Emmalee’s Hysterectomy Story
Type of Hysterectomy: TVH
Age at Hysterectomy: 29
Location: Denver, CO
I had a hysterectomy done in place of the only other treatment option given to me for CIN2 cervical precancer, which is a moderate dysplasia. I received this diagnosis after going to a routine pap smear which revealed I had hpv and some signs of abnormal cells. I had a cervical biopsy done which gave me the official diagnosis. I seeked out a second opinion through a highly recommended local obgyn. Out of the leep procedure, or a hysterectomy I ultimately decided to have the TVH done because of other women in my family having had several cancer reoccurrence before resorting to a hysterectomy. I did not want to be looking cancer in the face a yr from now.
On the day of my surgery, I was extremely nervous. I had just lost primary custody of my 5 yr old daughter days before my surgery and was extremely anxiety ridden knowing I had lost her and was now losing my ability to have more children. Despite my anxiety blowing through the roof, the amazing surgical staff really put me at ease. I arrived early and got my IV in and ready, got changed and the staff got right to getting me on fluids and anti-anxiety meds. Numerous Dr’s came in to ask me if I had any questions and all of the nursing staff came to introduce themselves so I knew who I was seeing when they rolled me into the OR. I knew I was going under general anesthetic but once I kissed my hubby goodbye and got rolled into the OR everything started to get very fuzzy. Can’t say I even remember them using the gas mask on me.
First thing I remember upon waking up was seeing my hubby. He looked so upset, and I immediately knew something had gone terribly wrong. My hubby left my side just for a moment and I heard a sigh of relief come from the dr as he walked in. All he said was “thank you, for waking up.” Apparently during surgery I bled internally. In a scramble the Dr’s did a laparoscopy to see if they could find where the source of the bleeding was. Unfortunately it was five completely separate bleeds and they had no choice but to open my abdomen to completely stop all five bleeds. Along with having to open my belly up, having almost finished the surgery vaginally, they had to remove my fallopian tubes as well because the biggest bleed was too close to that area and the couldn’t be saved. Needless to say I lost a lot of blood (Dr said it was over 2 pints) and wasn’t going to be leaving the hospital anytime soon. My surgeon also notified me that what they removed was not a moderate dysplasia; it was in fact a severe dysplasia. I had 2 blood transfusions during the first night in the hospital and had a pretty nasty fever/ transfusion reaction coupled with an eczema outbreak. The Dr’s chalked it up to the fact that I had a lot of pain and my body had been through a massive trauma. In total I was in the hospital for about 3 days and I didn’t sleep much during that time.
Biggest obstacle I had after surgery were the parenting time visits with my little one. Because of how traumatic the surgery had been to my body, I wasn’t able to do much with her. Regardless of how positive I tried to remain about the post-operative pain I eventually fell into a serious depression and had anxiety attacks like never before. My surgeon kept me on very high dose pain medication and also prescribed me some hefty antianxiety meds to keep the symptoms at bay. I was extremely scared that my sex life would be over and that I wouldn’t enjoy it as much as I did before. As I recovered I still continued to experience swelling, feeling faint, fevers, a nasty post-operative infection, hot flashes and night sweats. I was blown away by how much pain I was in and for so long. At the 8 wk post op check I was still having intense vaginal pain, so the dr looked at me and could see an area with one stitch in it that was refusing to heal. It was about 2 weeks after that visit when I was finally allowed to have sex again. It felt like it took forever for my sex life to feel normal again, but practice makes perfect. Still can’t be rough like I was before but I find that even gentle Intercourse feels better with my cervix gone!
Since my surgery my health has been fair. I’ve been very happy with the fact that I no longer have vaginal pain and my abdomen seems to have healed perfectly. Over all despite all the complications that took place, I can honestly say I am happy I went ahead and voted for TVH. It’s been a long road but at least I won’t be running the risk of having to go through cervical cancer again.
As far as advice, I would say talk to your dr about your options thoroughly before you rush into anything. Information is the best way to make a solid decision. If you’re considering hysterectomy as a treatment option, look into all the different types of Hysterectomies and find the one you and your dr think will give you the very best possible outcome for your needs.
Know that you are never alone. There is always someone out there who has been faced with an awful situation. We as women need to look out for our sisters and do more to help get each other through it. I am here for that very reason. I asked for help from those who had been through it and received so much love and guidance. Regardless of your outcome, be patient with yourself, love yourself.