Posted 6/13/2016 12:29 PM (GMT -7)
Day 5 after surgery and I am on the mend.
What should I expect that is different than being in the US for surgery?
1. They did not practice "Preventative Medicine", (prevent lawsuits) and as such only prescribe and do what is needed. Not as much attention, but there when called. Saying I am hurting and could use some medication is nice, but have to say I need some medication, or it will never come. I think that was a language issue.
2. They use narcotics only as a last resort. They try to minimize all complications. In my case I never needed anything stronger than what was provided.
2. I was not disturbed during the night to take vitals, they actually let you sleep! Now when the cleaning crew comes to change sheets in the morning, you will be up and out of bed immediately and they are in and out.
3. The windows!!! The hospital actually opens windows wide for outside air. Was delightful. They are not concerned about patients or others jumping out, I guess here, if you decide to jump, that's your problem not theirs. No screens either. Cool night air was absolutely delightful.
4. As I said in the earlier post, not everyone speaks english. Not all the nurses either. Whenever needed, they did find someone to translate, but I found the phone app "Google Translate" to be invaluable. Don't leave home without it. There ended up being no language issues as long you don't try to make any jokes or use humor. Not sure if it is a German thing or a translation thing, but humor doesn't get you anywhere.
5. The rooms are very clean and basic. not the luxury type appointments I have gotten used to at home.
I would go back to this doctor hospital without question for surgery. Their biggest concern was my health and recovery.
about the surgery.
Day of the surgery they woke me and immediately began prep which involved putting in the IV, Shaving me from my neck to top of pubic area, and sending me off. The anesthesiologist came in and reviewed what was to come, as well as the doctor to confirm I knew what I was doing, and i was out before I knew it. The recovery from the anesthesia was easiest I have ever had. Not sure if it was the drugs used or her technique.
The biggest discomfort was in my shoulders, where the gas used to inflate the abdomen seems to accumulate on its way out. I actually took the pain medications for the shoulder aches more than for the surgical site. Second reason for the pain pills was to reduce the discomfort so I could take deeper breaths sooner. for the first couple days it hurt to breath deeply. They encourage taking pain meds for that purpose, but don't force an inspirometer device on you. You are responsible for your own breathing work.
In my case I ended up with 4 arthroscopic holes, which are tender to the touch. The 5th is the "pocket" for the EndoStim II device, which is between my rib cage and hip bone on my left front side. That area is very tender, and more sore than any other. I find it helpful to use a compression band around the area for support when walking any distance and when active. Since released from the hospital on day 4, (day 1 being day of the surgery) I have walked between 3-5 very slow miles (today being the 3 mile day since traveling to Dresden for a couple days to be with friends during recovery.) I limited myself in the walking since the doctor told me not to overdue it. He was most concerned that I keep moving around. Walking and movement helps the body recover and reduce the inflammation, and, as long as the area with the implant is supported. On one short (3/4 mile) walk, I didn't support it with the compression band to see if there was a difference, and I ended up walking with one hand putting pressure on the EndoStim pocket area to provide the needed support. (Probably looked pretty weird, but who cares). Just moving around my hotel room I didn't need the support.
In regards to the reflux, so far no major difference. While some say they have had some immediate relief, I am probably one of the ones where it will take some time. Doctor said to anticipate up to 2 months, based on his other patients experiences. I will begin trying to lower antacids periodically to see if I can tell a difference. I did notice that the morning taste in my mouth was not as bad as before, but still could tell was having reflux.
From a personal note, it really was nice to have my daughter with me for the procedure, would have done fine alone, but...
Once again, I will be glad to answer any specific or general questions you might have.
If anyone wants a personal referral to the doctor, I will be glad to provide it. He welcomes medical tourists like us.