Ever wonder what takes the place of the uterus following a hysterectomy?

Your uterus is a pear-shaped organ that typically is the size of your fist. According to Medscape, the average dimensions of a woman’s uterus are 8 cm long, 5 cm across, and 4 cm thick, or approximately 3 in. long, 2 in. across, and 1 in. thick. An average uterus weighs between 80–200 g or 3–7 oz. depending on various conditions.

The uterus can change sizes depending on age, hormonal situation, and diagnoses. The uterus is smaller before puberty, then grows in response to hormonal stimulation.

Read more about What Takes the Uterus’ Place after Hysterectomy?

How did you choose the right anesthesia for your hysterectomy?

Every anesthesia choice has its own pros and cons, and every woman has her own particular situation surrounding her hysterectomy that will affect her options. There is no “one size fits all.” Instead, anesthesia decisions are made on a case-by-case basis to accommodate the unique circumstances of each patient.

In determining which anesthesia is right for you, your anesthesiologist will consider many variables—each of them important. Because each variable can make a difference in the anesthesia used, it is important that you are completely open and honest with your anesthesiologist.

Read more about Anesthesia | Which Anesthesia Is Best for Hysterectomy?

Vulvar cancer – know the facts!

Vulvar cancer is a type of gynecological cancer that occurs on the outer surface area of the vulva. This includes the opening of the vagina, labia majora, labia minora, and clitoris. The most common types of vulvar cancer include:

  • Vulvar squamous cell carcinoma: Begins in the thin, flat cells that line the surface of the vulva. Most vulvar cancers are squamous cell carcinomas.

Read more about Vulvar Cancer Fact Sheet

What dieting techniques help you succeed?

Every year, you make the same New Year’s Resolution: lose weight and get fit. But it never works. By February, you’re curled up in the recliner, glued to the TV while eating left over Christmas and Valentine’s Day treats. You don’t want them to go to waste, and the after holiday clearance sales were just too good to pass up. Plus, it’s freezing outside and you have this cold.

Excuses, excuses, excuses. You knew you’d find some. It’s just so hard to stick to a diet and exercise routine when the scale won’t cooperate. You ate salad for days and ran until your heart pounded in your ears. For what? The numbers on the scale didn’t even move.

Your body is a complex machine, and for every action there’s a reaction – but it’s usually a lot more complicated than you think, especially during menopause. Before you give up on losing weight and getting fit, it helps to understand what you might have being doing wrong.

Read more about 4 Dieting Techniques that Fail in Menopause.

Did your surgeon inform you on the number of internal stitches you had following your hysterectomy?

Only your surgical team knows for sure how many internal stitches you have following your hysterectomy, and that is only if they were all counted. There are several variables that dictate the number of stitches including your surgeon’s personal technique, your anatomy, and the type of hysterectomy. Here at HysterSisters.com, some women have shared that they were told by their surgeons that they had hundreds of stitches, while others were told they had only a few.

One of the reasons for the difference in number involves the tools a surgeon uses. In some cases, more cauterizing than stitching is done during surgery. And rather than a needle and thread type material that creates multiple individual stitches, surgeon sometimes opt for a tool or technique that creates more of a continuous suture.

Read more about How Many Internal Stitches Do I Have after Hysterectomy?

Were you anxious or stressed before your hysterectomy? What did your anesthesiologist do to help calm your nerves?

Anxiety and nerves before a hysterectomy are normal, especially once you get to the hospital. While you are waiting in pre-op, there a couple of ways the anesthesiologist can help you be more calm right before your hysterectomy if your nerves have the best of you!

Read more about Anesthesia | Can My Anesthesiologist Help with Pre-Op Anxiety?

Do you suffer from low iron? What has helped you raise your iron levels naturally?

Low iron can cause a number of symptoms, some more serious than others. It can also delay any upcoming surgeries, like a hysterectomy.

If you have low iron, you’ll want to treat it. Your options may include iron tablets, supplements, and vitamins. Unfortunately, sometimes those can be tough on your stomach. They can also cause uncomfortable constipation.

If you don’t absorb iron well or the side effects are too intense, you have other options. One of them is to alter your diet to try to bring your iron levels up naturally.

Read more about Raising Iron Levels Naturally.

Do you count calories in order to lose weight? Do you know which calories are better for you than others?

You’ve heard it a hundred times: Burn more calories than you eat, and you’ll lose weight. Sounds easy enough.

But have you considered if 100 calories from chocolate chip cookies equals 100 calories from apples? What about 100 calories in a soda versus 100 calories of broccoli?

You’ve found out the hard way that calories are only equal on paper. It’s a different story when they hit your hips. Without knowing how or why, you do know 100 calories of broccoli isn’t going to cause love handles like a soda will.

Read more about All Calories Are Not Equal In Menopause

Did you notice when your vaginal cuff stitches dissolved?

When the complete uterus with cervix is removed, a vaginal cuff is created to close the top of the vagina. The stitches used to create this cuff are usually absorbable and may begin to disintegrate as early as three weeks after surgery, though it may be as long as three to four months after surgery before they have dissolved.

The vaginal cuff can either be created vaginally or laparoscopically. When the cuff is created vaginally, it may be more likely that some of the dissolving stitches will be seen as knots will be on the vaginal side of the cuff. As parts of the stitches dissolve, remaining pieces on the vaginal side of the cuff may exit through the vagina. Some HysterSisters have found tiny pieces on their panty liners, seen them when wiping, or saw them floating in the toilet. These pieces of “string” can range in size and color as there are a variety of materials which can be used. Common colors reported by HysterSisters are purple, blue, tan, brown, black, and white. They can be small, curled bunches of thread-like material or look like pieces of string.

Read more about Will I Pass Stitches Vaginally?

Was your hysterectomy longer than planned? Did your anesthesia change?

Though potential complications during a hysterectomy sound unsettling to the patient, they are all part of a day’s work to the people in the scrubs. Your anesthesiologist has been in numerous surgeries, so he or she will be able to adjust easily to any changes in the original plan for your hysterectomy.

During your hysterectomy, your anesthesiologist will be monitoring you constantly. He will be able to judge the depth and adequacy of the anesthesia so he can deepen, lighten, maintain, or change things at any time the need should arise.

Read more about Anesthesia | What Happens if My Hysterectomy Is Longer than Planned?