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There aren't too many threads here talking about the experience of having a RVT and recovery, so I wanted to start one in case helpful for others in the future. Please do add comments below if you've had an RVT - appreciate everyone's experience will be different so it's great to learn!
My RVT (with pelvic lymphanedectomy) was 10 days ago. A few things were unexpected for me so I've shared them below. These may come across as 'bad' things so I want to headline first that overall my experience has been positive! I am recovering well, feeling like myself and thankful that there seem to be few side effects other than a slightly sore and swollen tummy and groin area. Will add another comment in a few weeks to update on longer term recovery.
The unexpected things:
- Shoulder and arm pain: When I woke up from the surgery, the first thing I noticed was extreme pain in my neck, shoulders and arms. I hadn't expected this and was worried the surgery had done some damage! The nurses were suprised when I asked them about it, so I did some Googling and apparently this is fairly common with this specifc type of surgery due to a build up of carbon dioxide (used to inflate your abdomen to help the surgeon do his/her/their bit!) and the angle your body is at. It passed over the first few days.
- Infection: I was unlucky to contract a UTI which doubled the length of my stay in hospital. The combo of pain + lots of sickness + loneliness (no visitors thanks to COVID!) did take its toll on my spirits but apparently a UTI is fairly common and nothing to worry about (even though I felt like I was on my last legs - I've never really been unwell before so it was a bit of a shock!). Had a couple of rough days but the hospital was the best place to be and antibiotics have knocked it on the head.
- Tinzaparin injections: Following the surgery the hospital put me on 28 days of injections to help prevent blood clots. I've done IVF before and was very relaxed about self-injecting, however this one hurts more so wanted to share a few suggestions I found online and seem to be working for me in case helpful. 1) numb the leg before injection OR do before getting out of bed whilst skin still warm 2) push liquid in very slowly.
Overall I am recovering well and feel thankful that for now I seem to be having few side effects. Will add another comment in a few weeks to update on longer term recovery.
Good luck to anyone going through the surgery / recovery x
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