Mary’s Abdominal Hysterectomy

Abdominal Hysterectomy
Age at Surgery 59
Location: O Fallon, MO

They discovered a baseball size cyst on my left ovary when I went to the ER due to left flank/side pain. They did a CT scan looking for a kidney stone which they found — 7 mm and they found the cyst at the same time. I had to have the stone taken care of first and then I had to deal with the ovarian cyst. Tumor markers were done and they were okay. Because I had gone through menopause in 2013 my GYN though it was best to just remove everything to prevent a surgery down the road. This would erase my risk of developing uterine, cervical, and ovarian cancer so I opted for a TAH with BSO since the cyst was took large for a lap procedure.

I had a total knee replacement done on July 31, 2018 and had been back to work 8 days when I developed nausea and this horrible left side pain. I believe it was the kidney stone that saved me as I had not been to a GYN for 3 years.

I didn’t feel a second opinion was warranted.

I was a little fearful with this surgery (I was so prepared for my total knee replacement and knew exactly what to expect). I was unsure of what to expect. Sure, I asked questions and did my research, but this was my first abdominal surgery and I was scared. I am a hard IV stick and went through hell in October when I went in to have my kidney stone blasted. I spoke with the hospital regarding this and an anesthiologist placed my IV without issues and I even woke up with a larger bore IV in my other arm! I don’t do well with PCAs so I spoke with anesthesia and we opted for an epidural for pain (much like women in labor have) and it was the best thing ever! NO nausea. NO pain the first 24 hours. I was up in the chair for 3 hours that afternoon. I spent 2 nights in the hospital. The day after surgery, after the epidural and foley were removed I was up showering and doing laps in the hall. My surgery took 2 hours due to the size of the cyst as well as the adhesions and scar tissue that had developed as a result of the cyst.

I had NO vaginal bleeding. What I did have was horrible abdominal bruising and swelling. Recovery was not easy. The weird pains in my sides. The cramps. The frequent urination. The frequent bowel movements. The pain in my hips and back (from the position during the surgery).

I only had 4 weeks of FMLA and feared I would not be able to go back to work. I saw my GYN at 4 weeks post-op and was told I had not restrictions, but to not rush and do everything! I was able to begin driving at 2 weeks.

I still have cramping with urination and bowel movements, but it has gotten better. I have issues with having to get up every 2 to 3 hours at night to urinate even when stopping fluid intake at 7 pm. I am giving it a full 12 weeks for it to clear up before calling my GYN. I had a bladder flap and he handled my bladder a lot so I figure I will give it that much time to “heal” and if it continues I will make an appointment to see him in person.

I had no issues with my uterus or ovaries with the exception of the cyst. I had an easy menopause.

My biggest issues have been with cramps — with urination and with bowel movements. Although they are still present they have eased up a great deal. What I am dealing with now is frequent urination at night. I am up around 4 am every day and drink about 106 ounces of water a day. I stop drinking by 7 pm. Even doing this I am still up every 2 to 3 hours at night urinating. Annoying.

If I had to do it all over I would have opted to just have the ovary and cyst removed.

Get a second opinion. Ask questions. Ask about positioning during the surgery. Be pushy as a patient and get your questions answered.

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