Friday, November 16, 2012

Bilateral adrenalectomy

For anyone reading my blog as research in consideration of having a BLA -- I have created a Word document of my observations and tips for Dr Fraker, UPenn hospital, and some general BLA.  If you are interested in reading this, please comment to me and I'll email it to you. 

This was my first laproscopic abdominal procedure, and so as much as I tried to prepare myself, there is not a way to fully be prepared for how it will feel.  This surgery was as hard as my first pituitary surgery, but in a different way.  I was thankful for not having the intense headaches, but getting in and out of bed was extremely difficult.  Heck, shifting myself in bed was difficult!  For surgery I was given very high dose of IV steroids, which then i would be weaned down over the next 3 days in the hospital.  I needed this as now my body is not able to make cortisol, the stress hormone, which our bodies make more in times of stress, like surgery.  These high dose brings out Cushing's symptoms, so in my first post-op days I still felt very Cushie...puffy, bright red face, able to sleep much, high anxiety.  So swollen that when my IV blew, after several attempts I ended up with an IV in my left index finger!  My steroid dose was cut in half each day, and by my last night in the hospital I was feeling withdrawal symptoms, the worst of it as pain in my spine.  After 4 sleepless nights in the hospital, I was ready to leave and rest in a comfy hotel bed for a few nights.  I was fearful of riding in a vehicle, the roads are really bumpy in Philly!  Our shuttle driver was very empathic and did an awesome job delivering my back to the hotel without much jostling about.

I got settled into our room, where we stayed another 2 nights.  I would not recommend traveling any sooner.  I was on the cusp of not knowing if two days would be enough time.  Then I thought I could have stayed another two days in the hotel to feel more at ease about traveling. But with his help, assistance at the airport, and staying on top of pain meds, I felt I could do it. 

We got home about 1:30 a.m., it was a long day, but getting home was a huge worry lifted! 


  1. Please send!

  2. I'm considering a BLA and would love to see your tip sheet: Thank you!

  3. Would you please send me your Word document? What were your numbers like when Dr Fraker agreed to do your surgery? I recently heard from someone else that he refused to do her BLA because her labs weren't bad enough for him. (

    1. Hi Adina, unfortunately I am aware of who you are speaking of I believe, from facebook groups. It's my understanding that she has chosen a different surgeon. Please try to understand that it is my decision I made a long time ago not to share my exact lab results, for my own privacy. If the word document is for your own use, please let me know and I'll be happy to send it.