Sorry for the late reply to your post, I'm hoping you get this before your surgery!
I had my trachelectomy done by robotic surgery on the 28th January with no complications.
For preparing there wasn't much that could be done (aside from drinking those carbohydrate sachets that they give you - I recommend that you drink them in squash as they can taste chalky) but just try and relax before you have the operation.
I had the trach in the afternoon and was in the ward for one overnight stay, luckily I was discharged the next day as was the woman opposite me who had the same procedure. Because it's robotics the risks are lower and the healing time is lower as well which means you shouldn't need to stay in hospital more than one night.
Are you having your lymph nodes removed in the same procedure or have you had those out?
After my lymph nodes came out I found that the gas they used to inflate me gave me the worst shoulder pain which I wasn't prepared for! Apparently it's due to pressure on your diaphragm pushing on your phrenic nerve. The best thing for this oddly is moving about, it hurts like heck but then it does dissipate the gas and therefore the pain quicker in the long run. I would move about and then when it got painful I would sit still with a hot water bottle and some peppermint tea which helps!
The best advice I was given via the forum (which I initially ignored and immediately regretted!) is to take it easy. Because it's an internal operation and you have small incisions rather than a larger abdominal scar it's easy for you to trick yourself that you can do more and move about more. Get someone to be on hand to help you because you are not going to be able to do heavy lifting, fast moving or bending for a while! Prepare yourself with box-sets, books and anything else to keep you mentally occupied. I also got very very comfy in pyjamas and loose fitting bottoms because I ended up with my stomach swelling due to a lymphocyst and I also didn't want anything hard pressing against the incisions.
I found my stomach was quite sore for a while because of the fact that they had to go in via the stomach! Even though they are small incisions you may find yourself having to avoid doing anything with your core for a while! Getting out of bed meant using a 'squeeze a pillow to my tummy and roll' approach.
I didn't like doing the Fragmin injections at all at first and got my partner to do them for the first weeks because I had convinced myself I wasn't able but after I had a massive panic one day I ended up giving it a go myself. Found that it wasn't as hard because I took my time with the first one. Sat and watched TV with the injection ready in front of me and just got myself used it to. I went in via the tummy which I found less painful then the thigh (mainly because I could grab more tummy flab)!
The one thing I wasn't prepared for was the heavy bleeding that started about 10 days after the operation. I was so worried I called the CNS who told me it was normal because about 10 days after the operation is when the clots that have formed internally start to break apart. It wasn't pleasant, I can't lie and I just kept an eye on it because I was worried I was bleeding too heavily. Invest in big pants and lots of maximum absorbancy sanitary towels.
My bleeding got lighter and lighter until finally stopping a couple of weeks ago and when I went to my consultant for a post op consultation he checked my incisions and did and internal exam but not a smear - just to check the cervical stitch and internal healing. I had a minor internal wound infection but a course of antibiotics cleared that up.
I was initially signed off for 4 weeks after the operation but I didn't feel ready to go back, physically or emotionally, so I got signed off for another two and then worked on a phased approach for a couple of weeks at home. I needed a good few weeks to build up normal exercise levels and I started doing gentle walking and I've taken up swimming for half an hour a couple of times a week as its low impact.
I can still feel the occasional twinge and 'pull' when I move my body in certain ways and I'm not allowed to start having sex again until middle of May - not that I feel I'll be ready then (though I think that's more psychological then physical).
Everyone is different and everyone heals differently. The worst bits for me were the heavy bleeding around day 10 which lasted for just under a week and also feeling like I could do stuff and then realising I couldn't. A few days after the op I walked up the stairs with a bit more energy and gusto then I should off and regretted it instantly.
My best advice is get help and take it easy even if you feel that you don't need to. Listen to your body and sleep when it demands you sleep! Oh and take the anti-constipation medicine and stay on top of that! Believe me, you won't regret it! I have never been so scared at having a poo in my life then those few days after the op!
If you have any questions please just ask!