Jessica’s Robotic Hysterectomy
daVinci Robotic Hysterectomy
Age at Surgery 35
Location: Boise, ID
It has been exactly 6 months since my surgery and thought I would share my story. I was diagnosed with endometriosis, ovarian cysts and had developed hormonal migraines. Due to migraines even the low dose birth control with estrogen was a no-no. I tried every other option to no success. Adding to the joy I have fibromyalgia and am sensitive to medications. I got to the point where I was constantly in pain.
I had been seeing an GYN that had done my friend’s surgery when it came to the decision that OK we are going to do surgery I just didn’t feel as confident. Another friend of mine suggested that I see a GYN oncologist. In our area we do not have any endometriosis specialists so this is the next best thing. She gave me a couple of names and I made some phone calls. I was so happy that I did! The oncologist was able to look for endometriosis in more areas than just the standard GYN. I chose to have my one remaining ovary removed as well since I was having hormonal migraines and ovarian cysts multiple times in the month.
I suffered for years I just turned 35 when I had the surgery so for 20+ years I have had problems from day one of starting to have periods and it just got worse over time. I had surgery approximately 5 years prior to remove my right ovary due to a cyst and clean out endometriosis.
My doctor had quite the regimen to help with nausea and pain during surgery. I had to be at the hospital at 5 am which in the middle of winter we were a little nervous about. She stated that because with the Da vinci surgery you are in a weird position for a long time that they wanted to reduce any additional pain. I put a patch behind me ear the night before, the morning of surgery I took some tylenol and a few other items that I cannot remember and got to drink a Coke on the way to surgery I had zero nausea! I was shocked! I am sensitive to anesthesia and almost always feel nauseated after surgery. I was able to go home a few hours after surgery which to me was amazing. I basically lost zero blood which was one of my reasons for choosing Davinci. The Da vinci incisions were higher than I was expecting, possibly because she was inspecting my entire abdominal cavity for endometriosis not just the area where the uterus and ovaries are.
The surgery went great (I am told) I woke up with very strong cramps which surprised me since I thought everything that could give me cramps was out! I had endometriosis on my bladder and connecting my bladder to my uterus. This caused problems after surgery I had horrible bladder spasms. I kept feeling like I had to go pee but there was nothing in there. Having to get up every few minutes because you feel like you have to go is difficult.
Due to my fibromyalgia I am a slow healer and I knew this going in, but you still get tired of not being able to do anything. I still feel at times my energy isn’t quite what it should be but that may be the fibro component more so than the surgery.
Due to my ovaries being removed I chose hormone therapy to protect my heart and bones. I had visited a hormone specialist prior to surgery and she had wanted to see me 3 weeks post-op. My surgeon had said that if I was suffering from no hormones to go ahead and get started on them and not wait the 3 months like some Dr.’s encourage. I was so glad she said that because at 2 weeks in the night sweats started! They just got worse and worse and I was getting no sleep! Plus the vaginal itching was terrible. So at 3 weeks I went on Progesterone and a low dose estrogen patch. Within a few hours I started getting some relief.
I do medical billing and coding for work, after 2 weeks I started working from home just as I could. That meant I could last about 30 minutes before my brain and body said no more! I slowly worked up from there. I didn’t go anywhere except to the doctor for the first month or so. I just couldn’t sit or stand very long without pain. I lived in our recliner, if I could sit reclined I was ok, but sitting “normal” went from uncomfortable to painful the longer I was there.
Do I regret it? NO WAY! This is the best thing I ever did! It has really helped that I have a great team of doctors working with me. If I didn’t have compassionate doctors that listened it would be a very different story. I have only had 1 migraine since my surgery, that is down from at least 2-3 a month prior. It is the strangest sensation to not have abdominal pain. I of course don’t like the few pounds that I have put on but that is workable. We have only had to tweak my progesterone once, otherwise the hormone doctor was knowledgeable enough to get the right combo for me.
I know it’s scary! This was probably the scariest thing I have ever done. I don’t know why it scares us so much, but it does. It’s ok to be scared. Don’t look at all the bad outcomes, find some good ones and be positive that will be you. I had no where to go but up so I took the plunge. Everyone has an opinion or what worked best for them, but the reality is we are all unique individuals and we can only choose what is best for us. Do you research! Yes, a hysterectomy is not a cure for endometriosis, but with the right doctor and procedures it can be darn close. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Shutterstock.com / Egor Fomin