Medical Questions > General Forum Topics > Recovery & Post-Op Forum

Whipple Surgery recovery questions

My name is Dale and I just had a whipple surgery about 2 weeks ago. I am 42 years old and its my second major surgery. I have a few questions that I need answers for. I am very nauseous ever since I had the surgery and would like to know how to calm down my stomach. Also, I have a lot of pain still in the stomach area where the mass was and was wondering how long the pain and irritation will last? Because it keeps me up which leads me to wonder what can help me sleep at night with the pain? Another issue is I keep throwing up. Is it because the food I am eating is bad or does the vomitting eventually go away? Also, how can I recover well? What exercises can help? I know I cant lift anything heavy but I dont wannt waste the months laying in bed. So, any help would be wonderful. I am trying to learn to cope and would love to get advice and support.

Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied December 9th, 2011
Especially eHealthy

If you are still taking opioid pain medicine, that could be causing your nausea. You also have to look at all the other medicines you are taking. Many medicines can cause nausea as a side effect.

What was the Whipple done for? Has the underlying condition been taken care of, or is it still being treated? Many of the conditions for which a Whipple is done, are cancers. If the underlying condition is still present, that may also be contributing to the problem.

Also, with the Whipple, your digestive tract has been sigificantly altered. It will take some time for your body to work that out.

As to exercises that are recommended after major abdominal surgery, the main one is just getting out and walking. Walking is great for cardiovascular fitness and overall general toning. Stationary bicycling is also allowed. If you have access to a pool, swimming or water exercises are great (once the wounds are all completely healed and your sutures have been removed).

You want to avoid any activity that causes you to valsalva (holding your breath against abdominal pressure). Like lifting weights, sittups, crunches, or any similar acitivity. These will come later. Usually surgeons want you to avoid lifting for about 6 weeks, this is to prevent the development of an abdominal hernia at the incision site. Once the incision through the linea alba is completely healed, then the lifting restriction will be lifted and you can start to advance your physical activities.

But, you have to get this nausea and vomiting under control. You need the nutrients to heal and if you can't keep them down, that is not going to happen. Contact your surgeon. Maybe there is some medication that he/she can give you to calm the nausea down. You really need to keep food down.

Good luck.
Did you find this post helpful?

replied March 23rd, 2013
What if cancer returns after whipple surgery?
Did you find this post helpful?