Retroperitoneal Lymph Node Dissection
An RPLND is surgery to remove the lymph nodes from your abdomen and pelvis.
The Day Before Surgery - Clear Liquids Only
To get ready for your surgery you will need to follow a clear liquid diet and clean your bowels the day before surgery. Your nurse or one of your health care providers will talk with you about this prep. Please follow these instructions carefully. Mix up the GoLytely® the morning when you need it. Store it in the refrigerator.
Clear Liquids include:
- Tea or coffee with no creamer
- Clear broth
- Juice with no pulp (apple, cranberry, grape)
- Boost Breeze®
- Jell-O®, must be homemade and plain only
- Carbonated drinks, clear soda
- Hard Candy
Avoid the following
- No dairy products of any kind, such as milk, cheese, yougurt, ice cream, soups, or pudding
- Juices with pulp such as orange, tomato, or prune juice
At 11:30 a.m., take one metoclopramide/Reglan® (10 mg.) pill by mouth.
At 12:00 noon, start drinking the 4 liters of GoLytely®. Drink 8 ounces every 10 minutes until it is gone.
One hour after you have finished the GoLytely®, take the second metoclopramide/Reglan® pill.
During the evening drink 1 liter of a sports-type drink (ex.; Gatorade®)
Do not eat or drink anything after midnight.
After Surgery - You will be in the hospital 5-7 days.
Your abdominal wound will be closed with staples. The staples will be taken out after 7-10 days. Be sure to look for signs of infection daily:
- Increasing redness or warmth
- Pus-like drainage or blood
- Increased swelling
You may shower 2 days after surgery. You will need to sponge bathe until you can get your incision wet. Do not soak in a hot tub, bathtub, or swim until your incision is healed, at least 2 weeks.
Cover your wound with a gauze if there is drainage, or rubbing on your clothes, or is in a skin fold. Change the gauze if it gets wet and at least once daily. Do not use lotion, powder, or ointment on the wound.
It is normal to have pain along your incision for a few weeks. Pain medicine will be ordered for you to take if needed.
You will have a nasogastric (NG) tube placed during surgery. Once your bowel sounds return after surgery we will take out the NG tube and you can drink clear liquids. After that, you can start to eat solid food. Most people are able to eat whatever they like by the time they go home. You should drink plenty of fluids to help your body heal, about 8 (8 oz.) glasses everyday.
Pain pills can cause constipation. A diet with enough fiber and water may prevent this.
Eat a balanced diet each day to include
- 8-10 (8 oz.) glasses of fluids a day (water, juice, tea, etc.)
- At least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables.
- At least 2-4 servings of whole grain bread or cereal.
You may want to increase fiber in your diet slowly to avoid bloating and gas. You may need to use a stool softener and/or a bulk fiber laxative to prevent constipation. Buy these over the counter. Follow package directions.
- Moving and walking help with your recovery. You will be helped up to sit in the chair soon after surgery. We will also help you walk 3-4 times a day.
- Plan to walk several times a day at home. Alternate with rest periods.
- Avoid straining with bowel movements.
- While coughing, sneezing, laughing or during a bowel movement, hold a pillow firmly over your incision for extra support.
- Do not lift more than 20 pounds for 4-6 weeks.
- No strenuous activity for 4-6 weeks.
- You may drive a car after 4 weeks.
- You may be off work for 4-6 weeks. This depends on the type of work you do. Please be sure to discuss the type of work you do with your doctor.
Follow Up Care
Your first follow up visit will be made for you before you leave the hospital.
When to Call your Doctor
- Shortness of breath or chest pain call 911
- Temperature over 100.5° F (by mouth) for two readings taken 4 hours apart.
- Shaking chills or sweats.
- Increasing redness or warmth at wound site.
- Pus or bloody drainage from your incision.
- Loss of appetite.
- Swelling or tender areas in your legs.
- Unable to have a bowel movement for 3 days.
- Pain not controlled by your pain pills.
Urology Clinic - (608) 263-4757 - This is a 24 hour number.
Leave your name and phone number with the area code. The doctor will call you back.
If you live out of the area, please call 1-800-323-8942.
Your urology doctor is Dr. __________________________________________
Your medical record number is ______________________________________
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 09/30/2013
Copyright © 09/30/2013 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#5648
Print Health Fact For You