Immediately after your laparoscopic retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND), you will be taken to the recovery room and transferred to your hospital room once you are fully awake and your vital signs are stable. Below are some of the issues common to patients who have undergone this minimally invasive surgery.
Post Operative Pain – Pain medication can be controlled and delivered by the patient via an intravenous catheter or by injection (pain shot) administered by the nursing staff.
Nausea – You may experience some nausea related to the anesthesia or pain medication.
Urinary Catheter – You can expect to have a urinary catheter draining your bladder (which is placed in the operating room while you are asleep) for approximately one day after the surgery.
Diet – Only ice chips and small sips of water are allowed the first day. After that, you may resume your normal diet.
Fatigue – Fatigue is common and should start to subside in a few weeks following surgery.
Incentive Spirometry – You will be expected to do some very simple breathing exercises to help prevent respiratory infections by using an incentive spirometry device. Coughing and deep breathing helps prevent pneumonia and other pulmonary complications.
Ambulation - On the day after surgery it is very important to get out of bed and begin walking with the supervision to help prevent blood clots from forming in your legs. You can expect to have SCD's (sequential compression devices) along with tight white stockings on your legs to prevent blood clots from forming in your legs.
Hospital Stay - The length of hospital stay for most patients is for approximately 1-2 days.
Constipation/Gas Cramps - You may experience sluggish bowels for several days following surgery as a result of the anesthesia. Suppositories and stool softeners are usually given to help with this problem.