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Advice on four hour trip home after surgery

Posted 03 Feb 2021 at 16:48

Any advice on what you did to stay comfortable or what you wish you had done? Four hours in a car doesn't sound like it's going to be a lot of fun! 😳

Posted 03 Feb 2021 at 18:32
We only had about 120 miles to travel home, but Madam managed to find every pot-hole, manhole cover, drain grating, speed hump, road undulation, etc.

Fortunately with Google Maps, I managed to find two or three pubs open (those were the days!) en-route by way of pit stops.

The bumps were not too bad really after a drop or two of liquid anaesthetic...

Bon voyage.

Cheers, John.

Posted 03 Feb 2021 at 23:05

Hi Chris

Depends on how soon after surgery, in many ways.

I was just over 24hrs from op. and 45 mins journey was enough, not in pain though.  Loose fitting trousers, seat belt you can 'clip' , it's mainly discomfort sitting. My son's car is quite low so just getting in and out was actually the more delicate manoeuvre.   No problem with urine,lol and you will probably be constipated.. lol.

Again any sickness, should be cleared if you have any reaction on your first drink/meal.  Ideally a larger vehicle, maybe couple cushions and sit in the back. You probably have 'DVT' stockings on.  Looking back I probably run on adrenaline and post op aesthetic. Not much more to add, as long as urines flowing, no alcohol though. Wounds are very small, mine were glued, and gave no pain.  You'll probably nod off, hopefully not if it's your turn to drive..  lol 

Regards Gordon







Posted 04 Feb 2021 at 08:14
To be honest, a four-hour car journey sounds pretty horrendous after major surgery. I only had a 50 minute drive home after mine and it was awful. Every bump in the road was painful and I was in a pretty bad way when I finally made it home. Ask the driver to take it slowly and smoothly with no sudden braking, and plan for a couple of "recovery stops" en route - I think you'll need them.

Best wishes for your surgery,


Posted 04 Feb 2021 at 08:41


Even with a Catheter you can still leak or bypass slightly, so a small pad may be advisable. If you are having a Suprapubic catheter it can definitely leak more. A seat covering is unlikely to be needed but useful to have. A sick bag is a definite if you have had poor reaction to painkillers etc.

As already said bumps are a nightmare, a cushion to protect the abdomen is often mentioned. I never found sitting to be uncomfortable.

May have mentioned my favourite subject before, get some instilagel or hydrocaine for the eye of the penis, snug but not tight underwear to keep the Catheter and bits from moving around. Make sure joints are tight on the Catheter and bag. Nurses don't always appreciate how easy they come apart and don't always have the strength to push them together properly. A empty pop bottle would be useful if you need to drain the leg bag on the way back.

Is the Catheter being removed local to your home ? If you have a Catheter problems speak to your urology team.

Hope all goes well.

Thanks Chris


Just a thought, some of us create a conversation and keep adding questions or comments, it keeps all your info in one place and makes it easy to look back at previous events.

Edited by member 04 Feb 2021 at 09:09  | Reason: Added thought

Posted 04 Feb 2021 at 12:13
Thanks all, some great advice there, I had a similar experience after my heart bypasses as that was 1.5 hours but it was 9 days after surgery that I went home.

My post op care is still up in the air, I may have to travel back to London for the removal depending on how I'm doing. I'm not convinced the local hospital has the expertise!

Posted 04 Feb 2021 at 13:35
Catheter removal is really simple and something that your local urology department does daily.

It involves deflating the liquid-filled balloon inside the bladder which holds the catheter in place, then removing the tube.

Then they will ask you to drink some water and to pee into a device that calculates your flow rate. If they are happy with that you are discharged.

Ask the urology nurse where you are having the surgery to liaise with your local hospital to arrange what they call a TWOC procedure where you live.

Why are you travelling for four hours for your op? Have you found a renowned surgeon as I did?

Cheers, John.

Posted 04 Feb 2021 at 15:08


John is right Catheter removal is a simple procedure and I have had a dozen or more simple ones.

Don't want to alarm you and I don't know of anyone else who had the same problem. According to my surgeon, my post RARP Urethral Catheter removal caused trauma to the joint and resulted in a dozen trips back into theatre and it never did get resolved. If the Catheter gets stuck on removal insist on getting a urologist involved.

Thanks Chris

Posted 04 Feb 2021 at 15:29

Hi Chris 

I didn't realise heart bypass was so quick.  I think da Vinci  , assuming you are having that option is circa 2.5 hrs in theatre , Retzius again I assume take samples , so not exactly sure of total elapsed.  I've never really thought about time under.. 

Good points re.  Catheter , you don't want a 8 hr trip.  5 mins procedure however MUST obviously be dealt with correct role.    Google what type fitted etc and care needed. I was surprised I had mine just 1 week and was practically dry immed.  Lucky eh ? Major surgery and lots to heal.  

All the best


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