i had a lavh radical hysterectomy (removal of uterus, ovaries and cervix) on september 23rd, 2007. i'm surprised by the degree of satisfaction and discomfort other women have described. i'm 57 and can honestly say that it was not a horrific experience. immediately following surgery i was in pain ("9" on the pain scale), but after the first 24 hours it was not bad. i did have a catheter for about 12 hours after the procedure and was informed by my doctor that i did not need any repair of my bladdar during surgery. immediately following my surgery i was given morphine (at my request). i recieved an additional dose and a pain pill during the first night in the hospital. i was discharged the following morning and did not require anything more than extra strenghth tylenol for the next three days. for me the worst part was lying around and being inactive for weeks. i was not prepared for that part of the recovery. for six weeks it is a very slow process. after six weeks i slowly began to resume my normal routine. after eight weeks i resumed my exercise in the form of walking 1 1/2 miles 5x a week. i had my first check up a week after surgery. i was very nervous for fear that it would be painful. it was not at all. i started estrogen gel about a week after surgery as well as low dose testosterone cream. i'm am very happy with the way i feel. no more hot flashes and i just feel good! perhaps my experience was not awful for the following reasons: i had total confidence in my doctor, i exercised and got into good shape before my surgery, i ate a very high fiber diet prior to surgery and drank lots of water and ate very light the day before my surgery.
I am eight weeks out and though I have had "issues" my experience has not been horrific. The pain was never horrific. I have had bladder issues, sleeping (lack of) issues, still have a pain on the right side where they took my one ovary, however, it is certainly NOTHING compared to what I went through every single month. I still get some swelly belly when I overdo. These are all things I expected. The only thing I didn't really expect was the exhaustion and I wasn't prepared for bladder spasms even though I read about them, I guess I just didn't figure they would happen to me. They have stopped, now, though. I am walking two miles five times a week now. Working full time. The end of the week I am exhausted, but never have I regretted my decision. I am glad its over and ready for the rest of my life! Good luck to all of you who may be going through different issues. Some will go away with patience and some you need to talk to your doctor about. I called my doctor's office a few times, but for the most part, this has not been a big deal.
I had very little pain post op and was only taking anti inflammatories and ibuprofen by the time I got home from the hospital.
The only set back in my recovery was my return to work. I really hadn't expected the exhaustion, brain fade, and lack of concentration and I went back part time.
Today, 5 months post op, I am starting to feel like me again and can do my job to my usual standard at last. But I still need at least 8 hours sleep during the week, 9-10 at weekends and a 2 hour nap on Sunday.
I won't lie and say surgical menopause is a breeze because we are still trying to find the right HRT for me but I am so much better than I was post op and I do not regret my surgery for a second.