8 weeks post op Davini LAVH
I never had many problems prior to about 2 yrs before my decision to have my hysterectomy...normal periods, no PMS. I am 55, very fit and hadn't gone thru menopause. The past 2 yrs I had been having some changes in my period, skipping some months (normal, I would think) then sometimes spotting for weeks on end, then heavy bleeding (which was awful when it happened). My gynecologist put me on a hormone to stop the bleeding the 1st time I talked to her, but since I get migraines, it made them worse and I had to discontinue...eventually the bleeding started up again. I had an ultrasound which showed very small fibroids and also a uterine biopsy which was negative. She mentioned having a hysterectomy but I put that WAY in the back of my mind at this point.
The spotting and odd bleeding continued and eventually I had to go back and talk to my gyn. again and she did recommend the hysterectomy again, esp. since my mom had uterine cancer at age 67. (She also went thru menopause late, at age 57)
I had another ultrasound and saw the gynecologist she referred me to since she doesn't do laprascopic hyst. He recommended the surgery not so much because of the small fibroids but because my uterus was enlarged, the lining was much thicker than he would like to see it for someone my age, and my family history of cancer. I still wrestled with the decision because when I wasn't bleeding I felt so good...no hot flashes, PMS, nothing. Everyone said "oh, you'll feel so good after" Well, I felt fine before!! I finally decided I had to go ahead because if I got cancer, I would never forgive my bad decision.
My surgeon recommended the Davinci procedure, which I had never heard of. I figured he's the expert and after reading up on it a little it sounded amazing. He also recommended taking everything....uterus, cervix, ovaries and tubes. So, I had it laprascopically assisted but removed vaginally.
The surgery was 3 hours and no complications. I was in absolutely NO pain afterwards, just VERY thirsty and maybe some pressure. I had a catheter in which I didn't really notice. I was nervous about that from reading some posts prior to my surgery. I wasn't hungry at all, but not nauseous either, just THIRSTY! Only had liquids surgery day (but surgery was at 12:30 so didn't get to my room until 5pm).
Didn't sleep much 1st night, but that wasn't from pain, just being in the hospital. Also, for anyone who thinks they have to go to the bathroom with the catheter in...yes, you probably do. I finally called the nurse in the night. Mine just never emptied right and I had to keep standing up for it to empty. I was very glad to have it removed at 6am the next morning. Going on my own was fine...just felt some pressure and it took a little longer than usual to empty my bladder. No pain whatsoever when she took it out either!
Walked in the hospital the 1st night around 10:30 pm and again the next morning. They never made me have a BM, just released me to go home around 11am. So, started taking the colace (stool softener) and hoping to go to the bathroom! That was probably my biggest problem. I NEVER needed any pain medication...I was only uncomfortable from not going to the bathroom and some abdominal pains. Actually my main problem is I get headaches and I did have some of those. Taking my Rx headache medication got rid of them...am hoping they go away since my ovaries are gone and they are hormonal, (I think!)
I started walking the day I got home and by the 2nd day was walking up to a 1/2 hour. Gradually went longer and longer and probably overdid it at about week 1, walking hills at 5000 ft. altitude. I slowed a bit after that. I had no spotting, but after about 1 week started a little discharge off and on which continued intermittently for 4-5 more weeks.
I know with this procedure you feel pretty good quickly, but still shouldn't overdo because you are healing inside. This is very difficult...I felt so good at the beginning, then weeks 2-3 things stayed about the same...not completely normal, dragging a little. Someone told me for each 1/2 hour you are under anesthesia it takes one week to completely clear out...so that means 6 weeks! That made me feel better....because you just don't feel totally normal, concentration not totally there, etc.
So...at 3 weeks...extensive bruising fading
red spotting one day kind of scared me, but went away quickly
Really feeling good at about 3 1/2 weeks
Got in pool at 4 weeks. Energy level almost back to normal.
Post Op exam at 4 weeks. No internal exam. Gave me the go ahead to do ANYTHING except intercourse (8 weeks) I swam that evening with my masters swim team and basically did the work-out just cut slightly back on yardage...felt great. And had already walked an hour that morning! Energy level is about 85%
Not sleeping quite as well at night, waking up to go to the bathroom more and just waking up earlier. I have always had to use an alarm to wake up. Since being off work, waking up between 5:30-6:30...don't get that!!! No problem falling back to sleep in night, tho.
Week 5...back to work. Did first week about 28 hours. Swimming or walking every day for about an hour. Could have gone back to work sooner, but had the time off, so took advantage. Or maybe taking the time made my recovery that much smoother...???
Week 6...feels like NOTHING every happened. At week 6 swam 3000 yards (120 laps) at about 90% of normal...can't believe it! Working full work schedule and feeling like normal. Never thought I'd be feeling this way at 6 weeks.
Gaining back some of the weight I lost after surgery...appetite back to normal. Finally stopping the colace...felt like everytime I stopped it before I had trouble having BM and then would see pink spotting...this would be my main complaint (not bad!!)
Week 7,8...feeling great. Feel 100% I would DEFINATELY recommend the Davinci procedure. It really seems to cut the recovery time. I had virtually no problems at all and am amazed at how quickly and painlessly I recovered. I think being in good shape before helps and then getting back into activity quickly after also helps with getting your energy back.
Also, am not taking HRT. Not recommended since I'm 55. Wake up 'warm' sometimes, but am still waiting to see what happens. So far so good. Never had hot flashes before procedure....now approaching week 9....we will see!!!