Prior to the actual operation, you have to have pre-assessment tests because a lot of the tests were done months and months ago and the results could have changed. So I had to be there for a day and there was loads of blood tests, urine tests. I think another x-ray, ECG and what have you.
I also got to meet people I hadn’t met before, so I met the anaesthetist and I met the pharmacist. The anaesthetist was actually a little bit concerned about the ECG because on the ECG it sort of goes up and down at various heights. He called those wiggles. And one wiggle, instead of going up went down.
And he said, had I been having an operation for me, it wouldn’t have bothered him one little bit. But because I was a fit and healthy person giving up a kidney, he wanted to make absolutely sure that everything was okay. And for an anaesthetising point of view as well, so they had to arrange for me to have an ultrasound of the heart. Apart from that, everything was fine. He went over the procedure of the anaesthetic, talked about possible complications.
I also saw the surgeon again. He told me that it wasn’t actually going to be him. He’d be away. It would be a different surgeon doing the operation. But he still went through the procedure. He drew a diagram of where the incisions would be on me. There would be about five incisions, very small ones, where the camera and the operating equipment would go. And then one larger one, hidden by the bikini line, where they’d actually take the kidney out.
He also explained that, because it’s quite cluttered inside your abdomen, they inflate you with carbon dioxide which sort of fills your abdomen up like a balloon, so they can work much easier with it. He also informed me about complications from any surgery and made sure that I fully understood those risks. I had been told about them several times before, but he was just making sure.
He got me to sign the consent form but at that point he made it clear that, although they were hoping to do keyhole surgery, it was the right kidney, that once they opened me up it may not be. So I was actually consenting to either op, keyhole surgery or open surgery. He explained that it would be about three to four hours perhaps, the operation. And I could be in hospital two days or three days, depending how I felt.