My Surgery in a Japanese Hospital


Read about the bad pap smear result leading to surgery of the cervix here.   


I was scheduled for surgery 2 weeks after confirmation of pre - cancer cells in my cervix.   The surgeon would remove all the bad cells (more on this later).   


The surgery required a 3 day stay.   I have no doubt that in the US, the surgery would be a day procedure.   Japan errs on the side of caution with these things.   When giving birth, a 5 day stay is normal.   (One reason behind Japan's long life expectancy?)   


The first day, check in was from 14:00.    There was not much to do.    It was a bit boring.   Thankfully, Leon came with his computer and we did math homework together and Dave visited at night.     


I think the main reason for staying the night before the operation is they want to check up on you and make sure you do / don't do certain things.    No eating and no drink other than water after 7:00 p.m.    Take a laxative at 9:00.   Also the following day, lots of checks happen quite early in the morning.   


I was in the maternity ward, so there were a lot of wailing babies.   Nurses also come and check on you every 3 hours.    I had a fitful sleep.


The 2nd day:  No water after 7:00 a.m.   Laxative suppositories administered.  I.V. drip in place (a bit painful but OK).    All fun stuff.   I wanted to take a walk outside, but with a drip and my surgical outfit on, I was confined to the ward.     Dave came from 13:00 and the operation was set from 14:00.     


At 14:00, they wheeled me down to the operating room.   There were 2 nurses and 2 doctors.  They quickly got to work.   The hardest (read painful) part was the epidural administration.   After that, I soon went numb from my chest down.   The actual operation was quite quick.   Just 15 minutes.  


After, the doctor showed me what he had cut.   It was horrific.  I had no idea, that much was going to be cut out.    


Dave meanwhile was waiting in the operation waiting room.   The doctor took him to a smaller room, explained how the operation went, how I was and to his chagrin showed him my cervix in a bowl.   It made him sick. 


After the operation, I was wheeled back to my room.   I was still completely numb.  The nurses put electric air compression socks on my calves to keep the blood moving.    Over the next 5 hours, I slowly got my feeling back—starting with the chest down.      


The 2nd night was quite uncomfortable because I was hooked up to an IV, a catheter and I had pumping socks on.    I couldn’t move from the bed and I couldn’t move IN the bed easily.      Also, nurses came every 2 hours to check on me.  


The 3rd day:  At 6:00, the nurses removed the IV and checked I could walk.   I COULD, although I felt weak.     At 7:30, the doctor did his checks.   Everything looked OK and the catheter removed.    At 8:30, the wee check.  I could wee, so we were free to go.    I felt weak but OK.  


My overall thoughts:     


  • I am happy we discovered this BEFORE it became a bigger problem.     
  • I am thankful we live in a country where medical care is universal and affordable.    
  • I am amazed we don't have to wait for consultations or the operation.     
  • I am astounded at the level of care.  All nurses and doctors were friendly and professional.    
  • Finally, I am thankful that universal health insurance means medical care is not ridiculously expensive.   The cost for a surgery and 3 days in hospital???   50,000 yen.  (about $500.00)   And that is the highest price.   If you earn less, you pay less.   

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Comments: 1
  • #1

    zhao (Sunday, 06 October 2019 10:15)

    pls take care of yourself.