I was admitted electively to The Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield last week on Saturday 8th March, I underwent a laparoscopic procedure for 6 hours on the afternoon of Monday 10th March. Pre-operatively, because of my Pulmonary Hypertension I had a shuttle Walking Test, chest X-ray and ECG on the Thursday before my admission and I was started on an iloprost infusion intravenously on Sunday afternoon. I have never had iloprost before and the resulting headache and side effects made me feel quite unwell.

Monday morning before my procedure I was nil by mouth, but asked to take my regular oral medications before my anaesthesia, in the afternoon. I was given a dose of midazolam on arrival to the anaesthetic room after which I have very little recollection but was aware an arterial and central line were in the offing.

Post op I remember coming around and selling Slimming World to the Recovery Room Nurses and being given a warm blanket for my abdomen before being whisked up to HDU. On arrival on HDU I felt very dry and uncomfortable and my nose was blocked which rendered the nasal cannula I was wearing somewhat useless. I felt very nauseated too and was told my blood pressure was on the low side.

I don’t remember much clearly about being in HDU but I do remember being sick and seeing Dr Keily, one of my Pulmonary Hypertension consultants and being asked to pass water twice. After which I still was fitted for a Foley Catheter as my urine output was not adequate. I met my Surgeon and anaesthetist the next morning for a run down of events during theatre.

I stayed in HDU for a night and was transfused a unit of blood and much Hartmann’s solution. I felt much better the next day and after a few routine blood tests, my arterial line and central line was removed. I started to feel a little unwell with tachycardia soon after and I was moved to the PVDU where my temperature spiked and I remained tachycardic. Subsequently I was started on Tazocin iv and a chest x ray and blood cultures were sent.

It wasn’t until Thursday after my laparoscopy that I started to feel what I would consider well enough to go home but my CRP was over 60 and I needed another unit of blood. I was advised I would probably be ready for home Monday after a good 5 days of iv antibiotics and evidence of inflammatory markers coming down.

The whole elective surgery process has been much more serious and considered than any elective surgery I have had before my diagnosis of Pulmonary Hypertension and the attention to detail by my medical doctors and surgeons has been eye-opening as to how serious even controlled Pulmonary Hypertension can be.

I never expected to be going home as late as Thursday after a laparoscopic procedure and to have been kept in longer was unexpected but necessary under the circumstances.

I am no longer requiring strong pain killers post op, so the procedure has been a success for me already and I hope very much not to need another admission for a long while. I thank all staff and doctors for helping me and giving me the care and attention they did to get me safely through surgery and post-operative care.

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