Monday, April 15, 2013 | By: Megan Held

Right Lobe Liver Resection Surgery and Recovery

I know I’ve been away from the blogging world, which is not a sign I have been writing or editing. I’ve been busy and very distracted. As the title states, I had major surgery Mar. 28th of this year. I got less than a weeks notice and jumped on it because I have been waiting for some sort of relief of pain since Nov. 2011 when I was first diagnosed with Focal Nodular Hyperplasia (FNH), a benign tumour, in the right side of my liver.

Since I was diagnosed with this I had to stop exercising, started taking strong pain medications, clearly had to stop drinking and it basically altered my way of living, which caused my hubby’s way of living to change as well.

The surgery went great as far as I know. The morning of was tough, had to be there at 6am to check in. My mom showed up, started to cry and laugh. Somewhat out of fear, but mainly out of joy. Seeing her cry made me  cry. We’ve all been through a lot, not just family but friends and coworkers of both my hubby and me. It was a relief.

I was brought into the OR just after 8am feeling confident. I received an epidural about mid-way through my back. Absolutely amazing thing. Yes, I was a little high, but still I made people smile and was reassured because everyone was confident.

My surgery was roughly 5.5 hours. I lost 3 litres of blood, causing me to get several blood transfusions. Otherwise, the surgery went great. I lost my entire right side of my liver, roughly 60-70% of my liver, my gallbladder and only 1 out of my 3 main veins, originally it was supposed to be 2. The believed cause of my pain was the FNH was pushing on my one vein and several nerves.

The only hospital complication I had was my epidural malfunctioned several times, causing me to cry in agony the day after surgery, otherwise it went pretty well. The nurses were amazing and they let my hubby do a bunch for me to help out. I was released from hospital Apr. 3rd and then complications set in.

On Apr. 7th, when my hubby and I were changing some of the falling apart medi-strips or steri-strips, like we were told to do so bacteria doesn’t set in, part of my incision on my right hand side opened up. We called the surgeon and was told to put more strips on it and place gauze over it and to wait to see him on Apr. 10th.

We saw him Apr. 10th, where the wound was roughly 5cm long and 1cm wide. He informed us this could happen and is called wound dehiscence. It was nothing to worry about and sent us on our way.

Within 48 hours (Apr. 12th), we had a close friend over and she noticed one of my strips around the bandage placed over my wound looked strange. I lifted part of the bandage to get a better look and saw that it looked green. I peeled off the bandage to check and saw that my wound was severely infected. She rushed my hubby and me to the hospital I had surgery at (roughly 1 hour away from my home). We had called the surgeon twice with no call back. Luckily I got seen by several of his interns. Unfortunately, they had to poke and prod and told me they could see to my muscles in one small hole, but it was not infected internally, only topographical. The wound had  grow to 10cm long and 1.5cm wide at the widest point (the rest of the incision on my right hand side had split open). They cleaned me, patched me up enough to be sent home to receive homecare after it was approved by my surgeon.

As of now the infection has cleared and I am getting great treatment. I am sorry about the graphic photos but this is what I’ve been dealing with personally and my family and friends have been witnessing. Honestly, without such great people helping me stay positive I wouldn’t be doing so well. Yes, my scar is going to be bigger and uglier, but I’ll be better and they won’t judge me. For those suffering with FNH it’s a struggle to get treatment and the recovery is just as hard. Other than my wound I feel fantastic, better than I have in over a year. This is my struggle as a Canadian, so I hope it helps others from Canada and around the world.

Size of Tumour Size of the tumour in the right side of my liver.

IMG-20130401-00101 24 Hours after surgery. Bloated so much I looked liked I was pregnant.

IMG-20130402-00279 48 hours after surgery.

IMG-20130410-00283 Apr. 10th, after I was seen by the surgeon. All the other images are too graphic.

Anyone struggling with FNH or wants more information feel free to email me at: meganheld@live.ca

Once again, I cannot thank my hubby, family, friends and coworkers of both my hubby and me. Amazing support, laughs and positivity. Without any of you this would not have been as easy to deal with. My recovery is going great because even if it hurts, I still laugh and smile. I owe you all so much…even if the mocking has come to an end (I was really moody/hormonal) I knew it was out of love and to make sure depression never plagued me.