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Hysterectomy - What was your experience?

Brit

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 30, 2014
Messages
25
I am still fairly new here. I signed up a while ago, but came back to check out a new friends sublime OEC/CvB ring and have been poking around a bit more, admiring all your lovely and again marveling at the knowledge here!

Hopefully you won't mind a relative newcomer asking such a personal question. In looking at some of the what would be termed "sensitive posts" in other places, you all seem very open to talking about, pretty much, any subject. Plus, there is a lot of activity here, so the pool of experience would be so much bigger then other places I frequent online. So I thought here would be a good place to seek others personal experiences with having a hysterectomy.

My background:I am 46 and had to go through IVF to have my only daughter at 41. She did a number on my "parts" and, long story short, I now have a prolapsed uterus and bladder. It was an easy decisions to go ahead and have a hysterectomy when I discussed it with my doctor. I'm not wanting any more children and will be happy to be rid of the symptoms that came with the endo that caused most of my fertility issues. And lets face it, no monthly visitor anymore will be awesome!

Anyway, what I want ask is how did your surgery go, especially for those you who were pre-menopause. Did you have your ovaries taken out too? If so, how was it dealing with the instant menopause, if they did. How was your surgery performed and how long was your recovery?

I am a SAHM and my daughter is 4 years old, to be 5 next month. I am trying to prepare for this as best I can. I don't have an extensive network of friends and family close around me, so it is pretty much me and my husband when it comes to taking care of our daughter. My husband seems to be in a daze about it and I really need to get some real life perspectives to help prepare him and well as myself. My doctor has said no driving for two weeks, no lifting for a month. The thought of not being able to pick up my daughter is just plain hard, as she likes to be picked up a lot right now, and I do indulge her because there will be time, sooner then I am prepared for, that she won't want me to any longer. My husband helps some but I do the bulk of what is needed around the house and caring for my daughter, so the thought of being out of commission for so long is just overwhelming. However, I really don't want to put off the surgery for much longer either. Anyone who has had a prolapsed anything down there, knows what I mean when I say that it JUST AIN'T RIGHT!

So if you would be willing to share your experience here I would be so very grateful! Then you all can help me come up with an appropriate jewelry piece to commemorate this big event in my life! *wink*
 

diamondringlover

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 12, 2006
Messages
3,794
I had a hysterectomy almost 16 years ago at age 39, they took all but my cervix and 1 ovary...I had a very difficult time with it, I had 2 boys both c-sections (up and down cut) so I figured it couldn't be much worse..well it was, my cut was low and side to side and it hurt, I was on disability for 9 weeks and was still on painkillers when I went back, I was suppose to go back to work after 6 weeks but my incision got infected so it was 9 weeks. It hurt worse than any of my other surgeries...I have no idea why it hurt so much but it did. I am sure now thing are much different and they probably do things differently now so hopefully someone else can chime in that had one more recently. I will say this I do not miss my period's that was well worth the pain!!!!!!
 

Slick1

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 3, 2013
Messages
2,105
Hi Brit! :wavey:
Sorry to hear you are having to go through this. Prolapsed anything sounds horrible and I am glad that they can help you live a normal life again.
I had my ovaries only removed (family history) recently. I was premenopausal at the time. Boy oh boy what a shock to my system. I went into immediate surgical menopause and it was not easy. After about 6 months of terrible night sweats, hot flashes, mood swings, etc. I decided with my physician to try hormone replacement therapy. What a difference that made. He put me on the lowest dosage because of weight and age, and it's been a life saver. However, my breast Doctor wasn't at all happy as apparently HRT is not recommended for the prevention of breast cancer. I have since weaned myself somewhat, taking them every other day with the hope of soon (?) being off them, but I've noticed a difference with the reduced hormones. I once again have hot flashes, night sweats etc but with less intensity and regularity. It's been about a year and a half of struggling, but HRT is helping me muddle through.
Long story short, I know what you're going through and wish you a speedy recovery as well as a smooth transition through menopause. ((Hugs))
 

AprilBaby

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 17, 2008
Messages
10,604
I had a vaginal hysterectomy at 47. Went in on Friday, came home Monday. It was a piece of cake. No pain, no discomfort. They left the ovaries in. At 52 I needed an emergency operation to remove the ovaries as they "fell over" and twisted and bleed. This time was a c-section operation and much more difficult. The first week after I had no menopause symptoms so I thought it was a piece of cake again. At two weeks the hormones hit and the hot flashes/night sweats were horrible. I need to be on an antidepressant anyways so they switched me to Effexor and that stops hot flashes. I tried to go off Effexor 2 years ago and it all came back. I'm 57 now and I rarely think about it and yes, I will keep my effexor!!!
 

kgizo

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 14, 2009
Messages
1,590
I don't have personal experience to share, but have a friend who had a laparsocopic hysterectomy 3 yrs. it was an outpatient surgery. She took it easy for about 3 days and then was back to light activity. They left her ovaries as she was 46 and didn't want to start menopause or HRT therapy early. She said it was the best decision she'smade about her health as she had very heavy bleeding and extremely painful periods. I know others who haven't had such a quick recovery so I encourage you to ask about the different types of procedures to see what is right for you. Good luck to you.
 

cmd2014

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 6, 2014
Messages
2,495
I had a laparoscopic cervical sparing hysterectomy at 38 (due to adenomyosis). I was advised to take 6 weeks off just in case they couldn't do it laparoscopically and had to do an open instead (you sign consent for this pre-surgery). Even though the incisions are small, you are still pretty sore and there are lifting and bathing restrictions for the first 2 months (no lifting over 10 lbs, and no bathing other than showers). I was discharged the same day as the surgery. I took prescription pain medications for the first week (probably less - maybe the first 2 - 3 days and then mostly at night so I could sleep better), then switched to regular tylenol. My husband worked out of town Monday - Friday at that point, so my mom stayed with me the first week, and I was alone after that without any problems. I took the whole 6 weeks off work just because I had booked them, and I was glad I did. I didn't NEED them (I could have struggled through), but I was glad to have them.

Some things to know though: if they leave in the cervix (which they probably won't for you with the prolapse), 10 - 25% of women will still get periods. It's much lighter and lasts only a day or two, but there's something just wrong about still having periods without having a uterus. I'm just saying. Had I known this pre-surgery, I would have opted for a different route. Plus, paps are still necessary, and I could live without them too. Also, it will take time to get your abdominal muscles back to full strength, so you will probably be sore for a while after sitting for long periods of time until this happens. They may also not want to take out your ovaries if they are healthy (they didn't for me). In hindsight I can see why, because one of my good friends had to have a complete hysterectomy (with her ovaries out) and she said the hot flashes and night sweats were bad. They put her on HRT, but it took a while to find a good dose and she said it was pretty challenging until that happened. Oh, and if they tell you to take a stool softener, do it. They really mean it (let my life be a warning to others here!). I can laugh about it now, but at the time I was feeling pretty dumb for deciding to 'wait and see' if I needed it. Hint: by the time you 'see' it's too late!!! :shock:
 

Brit

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 30, 2014
Messages
25
Thank so much for sharing diamondrnglover, sandeek (hugs), Aprilbaby, and kgizo! I have only had one surgery before, laparoscopic exploratory before IVF. I don't really even remember the recovery, but they only took a look around and closed me up. Confirming my endo and telling me that my only option for having children was IVF. My doctor seems to think that a laparoscopic approach will be the way we go, the only thing up for debate was whether she was going to use a robot or not, since there is also the repair for my bladder as well as the hysterectomy. We have not discussed the ovaries yet, so it is great to hear stories with both having them taken out and not.

Again, thanks so much for sharing ladies, it means so much to me!
 

mom2dolls

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 3, 2015
Messages
143
I had a laparoscopic hysterectomy with the Davinci robot three years ago. I beg you, do not let them perform your surgery with this robot.
There are multiple class action lawsuits due to the horrors this thing leaves behind.
I should have had minimal downtime. Of course no driving for two weeks, no lifting etc. However, I was out of work for 11 weeks. It took a full 14 months for complete recovery. I would have had a abdominal hysterectomy and scar a dozen times over this surgery. I previously had a C-section with my youngest with no issues.
Please research the options they are giving you before committing.
The doctor left my ovaries, as my left decided it would play hide and seek during surgery. Also, please know even if they leave your ovaries a small percentage of women still go into automatic menopause.

Edit to add - you are more than welcome to ask any questions you may have. I did not research the robot prior to my surgery. I trusted a well known doctor in Newport Beach at a top notch hospital. I was so wrong!
 

NOYFB

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 16, 2008
Messages
2,649
Hi Brit,
I had a supracervical laparoscopic hysterectomy 7 years ago. My ovaries "went to sleep" for a few days after the surgery, which was scary, because I had horrible hot flashes and crying fits. Luckily, it passed. Unfortunately, I'm now in the beginning stages of real menopause (I'll be 48 in 2 months). My surgery went pretty smoothly. I had 3 little scars that I can hardly see now. I had uterine fibroids, endometriosis, adenomyosis and pelvic congestion syndrome, along with pelvic floor dysfunction and interstitial cystitis (I still have both of these, unfortunately). I was miserable prior to surgery and can tell you it was quite honestly the best thing I ever did! I took 5 weeks off work and basically just laid around and took it easy. My DH was awesome and took excellent care of me.

There is a website with a message board called hystersisters.com that was a lifesaver when I was going through this process, from just thinking about, planning my surgery, to pre-op, post-op and after. The women on the board are extremely helpful and offer invaluable advice. I encourage you to check it out.

I wish you the best of luck and hope that it all works out for you. Feel free to ask any questions!
 

Brit

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 30, 2014
Messages
25
I want to go back and thank everyone again for sharing. Hugs to everyone! I normally get up early in the morning, way before everyone else in my house, so I can have my coffee and get in my computer time uninterrupted.

diamondrnglover - I am so sorry you had such a hard time. It sounds like they put your insides through a ringer, or rather felt like it!! I am glad you felt it was worth it in the end though! No more periods, YAY!

Sandeek - You know, I really do love you. You have just a wonderful way in your posts! I don't know why I missed you having this surgery and I think I vaguely remember some posts about the menopause. I feel horrible that I was not paying more attention! I am glad the HRT helped, but also sorry about your breast doctor not being on board. Please don't push yourself too much, when it comes to weaning off the HRT. If you need them, you need them! Really! If you feel like you are going our of your mind or are going to dissolve into a puddle of sweat all the time, what good is there in having safe boobs! I really don't mean to make light, I know it is serious and the risks are very real. But I also think sometimes doctors forget how important quality of life is in all their strategies for helping us live longer and healthier. We are the best ones to gauge that balance. Don't forget, you are awesome! HUGS!!!!

AprilBaby - I am glad the first surgery went off without a hitch! Terrible about the second one you had to do through with your ovaries. From the stories I have been hearing they can be real troublesome critters sometimes. SIL's mother had to have hers lasered off her abdominal wall, because the endo had fused them there! :shock: I am so glad that the Effexor did the trick for you.

kgizo - Thanks for sharing your friends experience. For most of the women I have talked to have said it was the best decision they ever made. Even if there were complications with the surgery that included longer recovery times. I cannot imagine staying in the state that I am now for any loner then I have to.

cmd2014 - You most have posted when I was writing my post. (Yes, I am slow that way. :???: :oops: Painfully slow reader and even more painfully slow at writing.) Wow out patient surgery! That IS great! I will admit a small selfish part of me (the one who hears "mommy," like, a thousand times a day) would really like one night in the hospital. But I have a feeling that if mine ends up being a LAP too the insurance will have me out on my keester faster then I can say hysterectomy! It is a big fat BOO for periods and pap smears after! I mean, those are supposed to be some of the perks of going through all this! I am sorry that you had to learn about all that hind sight. That just plain sucks! As far as stool softener, I learned my lesson a while ago with all the procedures for IVF. And now, with the prolapses, the situation is basically all my muscles down there have said "we give up", so I gleefully say, yes bring on the stool softener please! If it ain't easy I'm in trouble! :???:

mom2dolls - Oh no! I am so sorry you had that experience and I will definitely and thoroughly discuss this with my doctor! She mentioned the robot because of the endo and the bladder repair, but it seemed like she was leaning away from it when we last talked about it. That is very scary! Thank you for the offer to discuss. Imay take you up on that if I find it difficult to get more information or she seems bent on that is the way she want to do it. Hugs!!

Lil Misfit- I am sorry about your lingering issues after, but happy that you still feel it was the right choice you you! It sounds like your recovery went well too. It is so much better taking the time and felling well, then struggling through. I also learned that lesson with the IVF procedures. But then again I didn't have a kiddo shadow then, and one that thinks mommy needs to do it all instead of daddy. I think she is going to be the biggest challenge, because she won't let me take time off. But, she is going to have to learn. LOL! And thank you for recommending histersisters! Now why I didn't I think to do a search! There are support forums out there for just about everything now! I will definitely check it out!

Again I wanted to thank you all for sharing! It really means a lot to me.

Smooches!
Brit
 

MishB

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 16, 2008
Messages
656
I had an abdominal hysterectomy about 6 years ago, due to a long history of dysmenorrhoea caused by fibroid tumours, polyps and endo.

I still have my ovaries, although after pelvic radiation 4 years ago, they probably aren't up to much.

I spent 5 days in hospital, not in terribly much pain. I have no kids, but an amazing husband who looks after me even when I'm in perfect health, so I didn't have to lift a finger. I didn't have a lot of pain afterwards, but a lot of swelling and bloating that resembled about a 5-6 month pregnancy and lasted about a month. I had a month off work but when I went back at first I could only wear stretch pants. I found wearing a supportive undergarment helped me feel more comfortable, and not so much afraid all my insides were going to fall out. I found a fairly stretchy spanx-type short worked well for me, supportive but not tight and with no seam across my incision. The incision healed really well and you would have to look very closely (so I'm told!) to see it now. I like to sleep on my side so for the first couple of weeks just tucked a skinny pillow around my still swollen belly for support and comfort.

When I initially recovered I just got better and better, and have never looked back. It was the best decision ever and so much better than living with almost constant pain and uncontrollable bleeding most of the month.

The only downside.... less intense orgasms... no uterine contractions and sensation that you can feel in your entire lower half. I do miss that. :(sad
 
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