Kristina’s Abdominal Hysterectomy
Age at Surgery 39
Location: Plano, TX, USA
I was unaware of the fibroid I had and thought that as I was losing weight, it was not resetting itself like it usually does. I found an umbilical hernia and went to a surgeon to see what could be done. He was unable to palpate it and sent me for a CT scan where my fibroid was found. I was asymptomatic for the fibroid. My regular OBGYN was not confident in her ability to remove it and sent me to a gynecologic oncologist in the area. (I used him as my second opinion.)
My OBGYN wanted to assist and the general surgeon I saw for the hernia still did need to repair the hernia, thus, I had about a month to wait for all 3 surgeons and the OR schedules to match up.
I did have a bowel prep, per the gynecologic oncologist’s instructions. My incision was a vertical one, and I was terrified of staples. My anesthesiologist used an epidural for the pain meds after the surgery. He also gave me meds to help with anxiety. Including the hernia repair, my surgery was roughly 3 and a half hours and basically textbook. The general surgeon was able to close using a plastic surgery technique and I did have a drain placed as well.
I stayed at the hospital for 3 days. My pain was well controlled with the epidural pump and I was able to start walking the next day after I’d had a small amount of food. I did use a walker for stability, but found it unnecessary after day 2. I used it because the nurses wanted me to, not because I felt like I needed it.
Based on the tests given prior to my surgery, I was expected to keep my ovaries. It was important to me that I know if I did. I wasn’t quite with it enough and kept asking everyone if I kept them for the first night into the next day. The first time getting out of bed was the most difficult, thought I think it was because I had been fasting for more than 24 hours and was still on a full liquid diet at that time.
I had a 5 pound weight limit for 6 weeks to ensure that I did not get a new hernia. I did try to wipe down my counters at 5 weeks and discovered that I used my abs more than I thought. I had to have help with some basic tasks until about 6 weeks. Vacuuming is still more than my abs can handle, but I can do a single room if needed. I was released for everything other than sex at 6 weeks, but told to follow what my body would allow. At 8 weeks, I was allowed to resume sex. I do have to push it to keep increasing activities like walking. I do still need to rest quite a bit if I’ve overdone it.
I have continued to lose weight and my health has improved a great deal since my surgery. I am glad that I had it done as the pathology report showed that I was beginning to have more fibroids starting. I’m no longer constantly tired and feel better than I have in years. I can’t say that it’s all due to the surgery, but I can only imagine how much worse I would feel even with the weight loss if I still had the 2.56 pound fibroid.
Expect to be emotional about this surgery. I was weepy during sex the first time after I found out I needed the surgery and again the first time after my surgery. I do not feel like less of a woman. I do feel so much more like me again.