Jennie’s Hysterectomy Story
Type of Hysterectomy: LAVH w/ left ovary removal
Age at Hysterectomy: 31
Location: Asheville, NC
I had my hysterectomy because it was the only option left to me. I had been having issues with my cycles for years, including heavy bleeding and lower left pain and was not a candidate for ablation. My uterus was four times larger and my OB/GYN felt that leaving it in would drastically increase my chances of uterine cancer. Prior to surgery, the suspected diagnosis was Adenomyosis. I did not seek any other opinions. I trusted my OB/GYN and knew he was acting in my best interest. I did express concerns to my primary physician who felt that it was the best thing I could do for my health. I was at the point where my blood pressure had landed me in the hospital a couple of times, my heart has two leaking valves, and my kidneys were showing signs of damage so more pregnancies were not in the cards for me.
My surgery was supposed to be an hour and half long but took four hours due to the sheer volume of damage, scar tissue, and adhesions that were in there. I was nervous before but my OB/GYN took the time to hold my hand, pray with me, and even offer me a last chance to change my mind. I had general anesthesia, which always takes me a long time to snap out of. I did not go home the same day. I had to stay overnight in the hospital, which was fine because my blood pressure kept spiking very high during the time I was in.
The most important issue as I recovered was just learning to live life more slowly and take it easy. My recovery was physically very easy. Emotionally, it has been a difficult journey. My worries about life after hysterectomy were returning to my intimate relationship with my husband post surgery and my remaining ovary being unable to work and thus going into early menopause. So far, things are okay. I experience hot flashes and mood swings. My libido was great while taking Estroven but since being told to stop (by another doctor in the same practice as the one who did the surgery), it has disappeared. I know that in time it will come back. My greatest challenge has been accepting the fact that I will no longer be pregnant. It is a very hard thing to come to terms with. The post surgery depression has also been a battle but with time and a little therapy, I have made it through okay.
My health has been pretty good! My blood pressure dropped drastically to a safe level. My energy levels are starting to come back up to normal. Am I glad I had a hysterectomy? Its a hard question to answer. I read my path report and know the amount of damage that was there. I had Endometriosis up to the right fallopian tube, scar tissue and adhesions aplenty, my uterus had adhered to the abdominal wall, I had multiple cysts on the left ovary, which had adhered to the uterus, there was hemorrhaging in the fallopian tubes, Walthard nests, etc. I was a mess and I know the procedure saved my life. I am glad that I will no longer have to deal with horrible periods again.
My advice would be to research, research, research. I don’t mean WebMD, etc. Talk to your primary care physician, talk in depth with your OB/GYN. Talk to anybody who has been through this and know your options! Understand what you are getting ready to put your body through. If you’re in childbearing years, make sure you are 100% with the surgery before scheduling the dates. Even a little doubt can hinder recovery. The most important thing that women should know when faced with a hysterectomy is that they are not alone.