preparing for trachelectomy - advice or tips

Hi all,

Today I was given a surgery date of 20/03/13 for a radiacal trachelectomy and lymphadenectomy. I have 1b1 cc. I was diagnosed on the 7/02/13, my 30th birthday!! Things have moved very quickly so i havent really had time to think about life after surgery.

Any advice or tips on what i need to bring to hospital or things that will help once i get home would be very helpful. I've never had any surgery before and want to be as prepared as I can, it all very scary!






First of all, I want to say how sorry I am that you've found yourself in this position. I completely sympathise and am glad you've found Jo's - there's lots of support here. 

Ok, so, my major tips for hospital! :-) 

- Big, comfy knickers. These will be invaluable. 

- Soft and comfortable pyjamas. I had nightdresses as they were easier to deal with in terms of sorting out drains/catheter etc...

- Slippers. You don't want to be walking barefoot on hospital floors.

- Peppermint oil. A laparoscopy can result in trapped wind, which travels upwards to your back and shoulders and can be a bit painful. A few drops of peppermint oil in a small glass of water helps to disperse this. 

- Anti-bacterial gel. Use this on your hands before every time you eat. 

- Face wipes. You can get clammy in hospital and just having some wipes available can help you freshen up your face and hands. I got through loads! 

- Take in a brand of toiletries you don't normally use. I bought a cheap range of moisturiser etc.. from Boots and even bought a different toothpaste to the one I normally use. Then I binned the lot when I got home. This meant that the smell of my usual range of stuff wasn't tainted by having come into hospital with me and the smell will never remind me of my op. 

- ipod. You might not have the energy to read a book but, listening to come relaxing music can be helpful. Perhaps take in some 'easy' magazines, as well. 

- Get your partner/visitors to bring in extra (healthy!) food for you. It depends on which hospital you're in, but the meals in my hospital were both unidentifiable and inedible. My husband brought in tupperware boxes filled with treats he'd got me from the deli (bless him!) and it made SO much difference to me. Also a good idea to have some snacks to hand for those nibbly moments. 

- Sometimes you can have vomiting as a result of a general anaesthetic and as a result of gynae surgery. Lay it on thick with the anaesthetist before you go down to theatre and emphasize how much you don't want to be sick, so he/she can give you anti-sickness medication. 

- When you come round and throughout your stay, be honest about how much pain you're in. Do not think you have to bear it - you don't. They will ask you what your pain level is on a scale of 1-10. Be honest! Take the pain relief they give you - it will make it a lot easier for you. 

I completely understand that you're scared and I'm so sorry you're having to go through this. I was very scared before my surgery as well. You can tell them how scared you are when you go down to theatre and they will help you - I did this and they put me under very quickly, which when I look back, was absolutely the right thing for them to do. Before you know it, you'll wake up in recovery with a lovely nurse looking after you and offering you drugs! 

I hope this helps. 

Annabel. x

Hi Annabel,

Thanks so much for all the great tips! I want to be as prepared as i can before I go in to hospital. I live 4 hours from my family so wont have alot of help after hospital. My boyfriend will have a week off so that will help. I also have a 3 year old girl who won't really understand that I get get up and run around with her any time i want!


It's still all a bit surreal. I've been off work since I found out the news but I'm going back tomorrow until a couple of days from I go into hospital. Might hekp keep my mind occupied!

Thanks again for your help!





Hi T,


I was diagnosed on the same day as you. Just wanted to wish you all the best for your op.



Hi T,

I had my trachelectomy and lymph node removal 4 weeks a go today. I think the most important thing is to try not to be too nervous. Obviously surgery is not the nicest thing to 'look forward to' but I feel so fortunate now that I could have that done and thankfully that's all my treatment done- I hope it will be the same for you.

I would say be prepared for a few tubes coming out of different places when you wake up- I'm pretty sure they'd told me about these but was still surprised. But they do start taking them away quickly once you're feeling better. I totally agree with being honest about your pain- they don't want to to be uncomfortable so make sure you take the pain relief if you need it. 

I stayed in from he Monday til the Sat morning- my op was longer than expected as I'd had a cone biopsy not long before and that made it more difficult. I had a bit of nausea as my bowel and digestive system had 'gone to sleep' from all the anaesthetic! So it took a couple of days for that to get going, once it had I felt tonnes better and have continued to recover really well.

My top tips would be try not to rush your recovery- take your time and let people help where they can. You will start to feel better quite quickly but remember what you've had done so be easy on yourself.

Also take a nightie or two- this makes life a lot easier than pjs! And comfy slippers.

Take some mini toiletries, flannel, shampoo/conditioner and a mild soap or body wash- your key hole scars for the lymph node removal will be tiny but be nice to them and don't pick. Mine have healed really well so far.

Don't stress about trying to reply to all the texts people will send you- if you're up to it, reply to one and ask them to pass on the message.

And just take time to relax!

Hope this has helped and I wish you the best of luck :)



Thanks girls for all the advice. Work is taking my mind off everthing and because I feel fine sometimes for a few mins ill forget whats going on!!!

Not thinking about the surgery because it was to happen and its just something I have to get through to be healthy and hopefully get the chance to have another baby!

I live about 3.5 hours from my parnets and family but my mom is coming to stay with me after i get out of hospital. My daughter and I will be moving back to my parnets house for a few weeks as my boyfriend works long hours and travels a bit with work. So ill have lots of attention and care for my mom!



Just wanted to wish you best of luck with your surgery on Wednesday. I've got my first internal follow up tomorrow, so time really does fly post op. It's the waiting for the op that was the longest! You'll be through it and on the mend before you know it.