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Due for op. on Aug.19/2008. I read that you can lose feeling in your nipples and clitoris and even vagina if certain nerves are damaged while extracting the uterus/cervix. God, what else am I in for?? I know it's different for everybody, but it would be nice to know some hard facts, and forget about the horror stories. I know there is potential for the bladder to get nicked and (even worse) the bowels, but what of all the other stuff that women talk about on the internet about libido etc.?? I don't want to have to go back in there for more. There are too many questions and not enough answers.
My suggestion is to, very simply, expect the best from your surgery.
I know, it's much easier said than done. Yet just by how your post is phrased, you're aware that each experience is an individual one, fraught with potential problems.
I had a TAH in November of 2006 due to a large fibroid and massive bleeding. My abdominal surgery was totally successful, my recovery was not as slow as I had expected, my pain level was FAR lower than I imagined, and now my health is great and my sex life, too.
Pray for the best. Don't take up space in your brain to wonder "what if?"
However, be sure you have done your research, have a good rapport with your doctor, and know who will be supporting you after your surgery.
God bless you, the waiting is the HARDEST PART !!!
Happy Fourth of July, everyone. Blessings to all who fight to keep us free.
You should make a comprehensive list of questions to ask your surgeon. During one of your pre-op visits your surgeon should go over all possible scenarios in order for you to give informed consent for the operation. This is a good time to bring up any concerns you might have. DH and I asked our surgeon (love her!) questions for about 30 minutes and felt much better afterward.
All surgery carries some risk of complication. I decided, for me, that the benefits of surgery outweighed the risks. I thought my quality of life would most likely be better after surgery. So far, everything is working like it should and my recovery is progressing well.
Hi, (((sister))). You have asked some very good questions here.
Most hysterectomy patients do very well after surgery. However, there is a group of women who do suffer either short-term or long-term complications after surgery. Unfortunately, there's no way to predict whether or not you'll be in this group. And I don't care how you paint it -- I promise you that it won't make one bit of difference to you that "most" don't have problems if you end up being one of the (((sisters))) who does.
No one here can promise you that you'll be fine, or that waiting is the hardest part, or that you'll be so happy you did this. I wish we could, but we can't. We have at least two forums (The Road Less Traveled and Sexual Dysfunction) where (((sisters))) share about their long-term difficulties after this surgery -- and many of them had as positive of an attitude as anyone before their operations.
I say this because I happen to be one of the ones who has not had a rosy post-op experience. I had a hematoma which wasn't diagnosed for several months after my operation and which led to a second surgery. Added to this is the fact that my once-healthy libido has reduced remarkably, along with changes in my sexual response as well.... and it isn't all happiness, I'll tell you that. I even retained my ovaries and I know I'm not in menopause yet.
Now, here's the important part: Even though I am not "great", I do not regret my surgery. I say this because I still believe that my hysterectomy was needed for my overall health. I'm more than my sex drive. Not that it isn't important, but if I had it to do over again, I'd still have the surgery because I'm less uncomfortable now than I was before.
I think if you're not at least 99% sure that this is the best thing for your overall health, having this surgery is simply not for you at this time. And it will definitely make it more difficult to deal with complications which come down the road. If you have done your research, and you believe this is the best thing for you, then you can have the surgery and be willing to face what comes later.
Chances are, you'll have a good outcome. But we'll be here for you no matter what happens.
i havent noticed any change with any of the things you mentioned. i was one of the lucky ones who had no complications. as for the bladder or bowel being nicked..that is a risk we all take with any abdominal surgery and it has to be mentioned as a possibility. it doesnt happen a lot but it happens. i dont notice any change in my libido at all...i kept my ovaries and they seem to be working fine. if you are having them removed, you should speak to your dr in depth about your concerns and come up with a plan for hormone replacement before your surgery. doing lots of research and being prepared is the most important thing before facing major surgery. dont go into it hoping none of that will happen to you...be prepared that it could happen and as long as you are comfortable with your decision to have the surgery, you can deal with any problems you have one at a time. if you are the least bit unsure, the best thing to do is postpone until you are positive you are ready.
I am one of the ladies that worries about "what if". It can be really stressing and intimidating.
So...what to do.
First, is the relief the surgery would provide more important then the possible consequences? If there are some consequence that don't even out, what are the chances of that occurring?
Then get informed. I wrote down every concern. As you research you likely will find more to worry about. Write those also. Then I found information on every possible senerio. Ask sisters who went through it. Ask you doctor, use books, internet, etc...
Some worries I could forget about once I had good information. other I could not. Your concerns will vary depending on what is important for you. Then i evaluated.
Is it still worth it?
For me having the info for "worst case senerio" allowed me to proceed. I choose to hope for the best, trust my surgeon, doctors, and myself. But i went in armed for "what if..."
The reduced stress of knowledge, I also believe allowed me to relax, and heal better. I felt better, that if anything went wrong, i would know to recognize it, and how to deal with it.
Concerns involving sex, I also consulted my spouse. It matters to him in addition to me. Knowing his take on it also reduced my stress level. Sex is important to use. But it is not what defines us. Would we still make it as a couple without sex? For us, the answer is yes. I don't know how the hyster has affected my sex drive, i am only a few days out. But i think knowing what I do, will allow me to relax, and accept whatever comes. Sometimes just being able to relax can allow a better result then the stress and worry.
So if you are like me, and knowledge of "what if" is vital. get armed with as much knowledge as you can. Then allow it to guide you, and know you are well prepared.