Hi again everybody.. I wanted to update this for anyone it may help in the future. My fiancee and I found what we read here to be far and away the most helpful to prepare for his surgery.
One week ago today my fiancee had his anterior urethroplasty. Originally his doctor was sure it would be a two stage surgery, but after his pre-op urethra ultrasound his surgeon gave us some hope that he may be able to do it one since the stricture was pretty small. We left it in his hands to make a “game time decision” to give him the best result. We knew there would be a buccal mucosa graft regardless.
His doctor was Dr. Lee Zhao at NYU who was incredible! His surgery lasted for about 3 hours, and was ONE STAGE! His mom and I cried happy tears when his surgeon told us that.
As far as his mouth goes.. He came home with a “second skin” surgical dressing in his mouth which started coming out in small pieces after about 4 days and is completely out today. It helped protect and cushion the surgical site, though it tasted pretty nasty and smelled really bad too. It did its job though because he barely had any pain in his mouth and was able to eat normal food in small bites two days after. For pain he was prescribed Magic Mouthwash which truly was magical for him. He did a swish and spit a few times a day and it totally numbed the area to the point where he never had mouth pain. He was encouraged to open his mouth wide many times a day to ensure he didn’t lose any range of motion which he was able to do without a problem. His cheek looked swollen for a couple days but reduced back to normal. He used ice a few times over the first three days which also helped. Overall, he was expecting his mouth to give him a lot of trouble, but it didn’t at all. Our fears were much much much worse than reality.
Now for the urethroplasty.. again our fears were SO MUCH WORSE than it was. I can’t emphasize this enough.. we were so scared of the surgery, but were so pleasantly surprised at the lack of pain. He came home with a foley catheter with both a night bag and leg bag to use for going out. The tubing with taped up to left side of his stomach, across to the right side, and then down to his right thigh. The doctor said this would help eliminate any tension on the tubing and be comfortable for him. It’s been great (though we had to shave his stomach and leg when we got home from the hospital to be more comfortable with the tape) for him and the urine has been draining well and he’s not bothered by the catheter. It’s been quite a nice break from the urination troubles he was having for months. The bags are easy to empty and switch between. We have been cleaning them daily with soap and water and doing a thorough clean with vinegar and water through the bags every three days.
He has a small incision on the underside of his penis with internal stitches that will dissolve. We can’t see them, but there is some scar glue that is peeling off daily with showers. He has not had any sustained pain throughout the first week of recovery and has had NO PAIN at all for the past 2 days. The only pain he has had was brief but sharp that came with moving from sitting to standing when the tubing shifted around and disturbed the surgical site. It would be sharp for a few seconds and subside completely over the next minute once he settled into his new position. We have been alternating advil and tylenol for pain control but have been reducing it daily without any pain. He has taken one percocet before bed each night and been able to sleep through the night without a problem, and he plans on going down to half a pill tonight for a couple nights and then cutting it out completely.
He’s has some erections throughout the night. He said the first couple gave him some temporary dull pain, but in the past couple days they haven’t been painful, just uncomfortable.
Some helpful hints… He has been taking stool softeners daily which prevents any straining with bowel movements and he has been comfortable in the bathroom. He has been sleeping on a foam wedge pillow. He said being in that position helps keep his erections more minimal than if he is sleeping completely flat. He also finds that using a large piece of gauze around his penis adds some cushioning and makes him feel much more protected and comfortable.
He was never bed bound. For the first 2 days we just walked the hallways of our apartment building, but thereafter we have gone out each day for short trips. Today he drove for the first time! He is almost back to walking at full speed, but he has been moving slowly and cautiously to avoid jostling the catheter around.
Overall, the recovery process has been great. We were terrified going in, and we both felt strongly about writing this update to help ease any fear for any men going in for this surgery. PLEASE feel free to contact me for any support you need.. the unknown was scary, but knowing what we know now, I would love to help out anyone however I can.
He goes for catheter removal in about a week and a half… will update again then!