Vulva cancer

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Lisa's Tips after WLE, Catheter, and Drainage Tubes - Hope this helps some of you.

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Tips After WLE or Partial Vulvectomy:

  • Rinse really well when you shower and it's helpful if you have a hand-held shower head. (once doctor says you can shower)
  • Pat dry only and use a blow dryer on cool setting to be sure you are nice and dry after shower and after you pee.
  • If you get a chance to get a sitz baths it not only feels good it also makes you feel clean. You can get this for about $20 from any drug store.
  • Ask for a squirt bottle before you leave the hospital, it is called a perineum bottle, and if you fill it with cool or luke warm water it helps to rinse you off when you pee.
  • Air drying is really important if you can; I liked to put a large bed pad on my bed in case of discharge if I was air drying. If you have a way to prop your sheet up over your bottom half it is helpful for better air flow.
  • Roll out of bed instead of sitting up because your stitches may tear – it’s not the end of the earth if it happens, but you then have to heal like that and it takes longer.
  • Get help getting out of chairs, blow up donut for your chairs help with comfort. (my husband or daughter would take both my hands and pull me up because I always tried to be somewhat reclined as to not put direct pressure on my surgery areas)
  • Ask for lidocaine if peeing is still unbearable after you’ve healed enough so that you don’t hurt your sutures or wound.
  • Ice packs will be your friend, especially if you swell up. You will know if you’ve done too much for the day because you will swell up and be happy to have ice nearby.
  • Big loose underwear


Drainage Tubes Tips after Lymphnode removal:

  • It is normal to have drain tubes after lymphnode removal because you will have drainage for 1-2 weeks (average). The nurses will give you instructions on how to empty them and record the amount of drainage. Once the drainage is under a certain amount you will go to the doctor and have them removed. (this doesn’t really hurt – just a deep breath and as you breathe out the doctor pulls it out.
  • The drain tube should come with a velcro clip that you will attach to your clothes to keep them from just hanging.
  • Taking a shower – well I took a piece of material or a scarf and tied it around my waist and clipped them to that while I was in the shower so that they are not just hanging.
  • Sometimes the sutures that hold the drain tube in place can hurt so you may want a bit of 2x2 or 4x4 drain sponges to lessen the irritation.


In Dwelling Catheter Tips:

  • The nurses will show you how to empty your urine from the bag. You just have to make sure you have it clipped properly. It is helpful to have a bucket at night to put the bag in in case it leaks but that only happens if you don’t click it all into place properly.
  • Everyone is different but after a week sometimes it just hurts so sometimes, I would put some lidocaine or Aquaphor (like a Vaseline) down there but you would have to clear that with your doctor first...they may want nothing until your sutures have dissolved.
  • You will absolutely find the catheter to be the best especially if the WLE is anywhere near your urethra. Sitz baths are comforting for this irritating pain too as well has ice.

Lisa from USA Michigan