Post surgery drive home

I’m looking for some advice around travelling home from hospital after surgery.

I’m booked for a robotic total hysterectomy/lymph node removal on 1st September. The hospital is a 4 hour drive from my home. My understanding is that I will be discharged the day after surgery (assuming everything goes to plan).

I’m in the process of planning my journey home from the hospital and wanted to reach out and ask about your experiences. I’m completely in the dark about how I’ll feel post op and of course my ability to travel.

Is it completely unrealistic to make the journey home the day or two following surgery? As a passenger, my husband will be the driver!

I’m also considering staying in a nearby hotel for a few nights after, in the event I don’t feel up to the journey.

I would be very grateful for any similar experiences and guidance.

Many thanks,
Helena

Hi Helena. My hysterectomy was many years ago and it wasnt robotic so i can’t comment on how you may feel.

However my immediate thought was any surgery increases the risk of bloodclots so that’s a long time to be sitting in a car. Its also an awful long way back if you get a complication. Personally i would stay closer for a night or two and make sure you are fully ambulatory. Hopefully someone who has done it woll be along shortly.

Karen x

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Hi Helena

I had a radical hysterectomy with robot assisted laparoscopic surgery in 2017, stayed in for one night and went straight home. The morning after the op I was instructed to get up by myself, which took me at least 5 minutes mostly because I was feeling cautious about how my body was going to work. I was then encouraged to walk up and down the corridor as much as possible before going home. I left the hospital early evening, with a carrier bag full of medications and a urethral catheter in place.

Home was about 15 miles from the hospital and my options for travel were taxi or public transport. Against medical advice I chose the latter (accompanied by my husband), which involved a bus ride of about a mile and 30 minutes on a train followed by a one mile walk. The total journey time, door to door, was probably 1.5 to 2h. It was all OK albeit the walking was very slow. I was early 60s at the time and generally very fit and healthy (cancer apart!)

If you are sent home with an indwelling catheter you will be provided with a leg bag to collect urine during the day and also a night bag which is usually supported on a stand. I would suggest taking a washing up bowl in which to place the stand, in case of leaks from the bag which could be awkward if you are in a hotel. Some disposable bed pads, available from most chemists, might also be good to have - just in case.

Petesdragon makes a good point about the risk of blood clots. This is considered to be a risk for about a month post op; I had to self inject with Fragmin (blood thinner) once daily for 30 days.

Also to manage the risk of clots, you should be given compression socks to wear in bed. Might be worth wearing them while you are in the car plus elevating your legs along the back seat. Rotating your ankles, flexing your feet to and fro and a couple or so breaks to move around will all help the blood circulation. Also important to keep well hydrated, so ensure you have water etc to hand.

x

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Thank you Karen, you’ve given me some things to think about.

I hadn’t considered the potential blood clot issues, I’ll definitely need to factor in a lot of stops if I make the journey soon after surgery,

I appreciate your reply.

Helena

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Thank you Jazza for your reply.

A lot to think about here. Good to know that it’s possible though. I’m keen to get home ASAP following the op as I have children at home, but I know the priority is getting home safely.

Your reply is very much appreciated.

Best wishes,
Helena

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