Journey from a Caterpillar (Pre-Operation) to a Butterfly (Recovery)

UCLA Health article

I have been on hemodialysis for 15 years, which gave me fluctuating parathyroid issues. Due to abnormal blood calcium levels, my nephrologist recommended that I visit Dr. Yeh. I held off on surgery for a while because I was preoccupied with another surgery the past year. Though, I knew that forgoing treatment would put me at risk for bone and heart problems. Surgery is nerve-wracking; it can be scary going into the process and not knowing the outcomes. My previous surgery was also performed at UCLA, and I think that helped me mentally prepare myself. I had a positive experience the first time and had a feel for the hospital, the food. I knew I would be taken care of, and that reduced the number of unknowns. The food is great, and they cater to your dietary preferences. Don’t worry about the food. For the surgery, Dr. Yeh recommended a parathyroidectomy, which would remove 4 glands in my neck. One aspect that stands out to me about UCLA Health is that there’s an organization and process. There is a clear path from beginning and end, and make sure that you’re taken care of along the way. You never feel like you are lost, or that your outcomes are up to chance. I felt well prepared prior to surgery – I met with a cardiologist and anesthesiologist. I pre-registered online, so I didn’t have to do much paperwork when I arrived. My sister and husband were there for surgery, and the staff communicated well with them about my progress. After surgery, my discharge was clearly documented, and the nurse took the time to let me know everything I needed to do and made sure I had all my medications. It’s one less step to worry about, and it made a difference for me. It meant I could go home comfortable and reassured. Through paying attention to detail and doing thorough preparation, UCLA is able to ensure better outcomes. I am here today for my post-operation appointment – I had my band removed, the doctor went over my labs and things are looking good. My surgery was only 2 weeks ago, but I am slowly getting back into the swing of things. Overall, Dr. Yeh is a great surgeon. He came highly recommended to me, and his team works well with you. He always comes in with a smile and a way of making you feel comfortable. He explains the situation and follows up with the next steps.