Recovery Time from Robotic Colectomy for Remote Workers?

Apr 30, 2024 3:32 pm

Howdy! I'm new here and tried a search for this topic but didn't find what I was looking for, so apologies if this has been covered. I don't have a surgery date yet, but should have one scheduled within a couple of weeks. I work remotely, and I'm curious about other folks who've had a colectomy and only have to “commute” to their home office to work from a computer each day. Did you all have to take much time off? How did it work for you? The guidance I've found is 2-4 weeks off work, but I don't know if that is typically for people who actually go to work, or for people with abdominal surgery in general. I'm trying to figure out as much as I can before I'm scheduled so I'm not scrambling to figure everything out after!

Apr 30, 2024 4:40 pm

Hello and welcome! I had sepsis, an emergency Hartmann's procedure to remove my sigmoid colon, a colostomy, and a 21-day hospital stay in 2023 and returned to work in the office after 6 weeks. Shortly after that, I passed out in public and ended up back in the hospital - 6 weeks was not long enough for me to be off work, but I thought I'd be okay just sitting at a desk. Nope. So for my reversal, I took 8 weeks off, although it was planned and a much easier recovery than my first surgery - and I'm not sorry because it was just right for me.

My surgeon said 6-8 weeks off is the norm for abdominal surgeries and returning to work - not sure about if you work from home. After my recent planned surgery (this one was robotic but my first one wasn't), I feel like I could have worked at home after 4 weeks - but I am required to go into the office, so I took the full 8 weeks off. Just my experience!

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May 01, 2024 2:39 am
Reply to DexieB

Thank you for sharing your experience! More than half of that sounds terrible, but I'm glad you seem to be doing well now.

May 02, 2024 11:20 am

Ratmother, welcome!!
For my emergency Hartmann's, I took 6 weeks off, then worked from home 2 days a week for a month, then went to work full-time in the office. I am currently 7 weeks out from reversal. I agree with Dexie; I could have probably comfortably worked from home after 4 weeks, but the doc said 6-8 weeks for recovery from abdominal surgery, so I too am taking the full 8 weeks. Even if it's laparoscopic, it is still a major, major surgery, and your body needs time to heal on the inside.

May 03, 2024 5:57 pm
Reply to MoeMoe

Thank you for sharing, MoeMoe! I'm trying not to get ahead of myself, or be impatient. I'm just trying to prepare myself mentally and financially. Since my plan is to have a j-pouch, that will mean another surgery within a few months (if all goes as it should!), which will also require downtime, so it's a lot to wrap my head around.

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May 03, 2024 11:01 pm

Hello fellow Kansas Citian. I had a robotic colectomy. Of course, depending upon your work, 2-4 weeks should be fine. Working remotely, it might be sooner. That is assuming you do not have post-op problems. Personally, I had a temporary small bowel obstruction that required readmission but no further surgery. I managed all discomfort post-op with Tylenol.