Laparascopic Nephrectomy (Keyhole surgery)Laparoscopic surgery is performed by inflating the abdomen with gas, usually carbon dioxide, which creates a space between the wall of the abdomen and the organs inside. Using short incisions instruments can be inserted to perform the manoeuvers necessary for the operation. All this is viewed directly on a video monitor which receives its picture from a video camera attached to the laparoscope which is inserted through one of the incisions.
Our journey to the hospital was a hoot. For the first time ever we missed the turning off the dual carriageway. Drove on to the next turn off … missed it!! I was not driving. I was sitting in the back keeping my lips very firmly glued together, taking slow deep breaths and Praying! You see, men go on about how much women talk, but today, it was because two men were talking non stop that between them they allowed two turnings to be missed!! That would not have happened had I been driving and even if I had been talking as well, because we women all know, we are experts at multi-tasking! hee …. Had to laugh though at the reason why we missed not one, but two turnings! Today was not the day to get lost, be late or end up stressed. A few minutes later and iphone to the rescue with its built in sat nav and my son got the directions - and we got back on track! We did eventually get to the hospital about 10 minutes late instead of 15 minutes early as planned. I had to laugh. No way could I see anything but the funny side of this. Right up until the last minute these little things were being sent to “try” me. At long last though, I had learned patience and had a bit more Faith!
We went to Day Surgery and I filled in a basic form with personal details, next of kin, telephone numbers etc. A nurse took me through to another room and into a cubicle – my family was allowed to come and wait with me which was nice as I was now into unknown territory a bit. I could have been quite nervous at this point, but I was not. Here I knew everything was out of my hands and my total Faith in the transplant team and God was all I needed now.
I was weighed. had name bands put on both wrists having confirmed my name, date of birth and address.
At this stage my family went back to the Day Surgery room to wait. They could have stayed with me, but at this stage I preferred to have them wait outside. I felt it was not really fair on them to put them through watching me being injected and that sort of stuff. I would see them again before the op. I was given some tablets and a heparin injection. My blood when originally tested for clotting, clotted very well, so the heparin will help to thin it slightly so as to help stop blood clots from forming. The nurse measured around my calf as I was to wear anti thrombosis socks. She asked me to get changed into the hospital robe. Why is it that the ties that do up around the buttock area are always the ones that are broken, so you walk down the passage with with your bum sticking out! lol The anaesthetist came and said hello. Checked the forms and got my weight. We had a little chat and off he went.
I then tried to put the stockings on the nurse gave me. They are special ones that help stop blood clots forming. Oh my!!! They were so tight I could hardly stretch them to get them over my toes let alone up my calf and over my knee! Took all my effort to stretch it partly open. I managed to get the first one on, but not without grunting, groaning and generally going red in the face and feeling exhausted and throwing a mini tantrum – lol!!
Surprisingly, once it was on it was actually very comfortable and I didn’t even know I was wearing it. I expected it to squash my leg so much that it really hurt and I would be asking for a larger size! The nurse had “heard” my efforts of trying to get them on and came to the rescue and did the second one for me, but even she struggled to stretch the stocking open let alone help me get it on. Couple of weeks later when at home I found a section on BUPA website all about these type of stockings and a video showing you how they should be put on. Note: Once the stocking is over the foot, then it was not too hard to get on. It was the getting over the foot that drove me to mumbling a few lady like cuss words! Perhaps nurses should be taught how to put them on patients. Here is the link for anyone having an operation so they can see how to put on these stockings. http://www.bupa.co.uk/individuals/health-information/compression-stockings-transcript. I was to wear these for the duration of my hospital stay. I was really amazed as to how comfortable they were on. I totally forgot I was wearing them.
I put on my dressing gown and slippers and went to find my family in the Day Surgery area and said that there was no point in waiting as I was going to be taken down very soon. Hug and a kiss all round and we parted. I realised at that point that the worry would not be with me but with my family. A twinge of guilt passed over me for perhaps giving them any worry over all this, after all I was choosing to take a risk, albeit a small risk, in having this operation. I also knew though just how proud they were of me and were also just as excited for a good outcome as I was. They would be phoned by the hospital as soon as it was over.
The registrar came, introduced himself and confirmed verbally it would be the right kidney. My surgeon arrived and introduced himself. I had not met him before. He made sure the consent form was signed and asked if I had any questions, which I did not. He seemed a very nice chap but I wished he had smiled a bit more, seemed way to serious!
I only had to wait a little while and the assistant anaesthetist came for me. I thought at this point a sudden rush of nerves would hit me at any moment, so I was quite surprised when instead I just felt hugely excited. This was it!!! Everything we had worked towards was now a definite reality. I pictured my recipient waiting at the other hospital, but then maybe they were not yet. It would be a 3-4 hour operation on me, then they had to transport the kidney to their hospital, wherever that was …… I just hoped they also felt excited and not too nervous. The assistant anaesthetist was a lovely girl, made the atmosphere really relaxing and we chatted on the way down to the room where I was going to be anaesthetised. I took off my dressing gown and slippers and got onto the table. The surgeon who was going to assist arrived and introduced himself then disappeared off into the next room, presumably the actual operating theatre. Certainly the whole team made me feel very relaxed. The anaesthetist inserted a canula through which some anaesthetic will go. He said a larger canula would go in the other arm once I was under. I would also have a catheter inserted. I would have a breathing tube, all once I was under (just as well!). He had at the pre op assessment a week before said that the most common question he is asked is what about people who stay awake through the operation and can feel everything? That was a bit of a worry. I have to admit that had crossed my mind but had forgotten about it. The anaesthetist put something across my forehead. Can’t really say exactly what as I didn’t see it, but it felt like maybe it had knobbly bits or sensors on it as I felt them gently pressing onto my forehead. He said that would help him to monitor me. Another “plus” for technology (and of course all the scientists that come up with these marvellous pieces of equipment). We had a laugh and a joke about the Simpsons episode where Homer reluctantly gives a kidney to his father but has this wonderful kidney shaped stitched up incision shape! .. I joked that I wanted one of those! He then injected some anaesthetic into the canula and said I would feel sleepy. In a couple of seconds I said I felt a bit woozy and light headed and that was it. I was out. I had already been told that I would be positioned on my left side and the surgeons would operate from the front of me. I would have five small keyholes then the incision to remove the kidney. You can read more about the procedure in the Pre Assessment .
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