It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Women's Health Message Board
Post New Thread   Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 04-23-2013, 10:38 AM   #1
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 3
Big Cyster HB User
5 cm ovarian cyst removed

Hey, everyone!

I found these message boards to be really helpful to me when I was diagnosed with an ovarian cyst, so I’m sharing my experience in hopes that it will help others.

I just turned 51, and have had no prior “female issues”, and no children. Periods have been erratic for a year, but last summer, I was pouring blood for three days straight, and went to the ER, because I was out of town. To be honest, I hadn’t been to a gynecologist for several years, because I wasn’t trying to get pregnant, am faithfully married, etc. But this goes to show that you SHOULD go yearly, even if you’re okay otherwise. I’m not overweight, and have no other health problems, luckily.

The vaginal ultrasound showed an ovarian cyst of 3 cm last summer, and then I stopped bleeding altogether, happily. I went to an actual gynecologist three months ago, and it was shown to have grown to 5 cm (racquetball size). Interestingly, I had NO symptoms of any kind at that point. I would never have known.

I understand that sometimes ovarian cysts form and burst on their own, but I had no history of that, and apparently after menopause, when it keeps growing, with no ovulation feeding it, it needs to come out, because it’s never good news.

I had all the tumor marker blood work done, and it all came back clear.

My doctor suggested “taking everything out while she was in there”, and I considered it, and got numerous opinions on that from people who had either been through it, or were medical professionals. Opinion varied of course, and everyone I talked to who’d had a total hysterectomy was relieved, but they’d had problems with their uterus beforehand. I did not, and my mom and her sisters, all in their 70’s, still have their parts, so that was a consideration for me, too.

I got another opinion from a very respected doctor in another part of the country, and weighed that. Ultimately my decision was that taking out a healthy uterus (that by the way, helps to hold your BLADDER up), wasn’t a good decision for me at this time. If I have problems later, I can always go back.

I had the 5 cm ovarian cyst removed five weeks ago, laparoscopically. She also took the ovary of course, and the other fallopian tube. The doctor said ACOG recommends that. So now I have my uterus and one ovary left, and am taking estrogen and progesterone for hot flashes I was having prior to surgery.

I was at the hospital at 5:30, wheeled into surgery at 7:30, and home by 11 AM, according to my husband. I barely remember leaving the hospital, of course.

A couple of things I learned (some of which will be par for the course if you’ve had a baby):

Even though it’s lap surgery, its still abdominal surgery, and it’s a BIG deal. Don’t forget, the holes may be small, but things have been cut, removed, stitched, etc. I guess I underestimated it.

I do radio for a living, working from home, and it was 9 days before I could sit up straight enough to talk for three hours and do a show. Most message boards I saw said two weeks’ recovery time was normal. I figured two weeks’ recovery for most people would be one week for me. Wrong.

I could sit up in bed for a SHORT time and lean back and get on my laptop after about a week, but sitting straight up requires muscles you don’t want to put pressure on that soon.

I have three small holes; one in my belly button, one a few inches below, and one below the hair line. Not thrilled about the middle one, but at my age, who wants to see my midriff anyway?

It was 9 days before I felt comfortable driving, and even that was one very quick errand. I’d give that two weeks.

It was 2 1/2 weeks before I could sleep on my tummy comfortably.

It was at least two weeks before it didn’t hurt to pee. Not terrible pain, but you feel it.

Five weeks out, I feel fine, and am walking every day, but I haven’t worked out, and can’t swim, take a bath or have intercourse for another week. I was horrified when the doctor first told me “no sex for six weeks”, but trust me, it’s the last thing you’re thinking about! Those of you who’ve had babies get this, I guess. I never had.

Let me be clear: it wasn’t miserable, and they gave me plenty of pain pills. I was just very cautious and wanted to heal correctly the FIRST time. After the first week or two, it just feels like someone has a string in your belly that they’re pulling tight.

Even four weeks out, I didn’t want to wear anything that put pressure on my tummy; tight pants, etc. Thank God for yoga pants!

If you’re a waitress, or a nurse, or anything physical like that, give it several weeks before you try to work.

One other thing. My doctor said when she went in, the cyst was getting ready to “twist”. I guess that’s a real problem that can cut off blood flow in the tube, and send you into shock, and the ER, and emergency surgery. Nothing to mess around with.

I made sure I had everything I needed at my bedside before I got home. I put a picnic table next to the bed for important things, (phone, laptop, pills, water, etc.) and my mom came and took care of me. You might want to get a bed pillow that has armrests. That helps to take pressure off when you sit up to eat.

If you’re gonna watch Netlfix, watch something depressing, like Mad Men. Stay away from comedies. They don’t help the healing process.

One BIG mistake I made: I took a Lortab when I first got home, after fasting for 15 hours. I thought a few crackers would be enough food. BIG mistake. I threw up all day long, and you can imagine how great THAT felt after surgery. I’m sure that delayed my recovery, too.

My cyst was benign, called a serous cyst. Glad to have it out, and glad to live in a country where I could get it out quickly. Anybody checked the UK message boards? They have to wait months just for an ultrasound for these things! God Bless America and capitalism.

Hope this was helpful to someone.

 
The Following User Says Thank You to Big Cyster For This Useful Post:
sweetpotato13 (04-24-2013)
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 04-24-2013, 08:54 AM   #2
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: St. Louis, MO, USA
Posts: 923
STLouisgal HB UserSTLouisgal HB UserSTLouisgal HB UserSTLouisgal HB UserSTLouisgal HB UserSTLouisgal HB UserSTLouisgal HB UserSTLouisgal HB UserSTLouisgal HB UserSTLouisgal HB UserSTLouisgal HB User
Re: 5 cm ovarian cyst removed

Thanks for sharing your story. Glad to hear your surgery went well and you only lost one ovary (and both tubes?). I also had an ovarian cyst (a 9cm mucinous cystadenoma) and my gynecologist of 20 years removed everything even though it was benign. Like you, I'd had NO other gyn problems my entire life. He should have removed just the cyst (cystectomy) or the one ovary. I appear to have been a "training exercise" for gynecology residents...didn't even know that the hospital had a Graduate Medical Education program because it's not affiliated with a university. It's part of a large Catholic hospital system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Cyster View Post
My doctor suggested “taking everything out while she was in there”
Unfortunately, this is all too common. Even ACOG has come out saying that 76% of hysterectomies don't meet their criteria. And in about 73% of cases, healthy ovaries are removed at the time of hysterectomy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Cyster View Post
I got another opinion from a very respected doctor in another part of the country, and weighed that. Ultimately my decision was that taking out a healthy uterus (that by the way, helps to hold your BLADDER up), wasn’t a good decision for me at this time. If I have problems later, I can always go back.
I'm curious if you got this doctor's opinion via a phone consultation or traveled. I know some doctors do phone consultations but many women probably aren't even aware that this may be an option.

Did he/she talk about the anatomical changes of having the uterus removed or did you discover those on your own? The uterus holds both the bladder and bowel in their proper positions. It's also essential for pelvic structure because there are four sets of ligaments that must be severed to remove the uterus and those are the structural supports for the core (midsection). Women who've had hysterectomies have thick midsections and big bellies because the spine compresses once those support structures are cut. I can vouch for these changes even though I haven't gained weight and am still underweight.

Glad you were spared from the many adverse effects of hysterectomy and ovary removal!

 
Old 05-04-2013, 09:01 PM   #3
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 3
Big Cyster HB User
Re: 5 cm ovarian cyst removed

Quote:
Originally Posted by STLouisgal View Post
Thanks for sharing your story. Glad to hear your surgery went well and you only lost one ovary (and both tubes?). I also had an ovarian cyst (a 9cm mucinous cystadenoma) and my gynecologist of 20 years removed everything even though it was benign. Like you, I'd had NO other gyn problems my entire life. He should have removed just the cyst (cystectomy) or the one ovary. I appear to have been a "training exercise" for gynecology residents...didn't even know that the hospital had a Graduate Medical Education program because it's not affiliated with a university. It's part of a large Catholic hospital system.



Unfortunately, this is all too common. Even ACOG has come out saying that 76% of hysterectomies don't meet their criteria. And in about 73% of cases, healthy ovaries are removed at the time of hysterectomy.



I'm curious if you got this doctor's opinion via a phone consultation or traveled. I know some doctors do phone consultations but many women probably aren't even aware that this may be an option.

Did he/she talk about the anatomical changes of having the uterus removed or did you discover those on your own? The uterus holds both the bladder and bowel in their proper positions. It's also essential for pelvic structure because there are four sets of ligaments that must be severed to remove the uterus and those are the structural supports for the core (midsection). Women who've had hysterectomies have thick midsections and big bellies because the spine compresses once those support structures are cut. I can vouch for these changes even though I haven't gained weight and am still underweight.

Glad you were spared from the many adverse effects of hysterectomy and ovary removal!

 
Old 05-04-2013, 09:09 PM   #4
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 3
Big Cyster HB User
Re: 5 cm ovarian cyst removed

St Louis gal,

Sorry for the delayed response. I couldn't find my post to respond to you! LOL

I was able to get a second opinion from a doctor across the country, in the DC area, who is a VERY well respected doctor and a friend of my sister in law. I just sent her all the records, and talked to her on the phone, and she was kind enough to help me.

As for realizing that the uterus was necessary to hold up the bladder, etc., I found that on on my own, doing research online. MY doctor should have told me that herself, especially since my uterus was not the problem. Just goes to show, you have to do most of the investigative work yourself.

Hope that helps you or someone else.

 
Old 05-05-2013, 09:51 AM   #5
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: St. Louis, MO, USA
Posts: 923
STLouisgal HB UserSTLouisgal HB UserSTLouisgal HB UserSTLouisgal HB UserSTLouisgal HB UserSTLouisgal HB UserSTLouisgal HB UserSTLouisgal HB UserSTLouisgal HB UserSTLouisgal HB UserSTLouisgal HB User
Re: 5 cm ovarian cyst removed

Glad to hear that the phone consultation worked out well for a 2nd opinion! Yes, the uterus has many non-reproductive functions - anatomical, skeletal, sexual, and hormonal/endocrine. Unfortunately, it seems VERY FEW gynecologists follow informed consent practices as it relates to hysterectomy and ovary removal. As consumers, we need to do our own research just as we do when we consume other goods and services. My 20 years of trust in my gynecologist along with possible ovarian cancer was my downfall of not doing enough research and not listening to my inner voice. I have paid dearly for that and hope to prevent other women from going through this.

A friend of mine who's also 7 years post-hysterectomy (like me) already has major bladder and bowel issues. A colo-rectal surgeon told her that her bowels and rectum are "collapsing on themselves" causing all these symptoms and she'll likely need surgery. The doctor was thoroughly disgusted that my friend's organs were so needlessly removed (her diagnosis was the same as mine - an ovarian cyst) and explained how it causes so many problems down the road with additional, risky surgeries and a mess of the endocrine system.

Last edited by STLouisgal; 05-06-2013 at 09:14 AM. Reason: fixed a typo

 
Closed Thread




Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Join Our Newsletter

Stay healthy through tips curated by our health experts.

Whoops,

There was a problem adding your email Try again

Thank You

Your email has been added




Top 10 Drugs Discussed on this Board.
(Go to DrugTalk.com for complete list)
Alesse
Diflucan
Flagyl
Ibuprofen
Motrin
  Naproxen
Provera
Tylenol
Vicodin Yasmin




TOP THANKED CONTRIBUTORS



STLouisgal (52), Kszan (41), Titchou (35), twohands (23), solofelix (15), Seraph (15), janewhite1 (14), ladybud (12), sjb (12), Vanilla Kiss (10)

Site Wide Totals

teteri66 (1162), MSJayhawk (992), Apollo123 (890), Titchou (827), janewhite1 (823), Gabriel (757), ladybud (744), sammy64 (666), midwest1 (665), BlueSkies14 (610)



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:54 AM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.com™
Terms of Use © 1998-2014 HealthBoards.com™ All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!