Cathy’s Hysterectomy Story
Type of Hysterectomy: Da Vinci assisted total hysterectomy
Age at surgery: 36
Location: Marietta Ga
I had a hysterectomy after years of heavy bleeding and awful cramps. I had cysts on ovaries and endometriosis all over. In Fallopian tubes, uterus, cervix, everywhere. I had tried birth control to regulate the bleeding and took lots of Tylenol for the pain. I had made many trips to the ER hemmoraging.
The longer the problem progressed, the more worried I became having lost my mother at a young age to ovarian and breast cancer. I have also had multiple breast biopsies over the last couple years. My surgeon was initially prepared to remove a single ovary, but upon his initial exam suggested that if I had only one removed, that I would be back within months to remove the rest. He told me that the benefits greatly outweighed the risks, and recommended a complete hysterectomy.
My surgery was suppose to last approximately an hour and a half with a single night in the hospital. Instead something happened during surgery and my duodenum (small intestine) was punctured. A Gastroenterologist was called in to assist in the repair of my injured intestine.
I woke from anesthesia nearly 6 hours later in tremendous pain with a nasogastric tube up my nose and a JP drain under my ribs, along with the catheter. I felt as if I were being stabbed with a very sharp knife inside my lower abdomen/ pelvis area. I begged and cried to please make the pain go away but got little relief from it while I was in the hospital. I was there for 4 days.
Shortly after being released from the hospital (after a week and a half) I was rushed back by ambulance vomiting, head spinning, couldn’t stay awake. When I arrived at the hospital I was treated with an anti nausea medication while they ran tests. The tests revealed a pelvic abscess, caused during the intestinal puncture. While inside the CT scan, the abscess was drained through CT assisted needle aspiration, another very painful experience. I was again admitted to the hospital and treated for 3 days with two high dose antibiotics.
I was released again still in the same severe pain I had been in since that moment out of surgery. I would definately say that my recovery was difficult. It was 2 months before I was released to go back to work and even then it was to be only part time hours for another 3-4 weeks.
Since the hysterectomy, I have suffered from tremendous pelvic and vaginal pain. Just last week I noticed a sharp pain in my vagina. I inserted my finger and felt something sharp sticking out through the wall of my vagina. I was immediately concerned, mostly because of all the other problems I had with the surgery.
I called the surgeon and scheduled an appointment. That appointment was today, and with some kind of clamp type tool, the surgeon removed two plastic clips, painfully from my vagina. He told me it was rare, they are suppose to stay in but some body’s reject them and push them out.
The last 7 months of my life have been worse than before the surgery. My surgeon told me when removing the clips, that all of my pain should start to get better now, but I have been made skeptical. If I had been given all the facts about associated risks of hysterectomy before, I would not have done it.
I have met women who recovered quickly and are doing wonderfully, I just was not one of them. If I were asked to advise about whether or not to have a hysterectomy, I would insist that she got all the facts first and seriously weighed the pros and cons of this surgery. I think the most important thing that she should know is that the doctors do not give all the facts and that sometimes she may need to do real research herself.