Sabrina’s Laparoscopic Hysterectomy
I’ve dealt with menorrhagia since about 2008. There was no reason found at first (no fibroids, normal thyroid function etc.) so I initially tried the least invasive treatment methods. Which did not work. Fast forward to fall of 2011 and I finally agreed to a Mirena IUD. That seemed to help somewhat but by June of 2013, I was diagnosed with fibroids and adenomyosis. Again, I opted for a more conservative treatment and had an Uterine Fibroid Embolization done in Nov. 2013.
I was still having issues at my 6 month check and was thinking about just having a hysterectomy and be done with it. The fibroid specialist I had been seeing talked me into waiting a bit longer as sometimes the effects of a UFE take longer than 6 months to be seen. And I will admit, that right after I made the decision to wait, I did start to feel great…for about 3 months. Then my symptoms started to get gradually worse with the added benefit of a chronic, low grade burning pelvic pain.
This spring, I finally had enough and scheduled an appointment with the surgeon again. I will give him credit for being conservative but it was ultimately my decision and I was done! So we discussed the type of surgery, what date and arranged all the pre-op stuff. And just let me mention that if I had any doubts before, they were completely erased after I had the endometrial biopsy. I’ve had a couple before and while uncomfortable, they were not that bad. This one was horrible and totally illustrated to me that “yes, my uterus is realllly uncomfortable!”.
I had my surgery at a very well known hospital in the eastern US. And though many do not like the atmosphere of a teaching hospital, I love having the chance to be a part (the patient part!) of training young doctors. The gyn residents on my case were phenomenal as were the nurse anesthesiologist, anesthesiologist, OR nurse, my surgeon and all the other techs and nurses I encountered. My husband was allowed back to pre-op with me from the beginning and allowed to stay until I went to the OR.
My surgery did stay as a LAVH (took uterus, cervix, and fallopian tubes as I have a family history of cancer) as was planned but took almost 6 hours. Apparently there was a good bit of scar tissue and adhesions between uterus and rectum so a bowel specialist needed to join in the fun.
Once in PACU, they couldn’t wake me up for almost 3 hours and once I did wake up, I was extremely dizzy. They determined that I was dehydrated despite being on fluids the whole time during surgery so I received more. But it took until 10 pm until I could sit up without my blood pressure dropping. And I finally made it to the restroom only to not be able to urinate. So I got to stay the night with a Foley. Oh well. I was soooo tired at that point that I could not even imagine putting forth the effort to get into the car and travel the 45 minutes home! However, I will note that pain was very minimal and although I did take the oxycodone along with 600 mg. ibuprofen it was more as I like to stay on top of the pain rather than wait until it became unbearable. I did not speak to my surgeon (I only spoke to the residents) but he did tell my husband that between the adhesions and enlarged uterus, my symptoms would have only continued to get much worse and that I should feel so much better now. I admit to feeling a bit vindicated!
So I have been home 3 days and doing pretty well. Pain has been minimal; the gas was not that bad and as long as I walked, it passed easily. I have not experienced (yet!) the shoulder pain from the gas. And I finally had a bowel movement today! Yay! I was never able to have children so that is one worry I do not have and my sisters are completely taking care of my horses and husband is doing household chores, cooking and taking care of our pets. I’m doing a good job of “doing nothing” as my surgeon ordered.
Oh my! Novel alert! But hope everyone is doing good and those who are on the fence can come to a decision that they feel good about.