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Hysterectomy, But Keeping Ovaries

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Old 03-17-2004, 05:37 PM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 432
robste HB User
Hysterectomy, But Keeping Ovaries

After much deliberation over my (very limited) choices to get rid of my fibroids, heavy periods, and thus, anemia, I've decided to go with a hysterectomy. I'll have my uterus & cervix removed, but I am planning on keeping my ovaries. The reason I want to keep my ovaries is because I'm only 44 years old, and I don't want to go into early menopause and have to take hormones. This is my only option if I don't want to have to go on medication/estrogen/hormones, etc.

My dr. tells me I should be in the hospital for 2 days, then recovery should take about 4 weeks at home.

I'd like to hear from any women who have had a hysterectomy, but kept their ovaries. How long were you in surgery? Was your pain afterwards real bad? (I know this varies). When you're at home the first week, do you have to stay in bed all the time? Will I need someone to take care of me the first few days home, or will I be able to take care of myself?

I have another appt. with my gyn. in two weeks, to go sign the hospital admittance papers & ask final questions, but I just thought of these things, so I was curious. -Robin

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Old 03-17-2004, 06:12 PM   #2
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Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 954
PaNik5717 HB User
Re: Hysterectomy, But Keeping Ovaries

Hey Robin,

Do you know what kind of procedure you are having? Do you know when? Do your blood counts need to be at any specific level to proceed? Mine were so low that I had to do the Lupron first to give my body a long enough break to make more blood.

I had a total abdominal hysterectomy. I also kept my ovaries. My incision is about 5 inches long just below my hairline. My initial recovery period will be over on Monday and it was 6 weeks. I saw my doc at two weeks and she thought I looked great but still would not discuss anything other than walking.

For the most part, I have been stuck in bed, although not stuck. I have been able to get up on my own since the second day (the nurses didn't try the first day because of the anemia and they never helped me get up). But, my belly does not tolerate me being up for very long. It was very nice to have help the first week. My mom stayed with me and cooked and did laundry. Very nice, but you can work round it. You can prepare your home and fill your freezer with food and you will be fine. Just keep a cordless phone and a cell phone with you just in case you do get stuck.

I was in surgery for a couple of hours. It wasn't supposed to take that long, but doc didn't report any complications. I went in early Monday and got out early Wednesday. I had to have good pain management (not a problem except for a migraine that was probably exacerbated by the pain meds), had to be walking and peeing on my own and had to be eating. Once I did all of that, I was released.

For me, they pain hasn't been a big deal. I have taken a lot of ibuprofen, but only for the swelling.

Was that everything you asked? Well, I know you probably already know this, but you should keep asking things here, but also make a list of the same questions to ask your doc. I have my own list if you are interested in knowing the types of questions to ask. I had tons of free time and went to the end of the internet and back. There are some great sites, but there are also some horror stories. Hysters are so common and the complications are somewhat rare. I think it's best to avoid the horror stories, but still get out there and learn so you know what to expect.

I know it's a big deal, very final. But it's also very final and that means that there is an end in sight! I'm here if you need me.

Total abdominal hysterectomy at age 26 due to abnormal bleeding. Kept ovaries.

Old 03-17-2004, 06:30 PM   #3
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 432
robste HB User
Re: Hysterectomy, But Keeping Ovaries

Nicole, thanks (as usual) for all your helpful insight & advice. The hysterectomy that I'll be having will be through an incision about 5 inches across (right above my hairline), so it won't show (I don't wear bikini's anyway, lol). It sounds like what you had done. (I can't have a vaginal hysterectomy, because I've never had kids). I'll have my uterus & cervix removed, but will keep my ovaries.

I don't have a scheduled surgery date dr. said he'll try to schedule it for sometime in April. He didn't say anything about my blood work having to be at a certain level b4 I have the hysterectomy...probably because I just had a D&C last Tuesday & I had to have bloodwork done just prior to that procedure to make sure my levels weren't too low. He said that my levels actually had gone up somewhat, which is good.

My dr. said recovery should be 3-4 weeks, but maybe that's very optomistic!

The reason I was wondering about if I'll need help at home during the day while recovering, is because (unfortunately) my mom is deceased, my mom in law lives in another part of the country, and I don't have any sisters. My husband, of course, will help me when he can,but he doesn't have any vacation time from work. I'm so bad about asking people for help anyway...but I guess I'll need some help, right? Good idea about cooking ahead of time & freezing stuff.

Thanks helps just to have someone to chat with about all this who's been through it all. -Robin

Old 03-18-2004, 07:42 AM   #4
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 770
jojo64 HB User
Re: Hysterectomy, But Keeping Ovaries

Did your Doctor talk to you about keeping your cervix and having a LASH/LHS procedure instead? This is done laproscopically and you can have your uterus removed but still keep your ovaries and cervix. Since it's done laproscopically the recovery time is much quicker than with a vaginal or abdominal hysterectomy.

Old 03-19-2004, 09:47 PM   #5
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 32
QTee HB User
Re: Hysterectomy, But Keeping Ovaries

Robin, I知 sorry to hear that your anemia and heavy bleeding could not be controlled without having surgery. I know it was a hard decision. I値l be 44 in a couple of months and I too am anemic due to uterine fibroids. I知 still trying to hold out. I was reading self help books, but that was somewhat overwhelming. You know a hit and miss kind of thing. I was surfing the web and came across a Gynecologist who had first hand experience of illness and the results of imbalance and disease. She said she realized that mind, body, spirit and emotions are connected so she began to educate herself about alternative approaches. Her practice emphasizes wellness, disease prevention and total health, nutrition, stress management, exercise, herbs and mind-body treatments. She also offers acupuncture. I知 going to try her and see what happens. You know this heaving bleeding has been life altering. Robin keep us posted on your recovery and I値l be praying for you. Take care.


Old 03-20-2004, 12:36 PM   #6
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jbcgal HB User
Smile Re: Hysterectomy, But Keeping Ovaries

I am 32 and I had an abdominal hysterectomy last summer because of extremely painful periods due to endometriosis and a problem with one of my ovaries. I kept the other ovary. I was in the hospital for 2 1/2 days. I had previously had 2 c-sections and I would have to say that the recovery time was much longer with this surgery. I didn't feel completely back up to par for about 4 weeks. If you overdo it, you will get "swelly belly". My pain was pretty bad for the first couple of weeks, but Aleve helped me a lot when my good drugs ran out. I stayed at my mom's and let her take care of me for the first 3 days. After that, dh was a big help, but I could get around pretty well on my own. Thankfully, my mom took the kids for 2 weeks. I would definitely get some help if that is possible. Try really hard not to lift anything heavy for a least a month, that was one thing that really made me feel bad. The worst parts for me were gas and bowel movement pain. It seemed like a long time before I got "regular" again. I also had a lot of trouble sleeping for the first couple of months. I still have a monthly cycle like before with my period-sore breasts, acne, somewhat moody, but much better than bleeding. I've never had any hormonal side effects. Now, 7 months later, I feel really good and am SOOO happy to not have to deal with having a period ever again!!!! Good luck with your surgery, I hope all goes well for you.

Last edited by jbcgal; 03-20-2004 at 12:51 PM.

Old 03-20-2004, 01:34 PM   #7
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Posts: 142
rubydoo63 HB User
Re: Hysterectomy, But Keeping Ovaries

HI. All.

I had my hysteretomy in May 2002, when I was 39. I had an abdominal, kept my ovaries and cervix. I was in the hospital 49 hours, off work for 7 weeks. I felt great after about 10 days. Just don't lift much.

For ME, it was the best thing I could do. You will hear opinions saying it's great, it's a mistake, have surgery, don't have surgery, blah, blah, blah.

Make your own decision based on all the information you can find.

For me, my ovaries were fine, it was my uterus causing all the problems! I had several fibroids, enlarged uterus, and couldn't seem to stop bleeding. I tried several different types of birth controls to help, and had a D&C. Finally, my doc and I decided on the surgery. I kepy my ovaries because I was only 39 and they were fine, and I kept my cervix on the advice of my doc - it provides better bladder support and keeps sex more natural feeling.

My doc said that sometimes when the cervix is left, they may be some sight bleeding monthly, due the uterine wall shedding, but it has been 2 years and I haven't shed a single drop

Best of luck to you,

Old 03-20-2004, 09:01 PM   #8
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 58
mipps HB User
Re: Hysterectomy, But Keeping Ovaries

Hi Robin

I had a hysterectomy at 36 and kept only my ovaries but for Endometrios.

For me it was the best thing I have ever done. My iron count was always on the floor and I was catching every illness going from tonsilitus, bronchitus, Glandula fever to Legoinaires bacteria, I was constantly sick. After the doctors initial recommendation to have a hyst. it took me nearly 12 months to decide that I couldn't go on as I was any longer and go through with it.

I had mine 7 years ago, so procedures may have changed. I was in hospital for 5 days. You will definately need someone to help with the chores for the first 2 weeks if you are having the traditional through the bikini line op. Your stomach will be quite sore and straightening up quite difficult. Lifting, vacuuming, sweeping being the hardest things to do - anything that involves stomach muscles!! Besides a sore stomach and perhaps benefiting from afternoon naps, you shouldn't have any other problems.

I am now 43 and my ovaries have failed and I am taking Oestrogen only therapy (for 5 years I am told is safe), but I have had 7 health worry free wonderful years. I can't explain just how fantastic the difference for me was.

Best of luck.

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