Suzy’s Robotic Hysterectomy
I have always had painful periods and birth control issues, and I always thought it was normal because that’s what my mother and sister had. I was also gaining weight like crazy- 40 lbs in two years- and I am a marathon runner!
My story begins in November 2006 when intense abdominal pain landed me in the emergency room. I was suspected of having appendicitis, but once that was ruled out, the doctors were puzzled. I saw a gastroenterologist for awhile, but after he ruled out several disorders, he told me to go see my gynecologist.
My gyn immediately suspected endometriosis, and he referred me to a surgeon for a diagnostic lap. In the meantime, I had my Mirena IUD removed, and my abdominal pain became unbearable. My diagnostic lap showed a grossly enlarged uterus- the surgeon greatly suspected adenomyosis. After exploring my options (I’m a health scientist, so I did most of the research on my own), I began to realize that this was never going to go away. The answer, for me, was definitive surgery.
After getting numerous second opinions (I am 27 and childfree), my surgeon agreed to the surgery. He told me he wanted to do the DaVinci procedure so that he could get me back to work and back to marathon training in as little time as possible.
My surgery was scheduled for May 29th. We arrived at the hospital early, and I was called back almost immediately. The pre-op nurse started my IV and the anasthesiologist came in to ask me questions. I remember that he was funny. I also remember that I was so nervous, I kept having to pee, despite not having had a drink in over 8 hours and after a night of bowel prep.
I got wheeled into the operating room where I saw my surgeon, met his assistant and some of the other nurses, and moved onto the special DaVinci table. I remember the anasthesiologist putting me out, and that was it. . .I was very groggy in recovery, but in very little pain. I do remember a guy freaking out in the recovery room, but I was so out of it, I don’t remember what he was freaking out about. I got wheeled into my room a couple of hours later, and my husband came in. I was never so happy to see him in my entire life (other than maybe at the end of the aisle at our wedding!)
I spent most of the first evening in and out of it, as I was hooked up to a PCA with dilaudid. The nurses were great, and came in to check my vitals every couple of hours. At some point close to the morning, my temperature crept up to over 101, and that pretty much determined that I was staying in the hospital a second night.
On the second day, they took out my catheter around noon, and I started walking around almost immediately. That’s when the gas pains started. They were really brutal for a couple of hours, when I started passing gas. After that, I felt much better. They took out my IV later that evening, and I was able to sleep on my side that night. I was peeing like a champ, and was feeling great once they gave me the Ambien around 10pm. The overzealous night nurse kept waking me up because I was sweating (I’m a hot sleeper) and even called the on-call doctor because she was convinced the 4 thermometers she tried were broken and that I really did have a fever!! Needless to say, I didn’t sleep much that night, despite the Ambien!
I was released from the hospital around 11AM on Thursday morning. The first two days home were tough because I was still sore (my mother was in town and took my percocet away from me). But I was walking several miles by Saturday, and now, two weeks later, I am waiting for clearance from my doctor to start real exercise again (lightly, of course). My energy level from before the surgery has skyrocketed! I started sleeping on my stomach again a week ago, and hardly have any pain- mostly incision itching!
All in all, I am very pleased with my experience, and I would definitely recommend this procedure to anyone. I know I am much further along in recovery and energy-wise than I would ever be with a TAH.