"Post Operation Care and Advice"
About: Hairmyres Hospital / Ear, Nose & Throat Hairmyres Hospital Ear, Nose & Throat G75 8RG
Posted by Polly Pectomy (as ),
I recently had a nasal polypectomy at Hairmyres Hospital Day Surgery Unit. While I am delighted with the success of the operation, I was disappointed with the lack of information given to me regarding my post-op care. Verbal instructions were minimal, or perhaps not properly understood due to me still not being fully alert after a general anaesthetic. The written/printed instructions for the use of the medications supplied were unclear, resulting in me having to call NHS24 the following day. The advice given (by a pharmacist) was non-specific and I could have drawn the same conclusions myself.
I also got the impression that the some of the staff in the recovery area were maybe not aware of why I was there and/or had insufficient knowledge of the potential risks/side-effects of a nasal polypectomy. From the minute I came to I felt dizzy and slightly nauseous. Having a history of vomiting after surgery I initially refused the sandwich offered for fear of being sick. When my condition did not improve it was decided that I should try and sleep it off. When I awoke for the second time I was again offered food and drink. This time I agreed to try some biscuits but the nurse brought only water. I waited for her to return with the biscuits but she never did. Later, after 2 or 3 cups of water I still felt lightheaded. A nurse said, quite sharply in my opinion, that I felt that way because I hadn’t eaten anything. Well, I hadn’t eaten anything because I hadn’t been given anything to eat! I believe that nurse had assumed I had, like the other patients beside me, had only sedation, not a full anaesthetic.
Despite eating regular meals at home, I was dizzy for a further 10 days. My GP diagnosed labyrinthitis – which I understand can be caused by blocked tubes or as a result of a trauma. In other words the dizziness was most likely a direct result of the surgery. I believe this type of operation is performed at Hairmyres Hospital on a weekly basis so it is incredible that the recovery room staff did not know to look out for post-op symptoms like mine.
I was given very few details of what to expect after the operation so I don’t know if what I am experiencing is normal, or how long I should wait before consulting my GP again. I consider myself to be fairly intelligent. If I am confused about what actions and medications I should be taking what chance do more vulnerable patients have? I think every patient should be given full written discharge instructions – specific to their operation or procedure – including care, medications, what to expect, when to seek help or further advice (beyond the first 24/48 hours) and from whom (eg consultant or GP).