Lindsay’s DaVinci Hysterectomy
After my son was born in 2002 I started having PMS symptoms for the first time ever. They gradually got worse. In 2005 I had an ablation. That worked for a few years and my symptoms got worse. In January 2015 I went in with complaints of pain and very heavy periods. They took an ultrasound (vaginal and external) and saw that my uterus was thickened up but nothing else. He told me to watch for a while.
In October 2015 I went in and told my OB/GYN I could no longer take the pain. I was trying to figure how many more periods I’d have to suffer through before he would consider a hysterectomy. He did another set of scans and found multiple ovarian cysts as well as fibroid tumors in the uterus.
I tried diet, exercise, yoga, and the ablation. Nothing worked. I suffered almost the entire year of 2015. I waited from the October diagnosis to December so that my son would be home with me for the two weeks during the holidays. The Naproxen and heating pad were my friends until surgery. I trust my doctor and he truly wanted to try anything but surgery. He knew how active I am and decided the Da Vinci was the best for me.
My hospital experience was awesome. From the moment I checked in (0630 AM) and got taken to my pre-op room it was very pleasant. The person who checked me in made me laugh as he could tell I was nervous. The anesthesiologist and her nurse came in and checked with me. They came back a while later with my “margarita” for my IV. It was fantastic. I had general anesthesia with no side affects. I woke up in my hospital room with my husband and the nurse. That was the best sleep I’d had in so long…I wasn’t wasting a minute!
My doctor insists on his patients staying the night. I was so very thankful for that. I had a catheter and didn’t have to get up until the morning after the surgery. The nurse came in every 2 hours and gave me pain meds with an anti-inflammatory every 6 hours. It was heaven. I was alone in my antipartum room, enjoyed the peace and quiet, and slept soundly for 2 hour increments. The pain meds wore off right at 2 hours and I winced a few times. The pain is real and it does hurt to breath – mostly from the gas – but it passes.
My doctor said I gave them a hard time in the OR. Evidently my situation was worse than the scans showed. I had endometriosis everywhere and adenomyosis all along my fallopian tubes and ovaries. Basically my uterus was growing outside of itself and was contracting (which is where the pain came from). They almost had to stop the robotic procedure and open me up. He scraped a bunch of tissue off surrounding area and hip bone. PAIN!
I left the hospital the following afternoon. So about 30 hours total in the hospital.
Important issues as I recovered were:
As you can imagine the robotic arm is pretty rough on you and the gas pain is the pits. I needed help to get up and down from bed and during the night to move. About day 3 the pain started going away enough for me to roll over in bed without help. About day 5 I was getting up and down with no assistance. My husband was grateful for that since that allowed him to sleep through the night. Loose clothing is wonderful for the entire recover period.
After having a large portion of my lower abdomen out and a robot being responsible for that, it’s no wonder that my bowels were not in a happy place. I highly recommend drinking Magnesium Citrate. That stuff is amazing. It tastes like strong lemon/lime soda and works pretty fast. I was on the BRAT (Banana, Rice, Applesauce, Toast) diet for about 10 days. During the second full week of recover I had food delivered and caught a bug….that was not fun.
Recovery had its ups and downs. The first week is the worst. You start feeling better and want to do things. I highly recommend just relaxing. Find a few series on Netflix and binge.
I worried about sex after surgery. At the eight week mark I indulged my husband and it was weird for me. I think scared is what I was. Still am. We’re taking it slow.
What was your greatest challenge? Riding in the car was my biggest challenge. We live on a ranch and the bumpy roads are not friendly to a body after surgery. I decided to just camp out at home and deal with it.
At my two week appointment I was released to go back to work. The first day back I had to leave early. I was EXHAUSTED. I couldn’t believe how tired I was. Just getting ready and driving in got me. At my 4 week check up I was released to do everything with the exception of sex. That was the eight week marker.
I actually lost weight and continue to do so. I didn’t realize how much pain I was in until the pain was gone. Life changing.
I am so glad I had a hysterectomy. Two weeks out of my life to recover added so many more for me to enjoy.
Consider your life and how much time each procedure takes for recovery. Go into your doctor and tell them how you really feel about your current symptoms without sugar coating it. If you feel like you need a second opinion – do it.
Hysterectomy does not make you any less of a woman. And, that we are all here for you.