Surgery – what to expect?
February 25, 2019 at 2:22 pm #14547
Dad (75) found out today that his surgeon has recommended operation, in ten days’ time. I’ve written a bit more in the Introductions page, but we’ve been here before – in September, they went to operate and got as far as opening him up before deciding it was too risky.
He has been told it could be a 6-7 hour operation, potentially, and that he will be in hospital for a week.
Does anyone have any experience of a loved one having this operation, is it as long as that? How will they feel afterwards? Might he go back on to Chemo?
I’ve not managed to speak to him yet, he is still travelling back from his appointment but I’m just trying to assess how he may be and what help he and my mum might need.
Thanks for any advice you can offer.February 25, 2019 at 3:19 pm #14548
Welcome to AMMF’s forum, although we are sorry to learn that your father has been diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma. (We spotted your post in Introductions too, but will leave that for others to come in and answer your specific queries there …)
Regarding the various questions you have about your father’s surgery – this type of surgery is certainly major, but what is actually carried out can vary from patient to patient. There is more information on AMMF’s website here: https://ammf.org.uk/treatment-options-2/
And yes, 6 – 7 hours (or longer) is not unusual for this complex type of operation. Apart from the surgery itself, recovering from the effects of the anaesthetic can take a while, too. Your father will be encouraged to be up and about as soon as possible after the surgery. Out after a week sounds quite ambitious but, in general, patients are encouraged to go home as soon as they are able as most recover better in their own surroundings, as long as there is some support, and it also avoids the danger of hospital-borne infections. Full recovery though, can take several months.
Chemotherapy is now generally advised as a follow up after surgery for those patients who fit the eligibility criteria. It’s usually capecitabine, and is started once the patient is healed and sufficiently recovered from surgery.
With kindest regards
Please note it is not appropriate for AMMF to give medical advice or recommendations, and all details provided are for information purposes only.February 25, 2019 at 3:56 pm #14549
Dear Helen, thank you for taking the time to respond. I will certainly be delving further into the excellent resources on this website as I endeavour to find out more and be well informed to support both my dad and my mum in the coming weeks. It has come as something of a shock this morning to find out surgery is scheduled next week, we had assumed two more cycles of two sessions/week off before they were going to even consider it.
Having had the disappointment of surgery halted after it started last time, I assume they must be pretty confident this is the right way to go at this point in time.
I am interested to see the name of the chemo you gave – he has had at least two different ones in each session so far, but the names escape me.
Kind Regards.February 28, 2019 at 12:51 pm #14562
Usually, a combination of Gemcitabine and Cisplatin chemotherapies are given as first line treatment, so maybe these are the ones your Dad has been receiving.
With kindest regards and all good wishes that the surgery goes well …
Please note it is not appropriate for AMMF to give medical advice or recommendations, and all details provided are for information purposes only.March 4, 2019 at 12:48 pm #14568
Hi Helen, I found out this morning he was rushed into A&E middle of the night – probable infection, so been admitted. Suspect that kiboshes surgery for Friday…. he will be gutted as was feeling so well last week and ready.March 4, 2019 at 2:05 pm #14569
I’m so sorry to hear this about your Dad, JW1969.
But let’s hope they get the infection under control as quickly as possible …March 4, 2019 at 5:20 pm #14570
He’s on a long drip, but temp down, other signs are good that the infection is under control now. My mum is with him and all the right people have been talking to all the other right people, and his A&E consultant said surgery this week “not impossible”… even if it drifts, hopefully not for too long. Important that he is well for the op. The ups and downs. Just as I thought, it’s this week we are almost there, this happens. He’s in great hands, I keep reminding myself, his healthcare team throughout have been amazing.March 6, 2019 at 11:31 am #14574
He is being discharged today following the emergency and readmitted for surgery (at Hammersmith) tomorrow in preparation, we hope, for his operation on Friday…. Hammersmith team and Dad’s local A&E team have spoken closely about this and all seem confident they should plan to go ahead, subject to final tests/assessment by the surgery team. We have everything crossed. I am trying to keep myself busy but failing miserably – have started about five things and not actually done any of them!March 6, 2019 at 1:23 pm #14576
Thank you for the update about your Dad.
We will be thinking of you and your family tomorrow.
JulieMarch 6, 2019 at 2:04 pm #14577
Thank you Julie, I appreciate that.March 9, 2019 at 6:42 pm #14583
A brief update. Dad has had his surgery, despite the trails and tribulations earlier in the week, they all agreed to go ahead. He has lost 20% of his liver and his gall bladder. He’s in intensive care, but 24 hours on, the pain is improving and they’ve had him sat in a chair watching the rugby, which is wonderful to hear. Now he just has to recover, and fingers crossed they got the whole thing out – they were reasonably confident, that if they could get to it, they would as it was encased in scar tissue. Hoping to get over there sometime in the next 48 hours, once he is out of ICU.
Relief.March 9, 2019 at 8:53 pm #14584
Great news! I was thinking about you yesterday wondering how it had gone. My mom had more scans yesterday, now we’re waiting to hear if they will operate. Wishing your dad a speedy recovery 🙂March 10, 2019 at 6:15 pm #14585
Thanks Twigsie, and I can visit tomorrow, which I am so pleased about! I could have gone sooner, but it’s a bit of a trek and on a weekend it would all have been a bit of a scramble. Boot the kids off to school, then I’m a free agent for the day.
Hoping you get the scan results soon. Stay in touch.March 11, 2019 at 9:44 am #14588
Dear JW 1069
Good to learn that your Dad did get his surgery and has come safely through. Fingers crossed for a speedy recovery now …
Many consultants now suggest follow-up chemo (capecitabine) after surgery, when the patient is fully recovered and healed. So this might be something to discuss with your Dad’s team.
Please note it is not appropriate for AMMF to give medical advice or recommendations, and all details provided are for information purposes only.March 17, 2019 at 1:51 pm #14619
Looks like Dad is coming out of hospital tomorrow, and he can’t wait. We have no idea yet of what regime, if any, he may have. I believe the surgeon is going to discuss this with him later in the week, once they have the histology on what was removed.
He’s made a remarkable recovery so far, I am grateful to all in the expert team at Hammersmith Hospital and on the Sainsbury Wing for taking good care of him.
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