Luisa’s Robotic Hysterectomy
Age at Surgery 32
Location: Kansas City, Missouri, USAI have had PCOS and endometriosis for years. I had laproscopic surgery to remove endometriosis in 2006. Although that seemed to help a lot of the pain, the PCOS symptoms continued. Leading to me having to take infertility medicine to help me ovulate and get pregnant with both of my children.
After my last child was born in March of 2016, I had a tubal ligation. However, after having her, I began to have what I considered two menstrual cycles a month. No longer did I have heavy bleeding for three days a month and be done, I would have a week long light/medium flow cycle, have a week with nothing and then another week long light/medium flow cycle.
I contacted my gynecologist who gave me options for birth control, which did not help. An ablation which I was not overly fond of the idea of and a hysterectomy, hopefully leaving both ovaries. My left ovary had a large 4-5 inch cyst that had been found on an MRI for an unrelated issue that would have to be explored/corrected.
I did not go for a second opinion in this because my doctor has always been extremely knowledgeable and willing to explain and try multiple approaches. She never shied away from a challenge, but she was also willing to try a less risky approach before jumping into surgery as well.On August 29, 2016 I had my hysterectomy. I had started a menstrual cycle the day before the surgery and was concerned this would be a problem. My doctor saw no issues with continuing the surgery. Once at the hospital, they performed a pregnancy test and some blood work to be sure that all my labs were normal. I was slightly anemic, probably due to my menstrual cycle.
The anesthesiologist came and spoke to me since I would be under general anesthesia (completely asleep). I told him that I became very ill under most kinds of sedation and requested anti-nausea medication. They gave me a patch that went behind my ear, and although I was very suspicious of it working, it was amazing. I left the patch on for approximately three days and it seemed to work wonders!
After surgery, I woke up in the recovery room. I was then wheeled into a hospital room where I stayed for the evening and into the afternoon of the following day when I was discharged.
During the surgery, they did insert a catheter, which they left in until I went to the room. However, apparently during anesthesia, bladders tend to get a little lazy and take time to begin to alleviate themselves. Mine took longer than normal, and after having a catheter put back in several times to help start the flow, it eventually went back to normal.
My hospital stay was pleasant. I kept up on my pain medication and got up and walked around the room. I knew from previous c-sections that walking, even if painful, would actually be beneficial and it seemed to help.The only issue I had post-surgery was bleeding. My doctor was a bit concerned that I was still bleeding a week to two weeks afterwards. She ordered an ultrasound and a CT scan that both came back normal. After doing some research, it’s not abnormal for the vaginal cusp to bleed a bit during healing, and some even have to have a small procedure done to clean up the cusp so it will not. I was lucky, and it eventually just stopped.
My recovery was pretty easy. I knew it would be more difficult than a c-section, and it was. However, as far as pain went, my c-sections were more painful. The weakness and sleepiness that I experienced for weeks after my hysterectomy was more significant by far than either of my c-sections.
My first two weeks were probably the roughest. I had very little energy, I hurt, and I was uncomfortable. I did not sleep in my bed during that time because I knew I wouldn’t have the abdominal strength to roll out of bed in the morning, so I instead slept on a recliner.
I am a police officer that works the streets of a large metropolitan area. Because of this, both myself and my doctor were not quick to return me to regular duties. I believe it was 10-12 weeks before she released me back to full duty and able to go back to my normal work routine.
Since my hysterectomy, my life has greatly improved. I love not having to worry about if I have a pad or tampon with me. Or having to arrange my life around the closest bathroom.
However, the only thing I will say that is negative is the bit of depression I felt afterwards. After I had my daughter in March of 2016, I knew I didn’t want to have any more children and had my tubes tied. I guess there was always something in the back of my head that if I really wanted another baby, there could still be a chance that I could. Then I had the hysterectomy…and it effectively ended that little bit of hope I had. It’s strange how even though I do not want more children, knowing that’s not even an option for me to be pregnant again makes me a bit sad.
With that being said, I am still glad I had the hysterectomy.
Any advice I would give to a woman that is considering a hysterectomy is to be informed. Do your research; I watched multiple YouTube videos of hysterectomies because I wanted to see what it entailed. There is a lot of information available to you out there, utilize it! You know your body, you know how you deal with pain. Be realistic with yourself and know that you will be in pain, but weigh your options and choices and make the choice that works for you.