My WOC nurse sent me home with some samples and ordered some to be sent to my house from a couple different vendors(Hollister and Convatec). Subsequently I have also gone online and ordered some from Coloplast and a couple different ones from Hollister and Convatec now that I know what I am looking for. Definitely get a bunch of different types to see what works best for you. I have no idea what ostomy supply vendors are in Kuwait but find out from your insurance what distributor they want you to buy through(since you don't buy direct from the ostomy supply companies-well, at least not in the U.S)
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