This is the final post in the three part Q&A series with my oral & maxillofacial surgeon, Dr P.
I have a pre-op consultation today with my plastic & reconstructive surgeon, Dr A. I also have a pre-op consultation tentatively scheduled with Dr P on 30 July, the day before my likely admission to hospital.
What tubes etc will I wake up with? Are there any I might not be aware of?
- Arterial lines
- Venous lines
- Tracheostomy tube
- Urinary Catheter line
- Neck drains
- Leg drains
We reserve the right to place any other lines necesary for your health and monitoring
What will you look for to determine I am able to move from ICU to my own hospital room?
Flap viability, respiratory status, general medical condition
What will you look for to determine I can have the tracheostomy removed? How long is it usually left in?
Flap viability, respiratory status, general medical condition. Generally left in for 1-2 weeks
How is the tracheostomy removed?
The tracheostomy is removed in the ward by myself or another doctor. You will have tests done before to make sure you can breathe when we remove it. [Excellent idea.]
What will you look for to determine I can have the nasal feeding tube removed? How long is it usually left in?
Flap viability. We will remove in 1 week if able to tolerate oral feeding.
How is the NG tube removed?
The NG tube is removed by simple back pressure on the tube. Similar to the Urinary catheter.
When will I be able to get out of bed?
We encourage ambulation to minimise complications. If you have a skin graft we also like a period of immobility of 4-8 days so the graft can become adherent to the underlying tissue. Generally bed for 4-7 days, sitting out of bed thereafter, weight bearing slowly with a frame then assisted walking over 2-4 weeks.
What will you look for to determine I am able to be discharged from hospital?
Flap viability, tissue health, general medical condition
What blood tests will I need after surgery? What is their purpose? How often?
Daily blood tests to determine your status of recovery or illness. Similar with ECG or chest x ray.
I have a needle phobia. A PICC line was suggested. What are the pros and cons? What would I need to do to organise?
We will place the major lines while you are asleep. Pro’s are less smaller needles and the ability to hydrate you with blood or fluid as necessary. You do not need to organise anything.
UPDATE: To clear up the confusion, he means the needles will be fewer in number and smaller in size. He has also said that the IV line they use requires a lot less injections.
When will I have follow up consultations with my surgeons? When? What will they be looking for?
Weekly follow up for 6 weeks. We are looking for infection, non union of the jaw, mal union of the jaw. Thereafter monthly/ 3 monthly visits
Will I have follow up tests? Which tests? When? What will they be looking for?
Follow up radiographs, OPG, CT. We are reviewing integration of the flap.