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Upcoming hysterectomy: Obese and Kind of Scared Upcoming hysterectomy: Obese and Kind of Scared

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Unread 02-13-2016, 05:53 AM
Upcoming hysterectomy: Obese and Kind of Scared

I weigh 334 pounds today. The day that I found out about having my hysterectomy (Jan 4) I weighed 359. I'm determined to drop below 300 by my surgery date March 16... Anyway, aside from being paralyzed with fear, I am terribly overwhelmed by how much extra preparing I need to do simply because of my size. I'm having difficulty finding a tummy binder to fit my size. Do they make surgical panties for someone my size? Should I wear dresses or pants after? Will I be fit to drive 4 hours home after I'm released from the hospital or should I stay with my mom (in her VERY uncomfy house) for a few days? I'm likely having an abdominal hysterectomy which my doc said is like the csection I had 18 years ago, but I was 22 and 160 pounds then.

Please help me. I need to focus on the business of preparing because I've already said good bye to my uterus. If I can't focus on preparing, then I will likely think more about what is actually happening and I'll be an emotional wreck.
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Unread 02-13-2016, 07:32 AM
Re: Upcoming hysterectomy: Obese and Kind of Scared

I wouldn't worry about the tummy binder. I bought one and hated it, hated the constricted feeling. As for panties, the hospital will probably give you mesh panties, and I'm sure they have them in all sizes. You just want something that will be super comfortable but will not rub over your incision, so you could try and find some a couple of sizes larger than you normally wear, that are really comfy material.

As for the 4-hour drive home, honestly, I wouldn't try it. I had a much easier laparascopic, with one night's hospital stay, and I wouldn't have wanted to drive that far. Remember, every bump in the road is felt a lot more, plus, the closer you are, the less risk that something will happen with car trouble, traffic, etc. As much as I completely understand that your mom's house isn't super comfortable, I'd try and stay there for a few days. Plus, it will be nice to have someone to help you by getting you food, medicine, etc.

Your size is not a problem for the doctor, who handles all sorts of cases all the time. They are well equipped to perform the surgery to the best of their ability, and I would just put it out of my mind. Of course, eating healthy prior to surgery will always help to get your body ready.

Relax....you got this!
Unread 02-13-2016, 08:50 AM
Re: Upcoming hysterectomy: Obese and Kind of Scared

Congratulations on your 25 pound loss & for setting an obtainable & healthy additional goal prior to your surgery! I too am overweight and this was a concern for me as well. I am going to miss my weight goal for surgery, but am happy for achieving a significant loss.

You will feel good about what you have achieved in weight loss as you head into your procedure and any weight loss can surely benefit your recovery than not having tried at all.

I agree with the previous sister about staying with your mom. A four hour drive is huge and you may not realize (beyond the bumps in the road...ouch) that you use your abdominal muscles when riding in a car going around corners and such.

Your idea of focusing on preparing is excellent! I have done everything under the sun to prepare...spring cleaning is done and it isn't even spring yet(that is a workout in itself to burn calories). I started easy prep a few weeks ago...making soups and freezing them by individual portions. The nitty-gritty prep started a couple of weeks ago...waxing floors, scrubbing baseboards, cleaning closets out, prepping taxes (finishing those today).

Also make sure to find some time to treat yourself right. Get your hair done a few days before surgery, consider a mani/pedi, have a girls' night out, etc. Just treat yourself the way you deserve to be treated...like a
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Unread 02-13-2016, 09:19 AM
Re: Upcoming hysterectomy: Obese and Kind of Scared

Congratulations on already starting to lose weight before your surgery. Every little bit helps! I understand your concerns. I had open Gastric Bypass when I was over 300 pounds and know the extra prep needed for gals our size. I'm still around 240, so I'm no skinny Minnie now either. I've had four abdominal surgeries since then, too. Two hernia repairs, an appendectomy and my gall bladder removed. They always had surgical binders for me after each surgery. I'm sure they will have one for you too. I found it helpful because it kept everything from jiggling and made me more comfortable. But it can be annoying too when it bunches or rides up. I also liked wearing it over a t-shirt so my skin wouldn't get as irritated.

As for driving four hours home after you are released, I wouldn't do it! Even if your mom's house isn't comfy, I'll bet it'll be better than being crunched in a car for several hours.

I think a dress would be more comfortable than pants after surgery, and getting underwear in a larger size is a good idea.

Sending you big hugs!
Unread 02-13-2016, 09:40 PM
Re: Upcoming hysterectomy: Obese and Kind of Scared

Congrats on the weight loss!!

When I had my DvH, I was very obese. My surgeon discussed ALL the issues we might face due to my size. He was VERY open and upfront with me (he is a partner of my regular GYN, who told him I did not like the "sugar-coated" version of anything) and this helped reassure me I was going to be ok. I tend to handle things better when I know exactly what I'm dealing with.

My surgery went well and my surgeon did not run into any of the issues we discussed! I did not wear a binder but the hospital gave me the mesh briefs, which are not exactly the most fashionable underwear I've worn, but they were the most comfortable. Also, prior to my surgery, I bought several pairs of my regular "light support" panties in 1-2 sizes larger than I normally wear, which helps A LOT! My favorite pants after surgery have been my yoga pants & pajama bottoms, which are baggy anyway. Having LOTS of pillows around you also helps with support (I LOVE my body pillow!)

I would not recommend riding 4hrs home after your surgery. Your will feel EVERY bump in the road, no matter how many pillows you have. My house is about 20 mins from the hospital and I went to my mom's house, which was only 10 mins from the hospital because I was done with all the bumps in the road (which my mom didn't even notice the bumps!) I know your mom's may not be the most comfortable place (let's face it...NOWHERE is more comfortable than your own place), but you will be thankful for the shorter ride and the extra help!

I wish you all the best with your surgery and your continued weight loss!
Unread 02-13-2016, 09:48 PM
Re: Upcoming hysterectomy: Obese and Kind of Scared

Originally Posted by Surferwife43 View Post
My surgeon discussed ALL the issues we might face due to my size.
I am curious as to what potential issues were discussed. I still have 60 pounds to lose but have already lost more than that. My doctors have commented on the success of my loss, but nothing was ever mentioned about potential challenges considering I am still quite overweight. Can you share those potential issues your doctor discussed with you?
Unread 02-14-2016, 04:04 AM
Re: Upcoming hysterectomy: Obese and Kind of Scared

The first doctor I went to (the one who finally agreed to do further diagnostics beyond a pap smear and uterine biopsy) was the gyno who originally told me that I would need to have a hysterectomy. He prefaced everything with "Because of your size" i.e. Because of your size you will need to have surgery in a city with a major medical center, Because of your size it is unsafe to have an abdominal hysterectomy... blah blah blah. So, I found a rock star surgeon in Houston and he said "Your size is no issue. You deserve and need treatment" My current risks are my blood pressure (not high, but borderline) and I am diabetic (totally under control and getting better since my recent weight loss) Anyway, there are risks with anesthesia with these 2 issues if they are not managed prior to surgery. I had a hernia repair 15 months ago, I was in WAY worse physical health, and they never mentioned any risks.

I guess that my risks are mostly self imposed. I live in a town (Corpus Christi, Tx) where every doctor I encounter has fat shamed me in some way AND seem to think all my problems are curable with simple weight loss. Yes, weight loss is so simple when you are SO anemic from 14 day periods every 26 days that you can't even walk from one end the house to the next with out needing a nap!!!!! LOL So, surgery risks- Mine are probably less risks and more like personally imposed anxieties.
Unread 02-14-2016, 04:08 AM
Re: Upcoming hysterectomy: Obese and Kind of Scared

Thank you all so much!!!!! Oh, I feel so much better. I know the 4 hour drive is stupid stupid stupid. I just want to be able to recover in my tempurpedic adjustable bed, but that isn't possible. I know I need to be close for follow ups or complications. I would hate to have to go to the ER in my current town if anything happens.

I'm curious about pain control. I have a very high tolerance for narcotic pain meds. Is there a way to communicate this to my doctor without sounding like a junky??

I'm so happy to have this community to lean on. I have gotten so much information and support already!!!
Unread 02-14-2016, 10:16 AM
Re: Upcoming hysterectomy: Obese and Kind of Scared

I was certainly stressed out about my size. (I'm 240 lb, down from 270 in October.)
Doctors aren't too concerned. I am doing my best to slim down (for health reasons), keeping my blood pressure in check and trying to eat a good healthy diet beforehand. If your surgeon is comfortable going through with it, I think you should be ok.
As for four hours home...nope nope nope nope nope. Would NOT do it! I had an ovarian vein embolization about two years ago, drove from Boston back to New Jersey the day after. It was miserable. Hindsight is 20/20.
Unread 02-14-2016, 01:58 PM
Re: Upcoming hysterectomy: Obese and Kind of Scared

Hi Punky! Is there a reason your surgeon is wanting to do an abdominal hysterectomy? The reason I ask is if you have to travel so far to a larger city, isn't there someone who can do it laproscopically or better yet a robotic laproscopic? I'm 300 lbs and my local gyn wanted to do it abdominally as that was the only way she felt comfortable given my size. But I wound up going to a gyn/onc in Orlando who was very skilled with Davinci and he thought it would be no problem. The only thing was the possibility of conversion if I didn't tolerate the anesthesia in the tilted position. As it turned out everything went rather smoothly and it was done robotically and I had 4 one inch incisions above my waist. We did discuss conversion and agreed on a vertical incision if it became necessary. We felt that would heal better than a horizontal one that would have been under a skin fold. The internal "work" and recovery are pretty much the same, but I did'nt have the large incision to deal with, and because of that I was able to drive after 8 days. I mention this as a possibility for you if your condition does not require the TAH like for example you have endo or adhesions.

Also if you have the TAH you will not be able to drive for a few weeks. Is there a way you could get a ride home? A four hour ride could be broken down with an overnight hotel stay. Or you could treat your mom to a new bed that you use until you leave. Just throwing out some ideas to you as I also have a temprapedic bed and I couldn't wait to get home to it! LOL! Also I'm single and I liked the peacefulness of being able to recover the way I wanted. I had days I napped a lot and days I was up all night and it was nice to not have to bother anyone. If you do go with the TAH, as the others have said, it might be nice to have your mom's help awhile. But really don't worry about your weight and just be real gentle with yourself, everything will work out great.

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