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Old 02-15-2009, 09:19 AM   #1
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Unhappy Can anyone put my mind at rest over forthcoming Hysterectomy?

Hi,
I am due to have a hysterectomy at the end of March and I am incredibly scared, have been reading up as much as possible and it's not helping, too many things can go wrong and I'm convinced I will be a victim of something going wrong. Thought if I heard some positive stories it might put my mind at rest. Main things I am concerned about are - complications during surgery, pain after, immobility after, infection and prolapse! & getting back to normal.
I would appreciate anything, including advice which will be well recieved and acted upon.
Thanks in anticipation
Sarah

 
Old 02-15-2009, 10:58 AM   #2
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Re: Can anyone put my mind at rest over forthcoming Hysterectomy?

Hi Sarah! The internet is a wonderful thing because it brings us so much information . . . right up until we hit saturation point and it starts giving us TOO much information! I think most of us hit that point.

When I was told I had to have a hyst (cervical cancer) I read anything and everything I could get my hands on. First I read medical sites. Then I found discussion boards. I learned (within a week or two) that I needed to be careful as to what types of discussion-board-type info that I read. I decided to ONLY read about women's experiences with the type of surgery I was having (LAVH). That REALLY helped slow down my panic. Recovery for each type of surgery is different. Each woman is different. And we all fear worst-case-scenarios.

That being said, I had an LAVH (lap assisted vaginal hyst) to remove my uterus and cervix only. My cancer was found at stage 1. I've never been pregnant and was 44 when I had my hyst. I had a cold knife cone biopsy (under general anesthesia) the day before my hyst (to determine what type of surgery I'd need the next day).

I don't remember a lot of preop, but I know they got the IV in me pretty quickly so they could give me meds as soon as I was approved for meds. That was good. If/when anxiety started creeping in they gave me Versed and that chilled me out right away.

My surgery was about 3 hours. I woke in recovery and was in pain, but they gave me an injection within 1 minute (literally). That got the pain under control VERY quickly. I was in recovery longer than I needed to be only because the hospital didn't have my room ready. I swear, there was a nurse standing next to me the entire time (at least that is how I remember it).

I had a concern about nausea post-op and the anesthesiologist gave me LOTS of meds (pre op and post) so I felt absolutely NO nausea. As soon as they got my pain down to a 6 or 7 (pretty quickly) they put me on a PCS pump (patient controled pain meds - it gives a small controlled dose, but you can push a button to get more. It is set on a timer so you can't overdose). I love that thing!

I stayed in the hospital for 2 nights. I probably could have gone home after 1 night (and most of a day), but I was a little afraid of going home "just in case." It ends up that I didn't sleep a lot at the hospital between people coming and going from my (private) room and the meds cycling me from awake and uncomfortable (not pain) and knocked out. I've decided if I ever need another surgery I'm going to ask them to use something that doesn't cycle me through awake/passed out to such extremes.

Coming home was probably the worst thing I had (that and passing gas! ) but I think I was more afraid of the pain than the pain itself. Make sure they give you pain meds right before you leave the hospital. And send someone to the pharmacy to pick up the prescription - don't plan on stopping on the way home. You'll want to get home and go to sleep.

I was sooooo glad to be home. I actually slept 6 hours straight. Aaaah! I woke up, went to the restroom, ate a little, took my pain meds, then went back to sleep for the next 6 hours. I did that for a day or so. I was gradually able to stay up longer and go longer without my meds.

I had surgery on a Wednesday, came home on Friday. Hubby was home with me that whole time. He went to work on Monday (he only works 5 mintues away). I was a little anxious about being home alone, but I was fine. I rested and relaxed. I was able to get out of bed on my own. I was even able to (carefully and with pillows) lay on my side by Monday. Yay!

This is long. I just wanted to let you know that many women have complication free recoveries. We are all afraid. We don't know what the future holds. Have people there to help until you are able to do it on your own. If people volunteer to help, let them. They WANT to, so let them do something. That is one of the huge lessons I learned about life.

Take care and write back!

 
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Old 02-18-2009, 12:24 AM   #3
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Re: Can anyone put my mind at rest over forthcoming Hysterectomy?

Thank you so much for your message, it was informative and helpful and I appreciate the time you took to respond to me. I am glad to hear that you have recovered it does help to hear stories of women who have gone through this and recovered well, the more I hear the more I can relax about the whole process. Thanks again.
Sarah

 
Old 02-18-2009, 01:01 AM   #4
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Re: Can anyone put my mind at rest over forthcoming Hysterectomy?

Hi. I am 4 weeks into recovery from a Total hysterectomy.I am 46 years old. I had all the same sorts of worries that you are experiencing right now so hopefully I can go some way to putting your mind at rest.

Firstly, try not to take any notice of the scary stories that you hear - each person is unique and what happens to one, probably will not happen to the next. Yes, there can be complications but they are so few and far between they are hardly worth the extreme worry that they are causing you. I personally, know many women who have undergone a hysterectomy, and in all honesty, every single one of them have said that they have never felt better, and that it was the best thing that ever happened to them - now thats not all bad is it !!!!

Secondly and most important. DO NOT underestimate how long full recovery will take ! I am an eternal optimist - I thought that give me a couple of weeks and I will be back to normal. Not the case at all ! I did feel much better after 2 weeks but nowhere near enough to continue with my normal everyday activities. Accept that you have had a major operation an therefore it will take a long time to return to normal. Today as I write, my stomach is still swollen and my scar is still slightly sore. If I do too much, I know about it, so I just go with my limitations. I have a friend who is a Surgeon. He told me at the beginning that if I didnt listen to what the consultant told me, I would be back in hospital 6 months later for another operation to remove the scar tissue that had been caused by overdoing things, and he should know.

My best advice to you is look after yourself, be kind to yourself and use your recovery time in a positive way.

Good luck - you will be fine.

 
Old 02-18-2009, 07:28 AM   #5
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Re: Can anyone put my mind at rest over forthcoming Hysterectomy?

Sarah,
I had my TAH/SBO 8 weeks ago. I was very scared and anxious because I hate hospitals and needles in general. My husband is an Anesthesiologist and thought I was being ridiculous! However, he explained everything to me and assured me that the bad things you hear about very rarely ever happen.
On the day of the surgery, I was the first case. I had to arrive at 5:45 am. I think that was the worst part! I got to pre-op and got ready. As soon as they put the IV in, they gave me something to relax me.
The next thing I knew, I was in recovery room. The nurse gave me some morphine... then I woke up in my regular room.
I was pretty sleepy the first couple of hours and drifted in and out of sleep. I wasn't prepared to still have a catheter in (Nobody told me) and that was uncomfortable. Only to later find out that it wasn't draining properly. I got that taken out at 6pm that night and went for a walk.
I also wasn't prepared for the gas pain that follows surgery. Nobody told me about that either. But my nurse was great and made ginderale tea. She just heated the gingerale and put a tea bag in it. I drank that for a few days.
Other than that, I felt pretty good. I never took any pain meds after I left the recovery room. But everyone is different and don't be afraid to ask for some if you need it. I was able to come home the next day, only because of my husband.
The first week I was uncomfortable sleeping. I am a stomach sleeper and obviously couldn't do that. I could move around pretty good about 1 1/2 weeks later. However, my stomach was still swollen until about 5 weeks (which is normal). But just like Elouise said, don't do anything strenous or any lifting because it can cause more scar tissue. It was hard, looking around the house thinking that I needed to clean but I didn't. Your recovery time will be your time to pamper yourself. I rented a bunch of movies and laid around. It is good to take short walks too.
Good luck and let us know how you do.
PS No funny movies! It will hurt to laugh!!

Last edited by gtts4u; 02-18-2009 at 08:10 AM.

 
Old 02-19-2009, 03:25 AM   #6
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Re: Can anyone put my mind at rest over forthcoming Hysterectomy?

Hi,
Thank you very much for your response to my message. I can't describe how much it is helping me to hear of other women's stories, it really is helping me to calm down a great deal so I do appreciate your response. I will let you know how things go!
Sarah

 
Old 02-19-2009, 03:30 AM   #7
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Re: Can anyone put my mind at rest over forthcoming Hysterectomy?

Hi,
Thank you so much for replying to my message, it is really helping me to calm down reading other women's stories so I appreciate your message very much. I hope you are feeling much better soon.
Thanks again
Sarah

 
Old 02-21-2009, 02:02 AM   #8
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Re: Can anyone put my mind at rest over forthcoming Hysterectomy?

hi. I had a total hysterectomy 5 years ago and it was the best decision i've ever taken. I had suffered from really painful periods since 13 when they started. after i had my boys i was sterilised but that didn't stop the pain. eventually i changed dr and she sent me for investigations which showed endometriosis and chocolate cysts. the consultant wanted to try various treatments but i said no i wanted a hysterectomy. my mother in law died of ovarian cancer 15 years ago and my mum had always had problems heavy bleeding fibroids etc so i didn't want years of trying this and that.
The operation went well. and yes the catheter was quite a surprise as was the vaginal bleeding immediately afterwards. The best thing was knowing i was in control of my pain meds. although i didn't use it much it was really useful before i tried to change position or sit up. afterwards i took care to ensure i didn.t overdo things and made the most of my recuperation.
5 years on and i.m so pleased i had the op. the only bad effects are a decrease in sexuality and an itchy scar!
I wish my mum had had a hysterectomy years ago as shes now got endometrial cancer which we were told had been dealt with by a hysterectomy last year but now it's spread and shes having to have chemo. so what i wanted to say in this round about way is go for it. follow the dr's orders and accept my best wishes for the future.

 
Old 02-21-2009, 07:59 AM   #9
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Re: Can anyone put my mind at rest over forthcoming Hysterectomy?

Thought I might add just a few thoughts from the male view. Back in the spring of 2006 my wife was told by her gyn that she was quickly approaching the need for a hysterectomy. In her case it was several large fibroids and a suspicious mass/cyst on her left ovary. I won't go through all the details but have to say that the two or so months leading up to the operation were probably the most stressful times of our lives for both of us. Sleepless nights, all sorts of anxiety, fear, you name it and we went through it. Luckily my wife was a candidate for the least invasion procedure and had her laparoscopic surgery the end of July 2006. The fibroids came out without a problem and the suspicious mass on her ovary turned out to be a fibroid so the ovary was saved by simply removing the fibroid. In retrospect we agree we'd never want to go through that again but also agree that the anticipation turned out to be much worse than the actual procedure and recovery. My wife recovered quickly and completely without any complications and life is good.

 
Old 02-21-2009, 08:20 PM   #10
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Re: Can anyone put my mind at rest over forthcoming Hysterectomy?

If you are having an incision ask your doctor if it can be done side to side, much easier recuperation.

 
Old 02-23-2009, 10:57 AM   #11
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Re: Can anyone put my mind at rest over forthcoming Hysterectomy?

I had my hysterectomy 5 days ago, it is not as bad as you may think. It depends what type you are going to have, mine was a vaginal hysterectomy taking the womb out. No cuts or anything on the outside so it is much easier to get around. I came home yesterday and I am now taking it easy. The more you read about these hysterectomies the more scared you will become. Just think of the positives!

 
Old 02-23-2009, 01:18 PM   #12
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Re: Can anyone put my mind at rest over forthcoming Hysterectomy?

I went through a hysterectomy a year ago due to large fibroids. Had a total one, took everything out, was in hosp. for three days and reall no problems at all. Little soreness, needed no paid meds. or anything. I should have done it years ago. You will be fine. It is more worry than anything I think. Take Care.

 
Old 02-24-2009, 12:15 PM   #13
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Re: Can anyone put my mind at rest over forthcoming Hysterectomy?

Thank you for your response, each story I read helps me to relax more, I really appreciate it.
Sarah

 
Old 02-24-2009, 12:17 PM   #14
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Smile Re: Can anyone put my mind at rest over forthcoming Hysterectomy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by susieb64 View Post
I had my hysterectomy 5 days ago, it is not as bad as you may think. It depends what type you are going to have, mine was a vaginal hysterectomy taking the womb out. No cuts or anything on the outside so it is much easier to get around. I came home yesterday and I am now taking it easy. The more you read about these hysterectomies the more scared you will become. Just think of the positives!
Hi,
Thank you for your message, I hope you are feeling better soon. I am trying to focus on the positive only now and all the messages I receive help with that.
Take care
Sarah

 
Old 02-24-2009, 12:19 PM   #15
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Smile Re: Can anyone put my mind at rest over forthcoming Hysterectomy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PD48066 View Post
I went through a hysterectomy a year ago due to large fibroids. Had a total one, took everything out, was in hosp. for three days and reall no problems at all. Little soreness, needed no paid meds. or anything. I should have done it years ago. You will be fine. It is more worry than anything I think. Take Care.
Hi,
Thank you for your message, it is helping to put my mind at rest reading all of the positive stories, good to hear you recovered so well.
Sarah

 
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