Melissa’s Laparoscopic Hysterectomy
Age at Surgery 46
Location: North Carolina
Surgery date: May 2, 2018
Diagnosis: Endometriosis, Adhesions, Ovarian Cysts
Other treatments: Laparoscopy, IUD, Birth Control Pills, Progestin Implant, Progestin-Only Pills
I suffered from agonizing cramps and gushing bleeding every month since the 8th grade. I lived with it until college, when I went on BC pills and stayed on them until I was 30. I did fine on those – I felt wonderful in my 20s, but I went off of them to try to get pregnant. That didn’t happen and my cramps and bleeding came back. I was writhing on the floor every month waiting for IBU 800 to kick in. When I couldn’t get pregnant, I went to the gyno and he suspected endometriosis, did a laparoscopy, found moderate endo., cleaned it up, and I got pregnant 6 weeks later. I felt great during pregnancy and breast feeding, but the cramps and bleeding returned after I stopped bf. I was just in agonizing pain every month and it was getting worse. I moved to NC and started seeing my new gyno, who put me on the Mirena IUD first. Stopped the bleeding, but I was getting pelvic and lower back pain constantly – this was the result of adhesions and new endo lesions. Took out the IUD and went on a variety BC pills, all of which gave me headaches and heavier bleeding. Switched to Nexplanon – didn’t stop the bleeding. Switched to Aygestin, which worked great until I got my first ever ocular migraine – scared the living crap out of me – so decided with my gyno that surgery was the only way to help me live. I couldn’t take it anymore. My gyno had been reluctant to do the surgery because of my age, but ultimately agreed to do it and take it all. I was fully informed about what was going to happen and I made the decision to go ahead.
My surgery was on a Wednesday morning. I didn’t have to do a bowel prep or anything – just no eating after 9:00 pm the previous evening. I was nervous, but DH was with me, cracking jokes. I was NOT given any type of medication to calm my nerves, so I went into the operating room feeling anxious. I remember looking around at all of the lights and monitors and then I was OUT! I woke up in recovery and had no pain whatsoever. I was bloated and had three incisions (right side, left side, belly button), but that was the only evidence I had any surgery. I was wheeled up to my room and I stayed overnight. I had a few instances of minor pain, but I was well taken care of with Lortab and IBU 800. I had a catheter and the only issue I had was when the cute male nurse took it out and I squirted on him I had a .1 mg Climara patch put on in recovery and I was able to go home the next morning after I showed them that I could pee by myself, which was not hard at all. The gyno showed me pictures and I had TONS of adhesions, but not much active endo. The adhesions had pulled my reproductive system over to my left side, so it was no wonder that I had constant pelvic and back pain.
My recovery was fairly easy. I have a flexible job, so I was able to work from home. I had some bleeding about two weeks after the surgery, but that is normal with the dissolving stitches. Immediately after, I was worried about sneezing and coughing, but I did fine. I had my follow-up appointment only 9 days after the surgery and that pelvic exam NOT FUN. I was released to go back to work when I felt like it, but to take it easy, and not to have intercourse for at least 6 weeks post surgery. DH and I waited about 9 weeks since I was NOT looking forward to it. The biggest issue immediately following surgery was fatigue – I really had no pain or discomfort, but I had no stamina whatsoever.
I’m almost 7 months post-op and I feel great. I have had some issues with getting the patch at the right dosage for me – I am currently on .05 mg Minivelle – as higher dosages make me dizzy and woozy. I did start bleeding a little at month 6 and freaked out, but it was just granulation tissue that healed on its own. My first time with DH after the surgery was stressful (I had a couple of glasses of wine!), but it has been great ever since. I don’t think I have been without pain since I was 13, so it has been a new experience for me. I have no regrets whatsoever.
Ladies should do what they think is best for them. Not everyone will have the positive experience I had, so make sure that you are fully informed about what could happen afterwards.