My Top Tips

edited November 2019 in Newly Diagnosed

I'd like to thin I'm a bit of an expert at recovering from surgery, I always manage to get out of hospital before my doctor's predicted date.

Here are my tips for surgery:

1.  Walk, walk, walk.  As soon as you can get out of that bed and walk.  You can feel yourself healing.

2.  Do your breathing and coughing exercises after surgery.  They hurt but are worth it.

3.  Take your own pillow!!!  Hospital pillows are hideous.

4.  Find a good belly pillow.  If you need to cough of sneeze, hold this against your belly for support.  If you need to lie on your side, put it under your belly for support like when you were pregnant.

5.  Posture!  As soon as you sit up, roll your shoulders back and keep your back straight.  You automatically slouch after surgery and if you do this you will have back problems.

6.  Invest in heat packs.  You'll need them because your back and stomach muscles are going to be sore

7.  Research good scar treatment creams and gels.  When everything has healed, start treating your scars as soon as possible to soften them and minimise pulling.

8.  As soon as you're recovered take up something like yoga or Pilates to build up your core strength and develop impressive abs.

9.  And keep walking.

Thats all I can think of now.




  • Great post Nikki! Thank you for sharing. This time next week I will be recovering in hospital. I shall be sure to add to this list too, after my experience, for anyone else who may need the information.

    Did you have an epidural for pain? I am just as nervous about the epidural as I am about the surgery, how silly is that.

    Cheers, Nicole

  • I had an epidural for my third surgery and they also put in pain blockers.  These little things are fantastic, they are a tube through the skin that deliver pain relief straight to the surgery site.  You will probably also have a magic button allowing you to deliver your own pain relief whenever you need it.

    Usaully when you have an epidural you Sid on the side of the bed and bend forward a bit and someone holds you still.  The needle itself doesn't really hurt but if something doesn't feel right tell them right away so they stop.  I've had 2 of these and when they did the second one I had a little tingle down my leg but it didn't do any damage.

    Hope this helps!


  • Nikki,

    They are such great suggestions. Nicole I had a similar surgery to what you are having last December. Mine was an 8 hour surgery and I ended up with a stoma, which was reversed 7 months later (June).

    I totally agree with Nikki in regard to the walking.

    I found it took quite a long time to recover from the surgery, it was easily 6 weeks before I felt healed and months before my stomach felt relatively normal.  The main discomforts after the surgery were the cathedar that I for two weeks, and a stint in my bladder for 6 weeks. I found the stint very uncomfortable, and kept thinking I had a urinary tract infection, when later I found out that it was my bladder having spasms. This eased hugely once the stint was out.

    I guess my best advice would be that the body is amazing but you just need to be patient with it.

    The stoma takes a bit of getting used to, but the stoma nurses are fantastic and are always happy to help with any issues when they come up, they are also there for you when you go home. I had issues with leakage, and sore skin and other bits and pieces. All I had to do was ring them and go in and see them and they were happy to ease my concerns and help. You get used to the stoma pretty quickly, if you want to talk to me about it at any time, feel free to contact me. With the stoma as well you will need to sleep on your back, if I slept on my side it often ended up leaking.

    Good luck with the operation, remember be patient with your body, use the pain killers that they provide, its all temporary, and it will pass.

    All the best, Megan

  • Hi Nikki and Megan,

    They are excellent tips Nikki.

    what worked for me too Was I cooked up lots of meals before going into hospital.

    I also had a roster of people cooking for me and the family for the first week.

    Also I employed a housecleaner to just vacuum and clean bathrooms for 5 weeks.(This was really worth the money)

    Hubby Handled the washing for 6 weeks.

    Its a huge six weeks in your life and if your prepared it can take some stress out of the situation.

  • Hi

    Ive just been diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer and my surgery happened so quick that i didnt even have time to prepare!!!

    My cancer has been caught early and it looks as if I just need the 2nd surgery now thank goodness!!

    which means I wont need to have chemotherapy!!

    But before my surgery the nurse didnt document the time that she gave me the blood thinning injection and hence i couldnt get an epidural!  So I woke up in agony!! I never want to experience that type of pain ever again!!! BeCause I now have time to prepare for the second surgery...



  • Hi Jardi

    I had an epidural with the second surgery. Unfortunately I got an infection in my spinal cord and had to have it removed at around day 3. The pain was horrendous and I needed two shots of morphine to stop me screaming. After that all was fine with IV pain meds so don't worry if you need to go that route rather than have the epidural. The doctors and nurses were fantastic at keeping me comfortable.

    Best wishes with it all and let us know how it goes.


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