recovery time after abdominal surgery?


hi fellow nurses. am looking for some advice.

a little background: on 10/6, i had my left ureter reimplanted into my bladder (i'd had bilateral reimplantation at 18 months of age for reflux). this past year, after what seemed like an eternity (no one would take me seriously--you know how that goes), i was finally dx w/left lower ureteral/uvj stricture. saw interventional radiology & a uro surgeon, and had ballooning/lasering/multiple stentings, perc tube to drainage x 6 weeks. after all this, i continued to have sx (left mid-lower abdominal & flank discomfort, nausea, fever, pyelo, feeling like crap, etc.) and so surgeon recommended reimplantation to permanently fix (re-fix) things.

after surgery, he said that when he went in (he'd also noted this on my studies over the past year as well), he could tell the left ureter had been reimplanted very laterally. the ureter was basically adhered to my bladder with scar tissue, and my bladder was attached anteriorly to the muscle wall w/adhesions as well. he cleaned all that stuff out. :)

anyway, because of my prior surgery, i couldn't have a laparoscopic approach & had to have an abdominal incision. he went horizontally, just above my pubic bone, where my old scar was. i went home on 10/8. got my foley out on 10/13 (ahhh!).

i've been at home recuperating since. i've had a lot of pain & some nausea, and am using toradol and advil PRN (took a total of 2 percocet--they just make me want to hurl), PRN zofran, PRN miralax, and colace daily. have been quite weak and puny. went to whole foods today & it wore me out.

my biggest question is: how long do i expect to be swollen? having never had abdominal surgery (that i can remember, anyway--haha), i just don't know what to expect. it seems that they think that because i'm a nurse, i should know, but i don't. if i'd had cardiac surgery, i might...but abdominal surgery, not really a clue. i've been wearing a stretchy velcro thing meant for back support (got it years ago when working w/hurt lower back), and i do feel a little better when wearing it (aside from the exquisitely sensitive/painful skin on my abdomen). my discharge instructions are no lifting or straining x 6 weeks. i hope to return to work next thursday...we'll see. i insisted on trying to come back early (you know, it's that nurse thing, taking care of others before myself).

how long will i look pregnant?! do i need to wear a support garment/binder on a regular basis, or would that be bad?

i feel dumb asking obvious questions, but i really don't know. please forgive my ignorance!

thanks in advance for reading this loooong post, and for any advice y'all can offer. :)


3,362 Posts

Specializes in ICU/Critical Care.

We can't give any medical advice. The questions you are asking, you should be asking your doctor.

Home Health Columnist / Guide


11 Articles; 17,707 Posts

Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion. Has 46 years experience.

abdominal surgery: caring for yourself at home

remember that it take 3 months for wound to completely heal post surgery: wound healing, healing and repair: emedicine plastic surgery --not taking the full 6 weeks after such major surgery as recommended by surgeon sets yourself up for potential complications, especially straining/pulling/tugging involved as direct care rn.

an overview of surgical site infections: aetiology, incidence and ...

per our terms of service, we can not provide personal advice really need to discuss your concerns with surgeon and pcp.

This topic is now closed to further replies.