Michelle’s Lap Assisted Vaginal Hysterectomy Story
Type of Hysterectomy: LAVH
Age at surgery: 45
Location: Gardner, MA
My hysterectomy was laproscopic assisted vaginal hysterectomy to remove my uterus and fallopian tubes. The decision to leave my ovaries was made because they were healthy and would give me the chance to go into menopause naturally. I opted for LAVH because of heavy and painful periods. I tried a light estrogen level birth control pill for 3 years that only regulated me. It did nothing for the flow or extreme discomfort. Testing found that I had 3 golf ball sized fibroids and a slight endometriosis. At pathology, they also found I had adenomyosis. I suffered for the better part of 5 years in silence before I tried the Pill (8 yrs of my life I’ll never get back). I did not like the side effects so I talked to my OB about other options. She mentioned other procedures (ablation) but since I was 45, divorced, and done having babies, I decided the hysterectomy was the best option for me. I advised primary and OB on my decision as they are in the same practice
My surgery went very well. I had general anesthesia and went home the following afternoon. My procedure lasted roughly 2 hours and I woke with relatively no pain. I was awake and alert for most of the day. I was on a morphine drip but only used it a few times overnight. The maternity ward was great. They put me in a private room and gave us a cot for my boyfriend to spend the night with me.
I had no issues with my recovery. I guess you cold say the whole experience overall was “textbook”. I was scared about being out under…this was my first surgery of any kind other than birthing my two baby boys. My only post op worry was taking pain pills. I have witnessed first hand how fast and easy it is to get addicted to opioids and wanted nothing to do with them. Thankfully, I was able to get through the day taking motrin and used the percocet at night to sleep. I was so excited to finally be rid of the pain and anxiety of always wondering if I would have a blow through in public. My greatest challenge was staying sedentary for that long. After I stopped taking the pain meds (about 5 days in) and my head cleared, I started to get bored because I had no pain to speak of. I was released for normal activity at 6 weeks.
I have always been healthy but my quality of life has improved a thousandfold! I am so happy I chose hysterectomy over ablation and I would make the same decision again.
My advice to anyone facing the decision of a hysterectomy is no question is too trivial. If you have the question, ask it. I have a friend scheduled for surgery in March and the first thing I told her was to create an account with Hystersisters. My sister-in-law suggested the site to me and I loved it! It put a lot of my anxiety at ease knowing there were others out there experiencing the same things I was. I would also suggest that if you are not comfortable with your surgeon, find another one.