Lydia’s Robotic Hysterectomy
Age at Surgery 44
Location: Cincinnati, OH
I had very heavy bleeding, and periods lasting half a year, for years. I was finally diagnosed with endometrial hyperplasia. A Mirena IUD helped for a few years, but I still spotted all the time. At first, very light, but then it began to be probably what most people consider a light period. That, plus the biannual endometrial biopsies were making my quality of life go back down to where it was when I was flooding for six months, so we decided it was time to get a hysterectomy. I had been advised of this by a few doctors over the years, and finally accepted it. I was sort of in denial, even though I had thrice needed blood transfusions due to the blood loss.
We removed my uterus, tubes, and cervix.
I don’t know what kind of anesthesia I had. I had something in the IV before they wheeled me away, and my last memory is a mask over my face.
It was outpatient. My surgery started about 8am and I was home by 1:30pm. I slept most of that day, except for something small to eat at dinner and frequent breaks to drink water.
Hospital experience was great, as my doc. is the local guru for da Vinci system, and can do them standing on her head. Everyone was friendly and happy.
Only down side was I somehow ended up with a sore eye. I think it was the tape them put on my eyelids that might have rubbed against it. When I woke up, that actually hurt more than anything in my abdomen. They put some ointment on it and gave me an eyepatch to wear that day, and the pain was gone by the next daya.
My recovery was very easy. The word part was the gas. My surgery was on a Thursday, and my doc. wanted me to have a bowel movement by Saturday night. I didn’t, so I was told to take Metamucil and another laxative. I forgot about he Metamucil, so I was having painful constipation for about twelve hours before that worked its way through.
The gas continued off and on for about ten days to two weeks. It was pretty painful.
Once I hit the two week mark, I was fine. Still felt a little weaker than usual, and still taking naps, but I felt “better.”
My doc saw me a week postop and was happy with my stitches. She saw me at 4 wks. Then she went on vacation, so we didn’t see each other until ten weeks. By then, Valentine’s Day came and went, and that was after the eight week mark and I was feeling find, so hubby and I resumed sex before my ten week appointment. She said all was fine and released me.
I followed all the directions, but probably didn’t take it as easy as she would have liked. I cooked Christmas dinner, and was back to carrying my heavy bookbag about four weeks after. My body, however, did let me know when it was time to take a nap.
By six weeks, I was done needing naps and was back to myself.
The thing that surprised me the most is the lack of blood. I don’t know if its because I had my cervix removed, but I expected to need to wear pads for about two months. I was able to stop wearing them by the day after!!
I am very happy I had it done. It’s a relief to not have to worry about all the bleeding.
I am a newlywed still in my mid-forties, so I wonder if I should have waited to try to have a child with my husband first. I know he wants a biological child, but he was adamant that my health was more important to him than having a child. He knew when we got engaged and married that I was planning on a hysterectomy just two months after our wedding, and it didn’t change his mind about anything at all.
I haven’t experienced any long term effects. I still have a sex drive, I don’t have any dryness, and my hot flashes are the same or less than before I had my hysterectomy, which is maybe monthly and mild.
My advice is to talk with your doctor and your loved ones. Make sure they understand that for about two months, you may be day-to-day in your energy levels.
Make sure loved ones and work know that you can’t be relied on to do anything the first two weeks but be a lump on the sofa. You CAN do more, but you never know when an energy boost will happen, or when you’ll be in the restroom for half an hour. A trip to the grocery store will probably be almost too much that first week, and it will be all you can do that second week.
Know that the first two weeks go by fast, and then the gas is under control, the incisions are practically all healed and not as sore.
At some point, you will turn around and realize that it’s been a month! And then the two month mark sneaks up on you.
Know that other than gas pains, you should be pain free after the first two days. I didn’t need to use my percocet, but DON’T LET THAT STOP YOU IF YOU NEED IT.
Take care of yourself, and your recovery will be easier. No lifting. Lots of sleeping. It’s a great time to start some audiobooks! Or binge a new show!
Most importantly, make sure you have someone to care for you those first few weeks. It might be worth hiring a home care aid to help with things like dishes and cleaning the first two to three weeks if you don’t have a loved one who can do that. Someone who can bring you some tea or a yogurt.