Terri’s Laparoscopic Hysterectomy
Age at Surgery 38
I got a hysterectomy because of adenomyosis. I had suspected stage 4 endometriosis and scheduled surgery to remove endometriomas from my ovaries. My surgeon had my consent to remove my uterus and appendix, depending on a visual inspection of their condition. I ended up having my uterus, appendix, and fallopian tubes removed along with the endometriomas and endometriosis found in my abdomen. My pathology report confirmed positive for endo in all tissue removed.
I suffered for decades before finally receiving a diagnosis. I previously had ultrasounds and biopsies to try to figure out what was causing the irregular bleeding, pain with intercourse, and bleeding after intercourse, only to be told there was nothing wrong with me. I changed health insurance which drove me to finally got another opinion. I lucked out and got referred to an industry expert who identified the issues from my medical history right away and then confirmed through two ultrasounds the likely diagnosis.
My surgery was scheduled for 8 am. I arrived at the hospital at 6 am to get checked in and prepped for surgery. I wasn’t allowed to eat anything that morning but was able to have some water when I woke up. My fiance was allowed to stay with me in my room until they wheeled me away just before 8 am. I am not sure what type of anesthesia I received, but they did give me Xanax and Lyrica while I was waiting for the anesthesiologist to arrive. Once they wheeled me into the operating room, I cracked a joke about making sure they remove the left leg, not the right one, and that’s the last I remember.
From there, my fiance waited in the waiting room until my surgeon came out to give him an update 3 hours later. She briefed him on the procedure, went over some aftercare instructions, and escorted him to my room to wait for me to wake up. Once I woke up, I was given some crackers, applesauce, and juice. I drank loads of water but don’t remember much else until I had to pee. A nurse helped me to the bathroom, I peed without issue, and they prepared to send me home. I was home in bed by 3 pm the same day.
I think I had a pretty easy recovery. The biggest things that stick out for me were a fussy bladder and the gas pain. It was difficult to tell when I needed to pee and then when I was peeing, it was difficult to completely empty my bladder. The fantom tampon feeling was unnerving as was the random light pink spotting. But the hystersisters forum helped to calm my fears and reassured me that was completely normal. After about 3 weeks, my surgeon released me for some modified activities. I started longer walks, resumed some light chores, and started planning for returning to work. After about a month, I returned to work full-time at my desk from home. I probably should have waited another two weeks, but I was bored and impatient. I was released for sex and all other activities at about two months.
My biggest challenge was being bored and dependent on someone else for everything. For weeks, I had to ask my fiance to help me out of bed and to the toilet. That was really frustrating for me since I’m so independent. My biggest fear was sexual side effects. I was worried that my body wouldn’t work or that I wouldn’t want sex anymore. I was, fortunately, worrying for nothing. Sex has been great! Now the most nagging worry is vaginal prolapse, which my surgeon has assured me is completely unlikely given my history.
My health has vastly improved. I’m less tired, sex doesn’t hurt anymore, and I no longer have to worry about random prolonged periods. I am so grateful that I had a hysterectomy. I am enjoying the freedom from periods and a more active (and enjoyable) sex life.
I would recommend that other women discuss their options fully with a doctor they trust. A second opinion is always a good idea. Talk to other women who have been through this so that it seems less scary. It really helped that I knew people my age that had a hysterectomy and were thriving. Tell people what you’re going through so that you don’t have to go through it alone. Having a support system is so important as you go through this process. Hystersisters is one of the best things I found to help me cope and I checked it daily during the first 2 months. Now, I still check in weekly in case there’s someone else I can help with my experience.