It’s been 11 weeks since my ileostomy, and things have been going really well, but I knew going into that surgery that it wouldn’t be the last and now it’s time for phase 2.
Today, I went to my pre-op for the proctectomy (rectum removal) I’m scheduled for this Thursday morning. The appointment was similar to my ileostomy pre-op with visits from several people on the medical staff.
– a PAU (Pre-admin unit) Nurse, who took down my vitals and asked basic questions about my previous surgery. She also gave me instructions on fasting before the surgery.
– someone from the pharmacy department to go over any medication I might be on or to note any allergies for meds I could go on.
– an MD, who also asked questions about my ileostomy and took my pulse.
– my surgeon, whom I saw today because there was no time to schedule a second appointment due to my surgery being moved to an earlier date. She explained about the surgery and possible complication/implications about having my rectum removed. A few points came up. One being that because of the location of the surgery and because my Crohn’s disease may have caused a lot of scarring (adhesions), there’s a risk that my wiener (a.k.a. my joystick; a.k.a. my bishop; a.k.a. my wang… you get the picture) may be negatively affected if nerves are accidentally damaged. This is worrying, since I’m young, but she said the risks are very small.
Another thing she mentioned, which I didn’t anticipate as a possibility, was the use of negative-pressure wound therapy, a.k.a V.A.C (as in VACUUM!).
Here’s an explanation of the V.A.C system, which should not only reduce the risks of infection, but should also speed up with wound healing.
It’s going to be quite interesting to see how the V.A.C works on my ass, but I’m sure all the nurses I’ll be seeing will have a blast with this toy.
My surgeon also checkout my parienal disease, which has calmed down considerably since my ileostomy. This is excellent news, since it reduces the chance of complication and prolonged recovery. I was told that the procedure will be done laparoscopically, but there may be a chance that they’ll have to open me up through the abdomen – we won’t know until my insides are seen. I’m expected to be out as early as next Monday
Regarding this surgery, I’m actually a bit nervous about it. With my ileostomy, I was in such bad shape going into it, that things couldn’t have gotten any worse. But this surgery is different in that I feel GREAT right now and things will hurt for the next month or two. I’m not looking forward to the pain and discomfort, but I know that it will lead to a better quality of life for me in the long-term. The good news is that I won’t be restricted in what I can eat after my surgery, since my digestive system isn’t being touched.
I’m already packed, I just received my ostomy supplies for the next little while and I’ve got the hotel booked for Wednesday.