Recovery and Pain After Robotic Surgery


Hello, my upcoming surgery is at the end of this month. I am told it will be robotic and the recovery period is not as long or painful. I should have a hospital stay of 2 days.

I am, of course, anxious about pain and wanted to know if after the surgery it was painful and how long it will take for actual recovery. My surgeon says he just doesn't want me to lift anything heavy.

Thanks all!


Is your surgeon taking the entire colon or just the lower? I think I saw in a previous post you said colostomy? My first surgery was last July and it was laparoscopic, and due to previous surgeries, my surgeon had to take my entire abdominal colon (retained rectum and anus) out through the stoma opening. When I look at how not big that stoma opening was, I still wonder how my surgeon pulled a colon that was 1.5 ft longer than it should've been out of me through that. I was in the hospital just under a week after that one. If they're only expecting you in 2 days, I don't know how similar my surgery would be compared to yours- I ended up with an ileostomy. So I'm hesitant to say my level of pain during recovery will feel the same. This surgery did not make it into my top 3 as far as most painful surgeries though. Have you had an abdominal surgery before? I thought I was getting sick a couple of days after surgery, joints hurt, I told my nurse who was the king of dad jokes I was getting back in bed and not walking anymore for him for a while. He then asked me what day post-op I was, and he said it was really common to hit that wall with overall pain at whatever day it was. He said mine was supposed to be a 4 hr surgery turned into 6 hrs and however they had me on the table not moving all that time- my body was then deciding to tell me it was angry about it. Be honest with them about your pain level after surgery. Everyone handles pain differently... what may be a level 3-4 for one person may be a 6-7 for someone else. I'm rooting for you to come out of this surgery and kick this cancer in the butt

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Your midsection will be very sore for a few days. The more you get up and move (walking), the better. Lift nothing heavy, I had a 15lb limit. Hospital stay will depend on how well you recover and how your body is doing.


I would imagine that the pain and recovery will be different for each individual. You will be fine. They will keep you comfortable and just listen to what they tell you. Especially walking afterwards. Walking will relieve and gas pains too and help you heal faster. As they do fill us up in surgery but I'm not sure if they do with robotic.
The first time I had an abdominal surgery and they tried to get me up walking I was like .... Say what? Are you crazy but I learned from the nurses that it does help you heal faster and I found that it really does. You can start slowly from bed to bathroom or bed to chair and then venture further each time.
My last two surgeries I was up walking the halls every hour. I would do the loop on the floor. I met friends that way too that were in my same boat.


To be honest, I thought a major surgery would hurt more than it did. It was my first. I personally didn't feel much pain. I stopped taking pain meds after day 2 in the hospital and never filled my prescription when I got home.

Words of Encouragement from Ostomy Advocates I Hollister
Reply to CrappyColon

Once they disconnect your colon and it's no longer receiving any blood flow, it deflates just like a balloon. So getting it out through your stoma hole would be pretty easy.



Hi Love,

2 days is average for robotic (laparoscopic) surgery, and the only pain will be from the 2 or 3 small incisions they have to make for the robotic arms. If they had to open you up, you'd be talking 5 days minimum and a LOT more pain. Don't worry yourself over it, they'll keep you pain-free and you'll be home before you know it. You don't want to be lifting anything heavy for some time, as you want the incisions in your abdominal wall to fully heal and not get a hernia. Don't rush it, even though you'll feel like you can lift stuff. You don't want to be a repeat customer for your surgeon. Good luck with your surgery!


Reply to w30bob

I've seen pictures of mine (I asked the surgeon beforehand). I just measured my stoma opening with my fingers, I still think my surgeon is amazing. Can we not just be impressed with how big my colon was and move on? '


Hi there. My age (71) might have something to do with the fact that it's taking me a while to recover from surgery: rectal tumor removal (also ovaries, lymph nodes in the area and tubes were taken out as well) and ileostomy. My surgery was on a Monday and I came home Thursday. I took pain medication at home. At the three-week mark, I'm still taking Tylenol and Advil PM at night to help me sleep. I feel a little discouraged by the discomfort lasting over 3 weeks, but from talking to the health care professionals, this isn't unusual. It was a long surgery, and it's going to take time to heal thoroughly. Meantime, I followed a pretty strict eating regimen for 3 weeks and am now slowly introducing new foods that aren't so boring. I walk every day but don't push it. I have two dogs and like to go out in this beautiful May weather and let them run.

Because I'm normally a pretty active person, maybe that's why I'm impatient. We live in a rural area. I was used to walking my dogs each day for 3 to 4 mile stretches. I garden. Vegetables and fruits. Do my own housework and cook. Read avidly. Care for animals. It exasperated me that I get so fatigued from simple tasks these days, and I couldn't sit down comfortably for long.
So we're delaying both my birthday and wedding anniversary celebrations. That's okay. But I do have to focus my mental energies on being more patient and acknowledging that I'll get better slowly and not to rush it.

I expect to have a reversal
exactly when I don't know, but I'm predicting that will happen certainly before the end of the year. My surgeon says I'm doing "great," so I savor that determination. My prognosis is excellent. I have a wonderful surgeon who basically saved my life, so I'm going to abide by doctor's orders and chalk up the ordeals of treatment over the past 6 months as the price I had to pay to guarantee a happy, healthy future. Good luck to all of you out there.

I meant to mention that I don't lift anything over 10 pounds if I can help it and I had robotic surgery which was minimally invasive. That doesn't mean I snapped back in a week, though, so I just want to assure those of you who don't return to normal as quickly as you'd like that you will heal at your own pace. Don't rush it. I message my surgeon's office on a portal quite often with questions and appeals for reassurance. The nurses have been extremely helpful.


Hey Lovewins,

I had the laparoscopic surgery also. Three years ago they were doing all they could (in SF area) to not use opioids so I had some high-strength Advil type med. The only pain I had was the residual gas the doctor used to inflate my torso for the surgery. It had been in my shoulders and back. I had that for about 10 days. Minimal scarring or cutting. I've yet to see what my former butt looks like. I recently had a bowel obstruction. The consulting surgeon came in, saw my bag, looked around for scars and said "They did a damn fine job!"

You don't want to lift anything as you need the hernia/stoma to heal.

I see that you wrote about a week ago. I'm thinking that you're just about ready to leave. Hopefully all went as well for you as it did for me.

Best of health and start counting the days till you can eat your favorite meal. A steak and a nice glass of wine was mine. 6 weeks to the day.



Good afternoon. I understand your anxiety about post-op pain. I also realize that every person is different.

I had mostly robotic surgery to remove my bladder. The surgeon had to make one incision because of scar tissue around my ureters that weren't accessible robotically. I followed instructions on walking in the hospital post-op and had no or very little pain. I never had to use any of my discharge narcotic pain meds. Keep your faith and good luck.

Sunshine Girl
Reply to CrappyColon

Very well said! Spot on with my experience and sounds like we had the exact same things done, same outcomes, and hit the same wall about day 3. Thank you for taking time to explain openly. Very confirming for me. :)

Reply to Sunshine Girl

Sunshine, yours was at CC too, right?


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I hope your surgery and recovery went well and is going great! (Edit- I just saw that you already answered this in another thread:-))

For me, I thought the excruciating headaches I was having were due to recovery. It turned out the Dilaudid was masking the pain of an abscessed tooth, so when I went off it, I needed an emergency root canal 3 days after returning from the hospital.

It makes for an awesome story. :-)