Thank you everyone for all the information you are so willing to share. After much discussion my husband has decided to go ahead with RC surgery with a neobladder diversion. We plan on staying in the San Francisco area for at least 3-4 weeks or until his catheter is removed. We are incredibily lucky to have Dr. Badri Konety performing the surgery. He is apparently leaving UCSF shortly (I am not sharing information that is not already known) so we are thrilled he will be his surgeon. Can someone explain what I should expect for his post-op care? Will he feel like walking outside or should I load up on DVD's? Appetite sensitive or should I plan on taking frozen dinners and stocking up our apt's freezer? Problems taking a shower or will he need assistance? I really don't have any idea how independent he will be when he is discharged from the hospital. We plan on coming home after the catheter is pulled but from all these posts that seems like the time the real work of bladder training begins. Any input on how to make his post-op time most comfortable would be greatly appreciated.
I had my catheter removed about 10 days after my hospital release. Be certain you don't leave without a supply of sterile water and syringe to irrigate the catheter. I guarantee you will need it. I found that walking with the catheter was very uncomfortable. However your husband may find different results. I also found it difficult to concentrate enough to watch movies for awhile.
I tried eating sensibly although my wife still doesn't believe ribs is a food group. Seriously, I would take it very easy in the beginning since his colon will be very sensitive to what he puts in it. Expect loose stools for some time.
Regarding showers, I suppose everyone is different, I didn't need any help but I did need a chair in the beginning. That lasted for several weeks until I was comfortable and confident enough to shower without it.
My biggest shock was after the cath was pulled, just how much urine poured out. Assure him, it will get better. In the meantime, for the beginning anyway, go to a good medical supply store for heavyweight disposables and male guards in addition, I found some of the tape on's at night helped along with absorbant pads. Some folks will suggest using what are known as condom catheters to really eliminate alot of those early problems. You may want to try it.
Watch out for fevers, urinary tract infections are common. the loose stools and squeezing to get urine out can lead to hemmoroids. I found out the ring of fire was not the countries of the pacific rim.
The most important thing to remember is that whatever you are experiencing, we have too. Ask, Ask, Ask. You will receive many suggestions from this group. Keep them handy
I was showering, standing up, after about 7 or 8 days. I had a complication (ileus) so I was in the hospital for 11 days and I probably would have been showering myself earlier if not for the complication.
Everyone is different so if your husband is not up for it at the time of discharge from the hospital, then you might want to pick up one of those shower chairs at the drug store.
Movies would be fine and can be in addition to walking which is VERY important. Don't over-do it on the walking but at least twice in the morning, twice in the afternoon, and twice in the evening. If going outside to walk, then don't go a long way. Just go out of the house, a short way in one direction, back past the house a short way in the other direction, rinse and repeat. Even walking up and down the driveway is good because it is always a short walk to get back inside.
Work on a good way of attaching the catheter bag to make it easier to walk. If you rig up something to hang it from the belt, be sure you use something long enough so that it stays low enough to work. Don't just let it drag behind.
For meals, small and frequent and nothing too crazy. I wouldn't go for the hot pepper dip and big steaks. Things easy to digest and easy on the system. Bowels do get angry after this surgery when they realize that somebody swiped a segment to get promoted to bladder duty. Not sure if the remaining bowels are jealous or just miss the segment removed, but they do make a fuss. Stool softeners are typically recommended.
The intestinges will have been sown or stapled back together so you don't want to overtax them with large quantities of food. Most likely, he won't feel like eating large quantities of food anyway.
Just occurred to me when reading Mikes comments. You might want to have your dr give you some leg bags. You can change in the mornings to that and in the evenings go back to the big bag. You will have to empty the leg bag a couple of times during the day but I found it does give you better mobility. I found I was better mounting them below the knee, but again that is an individual thing.
You also might want a pair or two of some very loose tie waist pants. Much easier than your regular clothes for a couple of weeks or so.
By the way, for me the chair wasn't to shower with but to find something steady myself with and sit down when trying to soap my legs. I would expect you can be in the shower right away.
You guys are lifesavers! Now I have a better idea on what to expect and have already changed what I had planned to pack. Gonna stick to sweat pants and tee's for him. I will make a complete list of final questions before we leave. Thank you again so much. Really appreciate you taking the time to help.
My wife bought me a few pairs of tie string pajama pants and they were great. Some comfy slippers are good to pack.
Pack a laptop with wireless access so you can let us know how things go and ask more questions. It seems most hospitals have free wireless access in the rooms these days.
Also, he should pack his own razor. Those hospital razors tend to lead to stitches or using enough toilet paper to stop the blood that he'd run out. Going to be using plenty of TP anyway (for what it was intended).
Be sure to MAKE him walk, even if he doesn't want to. It can prevent complications (like I had). Ask the nurses about that walking business. They can tell you experiences they've had with those that "Didn't feel up to it" versus those that "Did it anyway".
Pack a book or two for yourself. He's going to be in and out of it and you'll want to have something to do instead of sitting and staring.