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Ballet Talk for Dancers

The long and winding scar

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My surgery went fine with a textbook recovery so far. I'm now back home after 6 days in the hospital with a stapled 8" long incision in my belly. It looks awful and feels worse, but when I remember what it felt like the first day, I know I'm at least 1000% better, with more improvement every day. The doctor has given me carte-blanche to do anything that doesn't cause a bunch of pain, but no lifting anything heavier than 20 lbs for 6 weeks.


The staples come out Monday, which means I can then gently stretch and start trying to regain my abdomenal muscle tone. I'd like to hear any advice from fellow adult dancers who've had to rehabilitate from abdomenal surgery.

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Great news! I had a real jammer of a belly procedure (a modified Whipple operation) done about 2 years ago, and I know the sorts of things you're going through. Are you carrying around any drains? I hated them.

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Guest LA girl

Hope you have a smooth journey on the road to recovery...and that this will be the end of this adventure for you. I can't attend ADC this year either so we can have a pity party, if you like!

Edited by LA girl
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I've no experience, but I'd like to wish you the best and speediest recovery. :)

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I can't attend ADC this year either so we can have a pity party, if you like!



Although I love to be fussed over while I recover, I'm not a big believer in self-pity. However, I am a big believer in partying for any reason or no reason at all, so you're on if you can think of another title for the "pity party".


I read on another post that you're back to work, meaning back to ballet is coming soon for you. Terrific! Shall we make a date to meet in Richmond next summer? I'm already committing to the June session because my freebie airline ticket will expire before next August.


By the way, Heidi was wonderful in dealing with my forced cancellation.

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Great news!  I had a real jammer of a belly procedure (a modified Whipple operation) done about 2 years ago, and I know the sorts of things you're going through.  Are you carrying around any drains?  I hated them.



When I came out of the anesthesia, I had tubes going into and out of everyplace you can imagine (and that's as graphic as I want to be). Every day eliminated at least one artificial aid, and I left the hospital the 6th day following surgery with nothing but a bunch of staples in my belly. They come out tommorow!


So, what's a Whipple?

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The Whipple procedure was originally developed to give pancreatic cancer victims that 5% chance of survival that they currently enjoy(?). Mine was modified, because what I had wasn't a tumor or anything attached to anything else, but a huge stone about the size of a small tangerine in my common duct. It would bounce around and slam into my pancreas, my gall bladder, my liver, my stomach, and then sit down like a ballvalve over the opening to my small bowel. Everything in there was very unhappy from all the pounding. They opened me from breastbone to navel, pulled aside all the unnecessary muscles, did a real ginger job of avoiding all the vascular stuff in that area, and there's a lot of it, and for starters, they yanked my gall bladder. After that, they routed my pancreas and liver straight into my stomach, and built me a new duodenum after they reeled out maybe 6-8 feet of small intestines. They totally replumbed me! They even showed me the rock after I was in recovery. Big chalky thing. Anyway, I had a big drain that I had to wear after I was sent home, and a little drain that attached to a bag on my leg, and that one was a real bother. They popped the big drain out about two weeks after I was released. The other stayed in until I had been out a month. Let me tell you, when that drain came out, it must have been coiled around inside me like a snail. About two feet of it came out, and it was one of the weirdest sensations I've ever experienced.

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Let me just say, for the record...



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On the upside, I was at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in NYC, and I thought from time to time that I wasn't in a hospital at all, but some nice hotel with a nice meal plan. The food was actually good, and all of the staff personnel were more like pampering, nurturing friendly folk than impersonal workers in science. I got my staples out something like 6 days after the operation, and the process was quick and painless. Columbia is a teaching hospital, and all the med students, interns and residents who worked on my case were like my collaborators in recovery. My surgeons were first-rate, and it didn't hurt that one of them was a pretty blonde lady with a double doctorate - one in Engineering and the other in Medicine. If I were going to be redesigned, I figured she was just the one I needed to do it! :rolleyes:

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