Cindy’s Laparoscopic Assisted Vaginal Hysterectomy
Type of Hysterectomy: LAVH
Age at surgery: 38
Location: Plano, TX
I suffered from severe endometriosis and chronic ovarian cysts since I first got my period when I was 11. My symptoms were mostly controlled with birth control pills for many years, but I was still left with horrible cramps every month. My gynecologist performed a laparoscopy more than three years ago to remove the endo and unstick my left ovary from my pelvic wall. It helped for awhile, but I had monthly menstrual migraines that would last for three days. When all my symptoms returned, I told my doc since I never wanted kids that I was done with this and to take everything out. We elected to also remove the ovaries due to chronic cysts. I also elected to have my cervix removed to discourage any remaining endometrial cells from causing trouble in the future. I trust my gyn doc as I have been with her for fifteen years so I did not seek a second opinion, but did months of research on my own.
I had an LAVH with general anesthesia and stayed in the hospital for two nights. My nurses were wonderful and I remember very little else of my time there due to the meds. I had a minor complication from the catheter that required another catheterization, but it sorted itself out before I went home. I only had mild spotting for two days and have not bled since.
I mostly struggled with bladder spasms and general pelvic pain for a couple of weeks. The spasms gradually decreased, but I had to be careful about exercising for more than six weeks because I could trigger the spasms. I had no vaginal pain and the cuff healed easily with no complications. I worried about not having my ovaries, that the bladder spasms would never go away (they did), and that my first bowel movement would be rough and I would bust a stitch (it was fine!).
My health is MUCH improved. I have not had a single migraine since before the surgery (more than six months!). My moods are steady due to the estrogen so the wild swings are gone. I have no more pelvic pain, no more cysts, no bleeding, no pain during sex, and no more pap smears. I do get teary-eyed a bit more easily, but since I only cried once or twice a year before, I consider that a fair trade. One note, since I never wanted kids I have not struggled with many of the psychological/emotional issues so many other women go through. I never felt anything about my womanhood or femininity were tied to my uterus or ovaries so losing them did not in any way make me feel less like a woman. I am thrilled beyond words that I never have to worry about getting pregnant again – it’s a weight off my shoulders. No regrets! Except I should have done it sooner.
Have a doctor you trust! I’ve been with mine for fifteen years and we know each other well. She did my laparoscopy so I knew she was capable. I would get a second opinion if you don’t have this kind of relationship. Also, do your homework! I spent months researching and weighing all my options before I took the plunge, including asking my doctor questions, internet research, and talking to many different women in my life about their hysterectomies. Lastly, do what’s best for you and your body. We are all different and have different needs and issues. My problems aren’t yours so your solution may not be mine. Don’t let anyone tell you there’s only one right answer here. Listen to your body and follow your doc’s instructions to the letter.