Rebecca’s Laparoscopic Hysterectomy
Age at Surgery 46
The symptoms that prompted me to talk to my GP in January 2016 were feeling like I needed to urinate more often and occasional blood clots that dropped in between cycles, which was unusual for me. I didn’t feel the need to go to a GYN, since I was thinking that I only needed a pap smear and didn’t like going to two different doctors. Long Story short, it was determined that I had a few fibroids causing my issues, but one large one in particular that seemed like a small nerf football. I had an 18-week size uterus. My GP sent me to a GYN thinking that I would most likely need a hysterectomy.
The GYN gave me 4 options – wait-and-see, hysterectomy, myomectomy, and UAE. He was suggesting a hysterectomy, since I was not planning on having any children and I was 46 so not likely near menopause. I wasn’t crazy about the options, so sought a second opinion from another doctor who also did the Acessa procedure. Needless to say I got lesser options, which was wait-and-see or hysterectomy. This doctor also suggested hysterectomy for the same reasons as the other and gave me a 50/50 chance of it being laparoscopic, since my uterus was huge. Wait-and-see did not work for me, since this meant that my fibroids could grow larger and my chances for a laparoscopic surgery would be much smaller. As it was, both doctors were suggesting that it would at a minimum be a hybrid surgery, where accompanying the keyholes would be a small bikini incision. This synched it for me that I needed to do something about it now versus waiting, letting them grow and possibly causing kidney issues and having it be completely abdominal. I decided to have everything, but my ovaries out unless there was an issue with them.
I had my pre-op tests and drs appointment and it was determined I would have general anesthesia and I opted for a TAP block. My surgery was scheduled for 9am. It was a little late starting at 9:20. All the nurses and the anesthesiologist through surgery start were great. All I remember was being wheeled into the OR, moving myself over to the table and getting into position and then I was out like a light until I was in recovery. I did not feel nausea from the anesthesia. I remember the nurse telling me that I was being wheeled to the Day surgery center and me telling them that I was cold. Got a nice warm blanket. I was told that my surgery took 3 hours and I had a 3” bikini incision. My catheter was out after the surgery was complete and before I woke up in recovery, so I did not have to deal with that while trying to urinate. All I had to do to leave the hospital was urinate a certain amount, which I did not have a problem with and pass a blood test that showed that I was not bleeding internally. I did not need pain meds at this point . I had a TAP block which blocked my nerve endings from feeling pain. This was also supposed to lessen my need for pain meds. I was back home 12 hours from the time when I got to the hospital at 7:00 – 7:30 that night.
The one thing I was most concerned about after surgery was having bowel movements. What I did to try and combat that was have the appropriate amount of fiber, magnesium, and probiotics. I did have the colace as well, which helped. The first BM was no fun. I thought I may have damaged my vaginal cuff, since a couple of drops came out with the BM. It was fine. It did take a few weeks to regulate this. Outside of the BM worries, everything else was expected with the exception of the granulation. This was treated with silver nitrate for the first two post-op appointments and cut out and treated with silver nitrate in the third post-op appointment. I have one more appointment to determine if it has cleared, and feel pretty good that it has.
I was back to work at three weeks part-time with some fatigue and full-time at 4 weeks with little fatigue. I was released for all activities with the exception of sex at 5 weeks and released for sex at 6 weeks.
My bulk issues have resolved. I feel pretty normal. I am back to walking the dogs, going to the gym and lifting almost as much as I was pre-surgery. I am glad that I had it done, so I didn’t have to worry about health issues with having fibroids in my body.
When considering a hysterectomy make sure you consider all your options and you are comfortable with it. Seek a second opinion if you are not sure that it is right for you. If you decide to go forward with surgery rather than the wait-and-see approach, I thought that being in shape made my recovery easier. Preparing and freezing soups and muffins helped my spouse and myself, so he wouldn’t have to figure out what to make for me. Make sure to have your support network in place