2 offices, 5 nurses, 3 hours in a waiting room, countless outdated magazines, and 2 surgeons later. . . .
I am attempting to organize everything we learned today into orderly thoughts while enjoying a beer (Magic Hat # 9, if you must know. Besides my days of being able to consume beer, among other things, is numbered)
A lot got said today. Some decisions were made (like where are we going to eat lunch), some pieces of the puzzle got put together, and some things are still left up in the air. I will attempt to give a brief breakdown of what went on:
1st Visit, Colorectal Surgeon, Dr Kim
- He pretty much didn't tell us anything that we didn't already know, except that we can do this procedure laparoscopically. Which would mean quicker recovery, less pain, less scarring. Hey, I am all for that. Dr Kim was concerned w/ me still being able to wear a bikini. He didn't quite get that I am completely cool with the scars. These scars are my battle wounds, and I will be proud of them. He kept saying "Seriously?"
- July 22nd is the official date for the first surgery. Feels so good to have a date now. No more waiting. This surgery will last approx. 4 hours.
- Ave. 4 days recovery in hospital. 1st 2 weeks at home will be the worst. Pain and extreme fatigue. Also adjusting to life w/ an ostomy. There will be a home nurse who will visit daily during this time.
- After 1 month, will begin to feel better and start to return to normal life.
- After 3-4 months, examine new pouch to see if it is ready to go.
- After the all clear, schedule the "take down" surgery. Which will take approx. 2 hours and 3 days recovery in the hospital.
- Then it is all about adjusting to life with the new pouch. Average about 8-12 weeks till comfortable. And then it about a year till returned to normal life.
2nd visit, Specialized SurgeonThe 2nd office visit was not so cut and dry. Basically we weighed the pros and cons of going through the surgery to remove the polyps in the duodenum. It is an invasive major surgery and at this point we have decided to wait.
While the polyps are quite large (one is 1 inch) and very close to the pancreatic duct. There is no real rush for this surgery, other than I will already will open and on the table. No matter which route we choose (operate now or just monitor and possibly operate later) I will have to be scoped every 6 months (both upper and lower). At this point we can just monitor them and if they start to change (dsyplasia, growing larger, growing over ducts, blockage) we can do the surgery then.
The duodenum can only handle being cut open so many times and I hate to waste one of those times when it doesn't "have to" happen. As long as I am vigilant with getting my scoping done there shouldn't be any problems.
Phew, that was a lot. Enough of this, I am off to enjoy another Magic Hat.