: This is my first posting on Hyster Sisters and for me, I thought was the most appropriate forum to share my story in the hope that it might help others.
On March 27th, I had LSH and my doctor told me I would be back at full strength one week later and I was! Never would I have guessed this after frankly knowing too much about the “dark side” of hysterectomies while also wanting to be fully informed on any potential surgery and options I might be considering.
My story starts twenty years ago when I learned I had a fibroid that ultimately grew to the size of a softball (8.6 x 7.4 cm subserosal fibroid
; 14-16 week size uterus
). For about ten years, it did not bother me but as I got into my early 40s, the menstrual blood clotting became a nuisance (no anemia) and I discovered the UAE procedure (2002) that stopped the growth but did not result in much of a size reduction. In recent years, I lost about 25 lbs and started to feel the fibroid and wondered if I was a candidate for a laparoscopic procedure given that my previous options were only TAH (no way!). Two years ago, two doctors discouraged me from doing it with the adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. In 2012, I decided the fibroid was a nuisance and consulted these doctors again. LSH would be the option and both doctors agreed. I chose the doctor at my “home hospital” (Top 10 US News & World Report for Obstetrics and Gynecology) and was glad I did.
Overall, the surgery went well. The only challenge for the doctors: dealing with my menopausal, calcified fibroid
and using the morcellator to “slice and dice” it. The fibroid was so hard that it almost broke the morcellator and so they had to use a second morcellator. The decision was also to take my fallopian tubes (to avoid cancer risk), pop a few ovarian cysts and take care of some bowel adhesions. I asked to be kept in the hospital for 23 hour observation (insurance will pay for it) so I could regain my senses and just relax as much as one could in a hospital. I also asked for the Transderm Scōp
(scopolamine) patch before surgery (used for previous knee surgery) to minimize anesthesia-related nausea
that worked like a charm. Lastly, I asked to not be treated with morphine for pain management (hate the dizzy and constipated downside) and got Tordol instead.
Recovery – First week
My “one week recovery” involved some pain at the site/porthole for the morcellator as the doctor predicted. I took 600mg of Ibuprofen
and that was enough to minimize the pain (have a high threshold for pain). Two days after surgery, I was walking into town (15 minutes each way) which helped with the gas side-effect and it felt well even though I was a bit tired. Three days after recovery, I went out to dinner followed by entertaining family two days later. I will admit I was tired at times but no different than from getting a good night’s sleep. Also, I am a high energy level person to begin with!
Post–Op: One week and beyond
Lastly, seven days after surgery, I awoke and felt fully rested and “ready to roll”. I saw my doctor the following week (2 weeks) for post-op appt. and he was delighted but not surprised at my recovery story. I was back at my part-time gardening job a week after surgery and doing my walking. Also, I could have gone back to the gym after two weeks but decided I enjoyed the walking and good weather so much, I decided to stick with that for the time being. Upon return to the gym (4 weeks), I picked up with my elliptical regimen and weights like I had not skipped a beat (felt lighter). I should also add that there have been improvements
regarding urination, bowel movements and better sex (no more tipped uterus to deal with). Also, the “stomach bulge” (14-16 week size uterus) is gone!!!!
Aside from the improved quality of life I am already experiencing, I am grateful for the wonderful care and expertise I have had from my doctors, nurses and other staff involved with my LSH procedure. I should add that I was in very good physical condition that really helped with the surgery itself, my recovery and also my mindset was in the right place.
Following are some tips that may be helpful:
• Find the best hospital in your area that will accept your insurance. Do not settle because the local hospital is more convenient if there is a better option!!
• Get two opinions -- very helpful
• Ask for 23 hour observation --day surgery and going home for this procedure is a ridiculous notion!? Be good to yourself!
• Understand your pain threshold and try to minimize the drugs if possible
• Ask for Transderm Scōp (scopolamine) patch to avoid anesthesia-related nausea
• After procedure, be sure you have access to doctor and staff to ask questions for reality check. Also, the staff likes to hear how you are doing
• Get your operative report – helpful to have and fascinating to read and learn more about what was done
Good Luck to all considering a hysterectomy! There is a lot to consider and there are moments of overwhelming anxiety but like most that have had the procedure have said, they are glad they did. Count me as another who agrees and glad that it is behind me!