Frankie’s & the pre-op

Yesterday we had to attend Colchester Hospital for a pre-op appointment for Frankie who is having orchiopexy surgery next month.

Orchiopexy (or orchidopexy) is a surgery to move an undescended (cryptorchid) testicle into the scrotum and permanently fix it there. Orchiopexy typically also describes the surgery used to resolve testicular torsion.

When Frankie was around 6 months I realised that he only had one prominent ball and at his 8 month check I mentioned it to the health visitor who advised that if it hadn’t come down by his first birthday we would need to go back and see our GP. By the time his first birthday came it had come down naturally on it’s own so I didn’t go back but during the next year sometimes it was there, other times it wasn’t so I did go back to the GP who referred us on to see a consultant.

I received his referral a month before his 2nd birthday, October 2017 and followed the steps online and had a choice of our local hospital Basildon, Colchester & Guys in London.

I thought the NHS online referral system was great, no long waiting times on the phone or getting cut off BUT unfortunately for us Basildon had a waiting time of over 100 days but Colchester, although a 45 minute drive from us, had only an 8 day wait so with his birthday & Christmas approaching I booked the appointment for the following week. I didn’t want to wait until the New Year for an appointment especially after researching the younger the surgery is carried out the better in the long term as the risk of fertility problems & testicular cancer increase the older the operation is carried out.

We went to the appointment and I cannot praise Colchester Children’s Outpatients enough, I believe that Colchester Hosp used to have a bad name for itself but the childrens outpatients is so clean, full to the brim of toys and every time we have gone our appointment has always been on time (or early, unheard of!) much to Frankie’s disgust when he’s mid-lego building or train tracks. His consultant checked him over and said that although not down he could feel it so wasn’t concerned and made us a 6 month follow up appointment.

The appointment came through and we went in May, same treatment as before in and out in 10 minutes but this time he said Frankie would need the operation as it had gone back up and we’d have a date through in the post. The date came through for the beginning of September and we attended his pre-op yesterday.

We went for lunch at a Hungry Horse restaurant less than five minutes drive away with an outdoor park area – Dog & Pheasant, Colchester

We were seen by a lovely nurse who took his height and weight and let him play with her stethoscope (even when he was grunting at her because she wasn’t Doctor Ranj), she explained what would happen on the day, to get to the hospital for 7:30am, no drinks or food after midnight in preparation, can’t wait for that battle, but because he is one of the youngest he should hopefully be one of the first on the list.

After having a little cry, me not Frankie, the nurse explained it is a 45 minute procedure and we will be in and out on day surgery and showed us around the ward we’ll be based on and showed us the playroom which also took us 15 minutes to get Frankie to leave (can’t wait for that tantrum on the day!) but I am hoping that he will be so distracted by all the toys that he won’t kick off for being too hungry or thirsty from being malnourished from midnight!

The play nurse had a book with pictures of what would happen and a girl going down for an operation, she showed Frankie the magic cream that would go on his hands and the mask that they will use to put him to sleep (*insert desperate mummy look here*), again Frankie asked where Doctor Ranj was so the play nurse pointed out another doctor which made Frankie exclaim ‘you silliest that isn’t Doctor Ranj he’s a nurse’ because  he was in scrubs, no fooling my boy!

He got given a sticker and we (reluctantly) left without finding Doctor Ranj or taking the only Thomas train out of the playroom!

So on the day we show up, he goes down, we decided that Dad will be going to to help ‘assist’ with the sleeping because I just don’t think I can watch him go down. I’m hoping I won’t be that bad but I am such an emotional person I panic I will cause Frankie to think something is wrong and he’ll get more upset, so I will wait in the corridor and cry and pace for an hour until they roll my dosy two ball baby back to me!

It’s not the procedure itself that upsets me it’s him being put to sleep that concerns me! I know so many other children and families go through operations but when it’s your baby it’s a worry!

He can’t go to nursery for 8-10 days and cannot swim, ride bikes, vigorously play or come into skin on skin contact either so at least we have a week of pyjama days to look forward to!

I’ll blog again once it’s all over and done with but if anyone else has been through orchiopexy surgery I’d love to hear your experiences!

Blog post now up on the operation now it’s over and done with! – Frankie & The Orchiopexy Operation

NHS Website – Orchiopexy

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