Thursday, September 22, 2011

Jaw Surgery vs. Abdominal Surgery

So, this isn't really about my jaw surgery, but it is an interesting point of comparison. I had my gallbladder removed on Tuesday (not emergency surgery, but they figured out what was wrong on Friday, Monday I saw the surgeon, and Tuesday morning I had the surgery, so it was quick!) and I was amazed at the differences between my 2 experiences with surgery! They were at 2 different hospitals (in 2 different states), that probably accounts for a lot of the differences.

Anesthesia/going into the operating room: For my jaw surgery they put my IV in while I was in pre-op and then they gave me some floaty stuff before they took me to the OR. All I remember about the OR is that it was green. This time I was brought down to pre-op (from where I checked in and changed and such on the surgical floor), and they put in my IV, put a hair net on me, placed all of the heart monitors, put the compression socks on my legs, stuck a temperature strip on my forehead, and stuck some other monitor across my forehead. They gave me some meds before they took me to the OR, but I was still fully conscious and aware. I remember moving over to the operating table, they strapped down my arms, hooked up all of the monitors, and put an oxygen mask on me. I was awake for probably 5 minutes after I got into the OR..way different than before!!

Recovery: So I think that I way way more aware after this surgery, so I actually remember more of my time in the recovery room. However, they wouldn't go get me my teddy bear!!!! That's the only thing I would say when I woke up from my jaw surgery and my surgeons went out to get him from my parents (mostly because they thought it was hilarious). This time the nurse said she couldn't send anyone to go get him and I got very upset...causing myself more pain and more than doubling my stay in the recovery room.

Pain management: When I found out I would be having this surgery I figured it would be a piece of cake after orthognathic surgery. The surgery was done laproscopically, so I figured my pain would be easily controlled and I would be better in no time. Wrong! Now, I'm only 48 hours into recovery, but so far this hurts way worse. I was getting morphine injections every 3 hours at the hospital (I think I got them every 4 to 5 hours after jaw surgery) and am taking my prescription pain meds every 4 hours on the hour. I know recovery overall will be quicker and easier, but for now this seems much worse...

Leaving the hospital: So every hospital that I (and anyone I've ever talked to) has been to requires you to leave in a wheelchair when you are discharged. Not this hospital! They practically make you walk out (Has anyone else experienced this?).

My orthognathic surgery was my first surgery (except when I was very little), so I thought that what I experienced then was pretty standard, but this has really changed my mind about that. I guess it all just depends on the hospital you're in!

<3 Stefane

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