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Post Op Hemorrhage, Confused and Terrified Post Op Hemorrhage, Confused and Terrified

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Unread 12-27-2005, 02:12 PM
Post Op Hemorrhage, Confused and Terrified


I'm new here and wish I had known about this site sooner. I am 27 years old and about 1-1/2 weeks out from a laparoscopic assisted vaginal hysterectomy. I have felt really good since about the 3rd post-surgical day. I never even had to fill the pain medicine prescription they sent me home with. Other than the gas pain and the other discomfort you expect in the first few days after a major surgery, I was ready to become the poster child for the LAVH procedure!

Then, the night before last (Christmas day evening) I woke up in the middle of the night to find myself drenched in fresh blood. I had absolutely no pain and had not been doing anything, just sleeping. My husband helped me to the bathroom and the blood just kept pouring like a faucet and I could feel a pumping sensation inside as it poured out. We called 911 right away and by the time the ambulance arrived, I was barely conscious. It was so scary - I really thought I might die. But after having my lower half elevated in the ambulance and once at the hospital the bleeding had slowed significantly and I had come around - I don't really think they understood how much I had bled. Also, it was Christmas and the staff was very thin and unprepared (my husband called my own doctor who was on vacation and his answering service was useless), and I was very uncomfortable with the whole situation. They concluded it was probably "just a stitch that had dissolved exposing part of a small artery or something." They put an extra stitch in my vaginal cuff (cervix was removed, too) and cauterized a few small places though the doctor didn't seem able to see a suspicious area that would have caused that much bleeding. Just a random occurrence that was very unlikely to happen again, they said. My house looked like a crime scene: mattress stained beyond repair, area rugs ruined, my husband's bloody handprints on the phone and light switches, completely saturated sweatpants and towels, blood spattered throughout the bathroom.... and it was apparently "just a dissolving stitch"! (I have an appointment with my own doctor on Thursday, so hopefully, he can shed some more light on this.)

I was really very happy about the outcome of my hysterectomy, other than the range of emotions that goes with such a permanent change to your female anatomy, ability to have kids, etc. But I don't know how I feel about the surgery now. I have felt pretty good and have had no pain since going home from the emergency room… I have just have been very exhausted and thirsty and sometimes lightheaded when I stand up. I'm terrified of another bleeding episode like that. Especially scared because there was absolutely no warning, no pain, and it came out of the blue 10 days after surgery when I thought I was well on the road to recovery. I asked my husband to wake me up periodically throughout the night last night because I was so afraid it would happen again and I wouldn't wake up this time. I’m also scared I caused it all by being active because I felt so good, though the emergency room doctor said if it was caused by “overdoing it”, it would have happened in the midst of something, not while I was motionless in my sleep. I am trying to be careful… I certainly haven’t been moving furniture or exercising or anything glaringly inappropriate… but at the same time, I just can’t stop the entire world around me. I have 10-month old twins and a 3 year old – 3 very active boys – and though my husband is taking on the bulk of the load whenever he can, I have to do some things for them. My poor husband… he’s been such a trooper.

I don’t know how I feel about the surgery anymore. And I guess I am wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience and maybe I am hoping that you’ll tell me that it happened one time and never again. Or maybe I’m looking for some more insight into what might’ve happened – how this could have happened so suddenly, without warning, in my sleep. If nothing else, thanks for listening!

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Unread 12-27-2005, 02:22 PM
Post Op Hemorrhage, Confused and Terrified

Oh Mindy! I'm soooo glad you got help! Is there anyone else that can help you with the boys for a bit? I would keep resting, but that sounds like a very odd thing for sure. It's so hard to get ahold of the dr at holiday time too. Take it easy till you can see him.
Unread 12-27-2005, 04:10 PM
Post Op Hemorrhage, Confused and Terrified

I'm so glad you're okay. My first thought was perhaps a hematoma that had been building and the pressure broke through a loose stitch and flooded.

I had a seroma 4 weeks after surgery but didn't know it. I pulled on the top of the incision scab a little because it didn't seem to be healing as well and this clear fluid gushed out all over me and all over the place.

I would definitely see your doctor as soon as possible, and talk to him about the possibility of anemia - you may need to take some iron to help build you back up.

Keep us posted.
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Unread 12-27-2005, 05:20 PM
Post Op Hemorrhage, Confused and Terrified


That sounds really really scary! I am so glad they rushed you to the hospital in time. I cannot imagine how frightening that must be. I'm hoping your doc has some answers that will help it all make sense and take some of the anxiety out of the future for you. I also hope someone can help with the kids so you can continue to heal.
Unread 12-27-2005, 05:59 PM
Post Op Hemorrhage, Confused and Terrified

I know that was a terrifying experience for you and your husband. I had hemorrhage 20 hrs after my TAH but didn't realize it because I had an epidural in use for post-op pain control. I had no pain at all. The only signs that was noted was a decrease in BP, no urine output, and an increase in heart rate. I was sent to CT scan with contrast which relevealed a arterial bleeder in my abdomen. SO back to surgery I went. I had to get 10 units of various blood products following the second surgery and a day in ICU. By the time I went home I was still anemic. I would get tired out, dizzy, and lightheaded just walking from my bedroom to the den or kitchen (about 10-15 steps). It took at least 1 month before I could do any walking without feeling the side effects of the anemia.
Drink plenty of fluid and keep your activity to a minimium. I know that will be difficult with 3 small children but you don't want to risk another bleeder. Did the ER doctor to a CT scan to see where the bleeding was coming from ???
Best wishes that the rest of your recovery is uneventful.
Unread 12-27-2005, 07:57 PM
Post Op Hemorrhage, Confused and Terrified

Thanks so much for your thoughts and kind wishes! It has given me several ideas as to what I need to be sure and ask/convey to my doctor.

They didn't do a CT scan. They didn't even really ask me much. For example, Homesick Gypsy's post above made me realize that they never asked/I never thought to mention that I'd felt something like pressure on my bowel earlier throughout the day preceding my disasterous evening. It didn't hurt so it didn't seem like a big deal, but I remember noticing it. Perhaps it has nothing to do with what happened, but I guess the point is nobody would know if it did or didn't, because they never asked. I will be sure to mention it to my doctor, though, and let him decide if it is an important piece of info or not...


Unread 12-27-2005, 09:27 PM
Post Op Hemorrhage, Confused and Terrified

I had a hemotoma (or something like that ~ maybe a cyst on my ovary that had dropped right above my vaginal cuff) rupture at about seven weeks. At about three weeks I had started feeling something on my right side and it gradually got worse until it was a constant throbbing pain. One night (of course when my DH was traveling) I got up and went to the bathroom and afterwards it felt like something popped and the pain was dissipating and then fresh blood and then clear fluid was running down my legs. It scared the crap outta me. It was not anything like what you went through, but I went to my doctor the next day and she examined me and said my cuff looked good but said she felt something right behind my cuff (which was where I had felt the pain and pressure). I had a sonogram that showed the cyst (or hymotoma) on my now bruised and "angry" right ovary ~ and the doctor that did the sonogram went on to add that he saw a lot of these. I was surprised that fluid could escape through my cuff, but at the time I still had a few stitches. The doctor said that it was actually good that my body took "matters into its own hands" and the thing had burst and released the fluid. He went on to add that it should take about a month for my body to absorb the rest of the fluid. He said that I did not cause it and I should keep doing everything I had been doing and if something I was doing caused me pain... well I should stop doing it. I though "Gee Thanks... I would have guessed that" but it did give me reassurance, and I was glad that I didn't have any more problems.

Good luck Mindy, and PLEASE keep us posted on what your doctor says OK?
Unread 12-28-2005, 07:10 AM
Post Op Hemorrhage, Confused and Terrified

Hi Mindy:

When I was 2-1/2 weeks post-op, I was very tired & sick, a big step backwards in my healing. I went to the local clinic, and they did an xray for bowel blockage, and checked if my liver was functioning ok. They also pumped me full of fluids. Eventually, they sent me home.

The symptoms continued for 3 more days. but I was reluctant to return to the doc to be sent home with a pat on the head. Then, I had the blood gush (not as drastic as yours tho). I spoke to a nurse via phone who said "I would not be sending you to ER if it was not an emergency." At ER, a CT scan showed a hematoma the size of a tennis ball. I was admitted, hooked to lots of antibiotics, and had a quick vaginal surgery the next morning to snip a couple of stitches in the vaginal cuff. The cuff was then left open to drain and heal on its own.

PLEASE stay in touch with your doc, and report any change in your symptoms. I hope you are back on the road to recovery soon. I am sending huge cyberhugs
Unread 12-28-2005, 07:56 AM
Post Op Hemorrhage, Confused and Terrified

Mindy, you poor thing--that must have been so terrifying!! Good luck with your doctor's appt. tomorrow. He definitely needs to give you some answers as to why this happened, plus reassurance that it won't happen again! I expect he will also give you a test for anemia since you lost so much blood. Let us know what he says.

Best wishes that the rest of your recovery will be peaceful with no more unpleasant, scary surprises!
Unread 12-28-2005, 08:08 AM
Post Op Hemorrhage, Confused and Terrified

I was so afraid of something like that happening! WOW! My worst bleed was from a period, but it landed me in the ER for a transfusion and emergency D&C so I can imagine a little how scared you were. I felt like crap for months after my bleeding episode, and the ER nurse who attended to me said it would take a long time to recover. Granted I went on Lupron to prevent it from happening again until I could have the hyst, so that didn't help, but it was a good 4 months before I stopped being absolutely exhausted all the time (of course I was working and pushing through it all at the time)...just in time for surgery! LOL.

Take it easy, definately talk to your doc about an iron supplement.

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