My lovely anaesthetist called tonight.  Dr K looked after me for my second biopsy and I requested her again.

She’ll have put in four lots of tubes that will stay in after surgery, she said.

First, there’s the central line that goes into a vein and sticks out somewhere in my neck or collar bone.  She will use the line to monitor venous pressure (blood pressure in my veins) and give medications.  As a bonus, they will also be able to use it to take blood for my daily blood tests.  It won’t stay in long and will be removed before I’m moved up to the ward, if not earlier.  To remove it, the nurses just pull it out.  That’s going to be fun.

Second, there’s the line that goes into an artery and comes out through my arm or wrist.  She’ll use it to keep an eye on my arterial blood pressure.

Finally, there’s the urinary catheter (‘nough said) and the nasogastric tube that will feed me.

She ran me though some of the other possibilities.  I may need blood pressure medication after surgery.  She may sedate me over the first night.  The preference is to keep me in a half-awake state, but sedation may help my recovery.

And – the big one – there is a small possibility I may need a blood transfusion.  She will only do it if they need to save me life, she assured me (all in favour, say aye).  The good news is my red cell count is very good.  They’ll have blood ready for a transfusion on hand, already tested against my blood to make sure it’s a good match.

Three days to go.  We see Dr P, my oral & maxillofacial surgeon, tomorrow to run through my recent scans and answer any last questions.



  1. Just want to let you know I am thinking of you and keeping all my fingers crossed at times when I don’t need them to perform other vital tasks. Trust me, the catheter will be most welcome and make your life loads easier 🙂 For the other lines… I would not worry about them too much. Surely they are not all put in whilst you are fully awake?

  2. And what do you think of that thing growing in your face?
    Do you think about it?
    Are you glad to get it outta there?

  3. Noble Note says:

    From my experience (not the same surgery, but still surgery), all those tubes will go in while you are well and truly anaesthetised; I’m presuming Dr K said so?
    You’re running this sprint phase beautifully. I’m getting a strong sense that all your doctors and support people are very much on your side; very much working with you, not just on you.
    We’re with you too.

  4. I’m with Marieke on the catheter call. Before I joined that club, just the thought would give me the heebies, but she’s right – they are actually quite excellent. The key here is to think of the outcome, rather than the process!

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