I do not regret having a hysterectomy. Periods, migraines & cramps are all gone. But now I have something new - no control over my bladder.
I'm now a 32 year old with a 90 year old bladder. But it is due to just an "oopsie." My doc accidently put a stitch through my bladder, which has cause uncontrollable leakage. Can anyone say Depends?????
I am having corrective surgery on July 21. Hopefully (and prayfully) this will take care of it and I can move on to my new, menopaused life.
here is a bad side effect...probably the worst..hormonal imbalance.you could fix anything that possibly can go wrong with your body after surgery with more surgery. but surgery cannot fix the hormones when they are all out of wack.whether you keep one ovary or both or have them both removed..chances are you will still need some type of hormonal balance therapy..its the pits. someone woman find their balance real quick with one hrt..some it takes longer. going from one hrt to another and another and dose tweeking till its right on the money. it could take a month to two months or longer to find the right one and until you do its hard emotionally and mentally...i could deal with anything else and i mean anything..but the worst side effect to me is hormonal imbalance. it doesnt last forever..but it feels like it when you go through..plus hrts have side effects that feel worse then not taking anything at all..not everyone will agree with me i am sure..but you asked...better to be prepared then not..this doesnt happen to everyone but mostly it does..
Swelly has been my longest side effect from my TAH. I had some bleeding and discharge for a good month after. I did dehydrate and visit the ER 11 days post. The swelly belly has been the biggest issue though. Finally, at 6 months post I can say it is much improved. I did get some new stretch marks from it. Small price to pay for freedom from constant bleeding and infections.
I have heard of the vagina being shortened with vaginal procedures. I had an abdominal for personal reasons and vaginal shortening was another plus to go with an abdominal for me. I absouletly did not want to mess with my sex life. Glad to say, that area is better than ever too. No regrets!
If you go to the -road less traveled- here, some of the long term issues are there. Good luck to you
hi, it sounds like we have a worry in common! I am also in no pain now, just feeling bulky with fibroids. my surgery is july 23 and i too am scared about the healing and after effects. have you heard any reasurrance?
best of luck to you and God bless
I'm wondering why you (or your doctor) is considering a hysterectomy .... you don't list any of your problems (endo, adeno, fibroids, cysts, etc). I'm assuming that you have at least one of the above, and therefore that's why you are considering the hyst. If you have no problems at all, then you may want to get a second opinion on the need for the hyst. If you do have some problems, then maybe the hyst is the best option for you.
I have to agree with fussybird and stingray in their posts above ... I had great results from my TAH. I never knew I could feel as good as I do now. I think that sometimes we think we just have to accept the pain/discomfort. For me, looking back, I can't believe I put up with what I did for so long. You too may be surprised afterwards --- how good you feel and how you didn't believe it could be so good.
I don't regret my hyst - at all. It was the best thing I ever did for myself. But, since you wanted to hear the BAD things, here's what I could think of:
-- The first week post-op is rough (but not unbearable). Can't do what you would normally do for sure. Gets pretty boring laying around too.
-- Can't sleep on your tummy for about a month. That was tough for me. I did have some problems sleeping because I couldn't get comfortable.
-- Will get tired easily for the first month or so. I went on a family vacation 5 weeks post-op and had to take a short nap nearly every day.
-- Can't wear "normal" clothes for a couple weeks (suggest drawstring knit pants/shorts) - zippers rub the incision.
Since you are keeping your ovaries (I kept one too), you should have no worry of hormone issues. That's fortunate, since that is one of the biggest side effects to adjust to.
My doctor is recommending the hysterectomy because of long periods and an enlarged uterus. They are 14 days long and it is driving me crazy. It is horrible to spend half of your life bleeding. I am also anemic because of it. I'm tired all the time. All tests have come back normal, but doctor believes it may be adenomiosis. We won't know for sure until pathology comes back after the hysterectomy. Nothing has working to stop the bleeding. I haven't had a d & c or an ablation, but she says those are only temporary fixes anyway. I would have to have them done multiple times and would probably still end up with a hysterectomy. I don't want to just delay the inevitable. I mean that I don't want to have multiple surgeries unless it can fix it for good.
Thanks to everyone for your sincerity. I sort of know what the recovery will be like as I have had c-sections and my gallbladder removed. I know the pain of abdominal surgery. I just need to know what else to expect. I don't want to have to take HRT since I'm not having my ovaries removed. No endometriosis, so I should be able to keep them. I also have a horrible time with hormones as they make me severly nauseated.
You are certainly wise to search out as much information as possible. I am about 12 days post-op (TAH) and am feeling great! My only problem so far is I cannot sleep at night! I don't know if it's because I'm still sore, or what. It's driving me crazy! I hear another Hyster-Sister post the same concern recently. Other than that, I really do feel great. I'm hoping this continues. Everyone I know who has had a hysterectomy feels great and I have never heard of anyone regretting it. If you are in pain, think how wonderful it will be to be pain-free!
I put off having a hysterectomy for 2 years because I was scared. There was a time when all I hoped for was someone to tell me that I needed a hysterectomy, then they did and then I wasn't so sure that's what I wanted anymore.
I was worried about being worse off afterwards, no sex drive, etc. But I finally went ahead and did it and have been so happy. I had terrible periods and got to a point where I couldn't leave the house w/out a change of clothes.
The only thing I can say is take it easy afterwards and really take the WHOLE 6 weeks. I did, the house wasn't cleaned as much as I would of liked and there were other things not done, but it's only 6 weeks of your life and after that--for me anyway--things are pretty much back to normal and I can do things just like I did before.
Taking it easy is so important. My sister-in-law didn't. She didn't lift anything but thought pushing or pulling something wouldn't matter and did a lot of damage. She had to have a 2nd surgery and has had susequent surgeries for chronic pain left from that.
There are other things that can happen, as mentioned in other posts, but I think for the most part the risks are pretty low if you take it easy and recover like they suggest.
I had a bladder tuck (Burch procedure) done as well and have had no problems whatsoever with bowel or bladder function. I have not talked to anyone yet that has been unhappy having a hysterectomy done. Everyone I have talked to (outside of this site) has had no problems as well.
One last thing about alternatives. Most poeple I have heard from that had alternatives done (heat abliation, D & C, etc) have inevitably had to have a hysterectomy anyway. My mother-in-law had the heat abilation done about 10 years ago and it worked great as far as stopping her bleeding, but still was in so much pain, that at the age of 60 and already into menopause, had to have a hysterectomy anyway because she was in so much pain. So even though the alternative stopped her bleeding, it wasn't a permanent solution.
Have faith, follow your heart and you will be fine with whatever you decide.
It's great that you are asking about problems resulting from surgery, cause they do happen.
I hate to scare anyone, but it is in your best interests to know what can happen. Reading on the post op board is one way to learn some of the complications. There is also a forum called "the Road" which is where ladies who have long term complications post.
Again, I don't want anyone to read those boards and get scared, if anything, learn and then talk to your DR about any questions you may have. And remember that quite often the majority of ladies who don't have any post op problems don't post as often as those who do have problems.
As with any surgery there can be complications. It is rare, but as you can see it does happen. I didn't have any problems except it hurt occassionally when I had sex. When the dr examined me she couldn't feel anything, but suggested an ultrasound. They found a questionable cyst. I didn't have to decide to have the hyster before my surgery. But I figured why not, I don't want to do this again. I already was a hormonal mess. Taking prozak for severe PMS that controlled my life. So the hormone thing didn't bother me. When my dr started going over all the things that could go wrong I didn't listen--because I really didn't have a choice. They had to do the surgery. I just decided to have them remove everything while there were there. As it turns out it was a good decision because they would have had to have done it anyway. It seems our insides are usually much worse than what the tests can actually show. Unless they have done a lap an visually seen your insides they have no idea what is going on. I'm amazed that in this day and age of medicine they have to actually go in to see the adhesions, growth, etc, etc. My dr said I was a mess, but luckly a benign mess. I wanted to know everything I could about my surgery. But I didn't care to know about complications===that is life. Those things happen, worrying about it was not going to help me. If you are experienceing periods that are lasting 14 days and making you anemic and your doctor is suggesting you do this you probably should. Of course this is my opinion and I can be very opinionated at times.
I'm one of the lucky ones that seems to have found the HRT balance easily. But then I did say I was a hormonal mess before, so maybe it was just easier for me.
Sorry for yakking so long. Thanks to Stingray for the wonderful cheerful post.