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LOTS of questions LOTS of questions

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Unread 04-17-2002, 07:58 AM
LOTS of questions

Hi.. I posted this on the "alternatives board" also.

I'm Anna, and I'm 33 years old. I have very heavy, irregular periods, lots of breakthrough bleeding, and a lot of monthly misery. I had my tubes tied 8 years ago, so childbearing is not an issue for me. I'm also overweight (260 lbs if that makes a difference).

My doctor told me the only options he could see to get rid of my menorrhagia (heavy periods to the point of hemorrhage, but no endometriosis) was to either put me on the Pill, or a hysterectomy.

The Pill is not really an option for me. It causes even more weight gain for me, and it honestly doesn't really alleviate the symptoms - I've taken them before.

I don't know if my doctor would do a vaginal hysterectomy or do the abdominal procedure. Either way, I was told that recovery time is about six weeks. Of course, I wouldn't even be allowed to drive for the first two weeks.

Having the hysterectomy doesn't really bother me that much - since my uterus is "unemployed" anyway, it's not like I need it. I'm not wanting to have more kids. I would LOVE to not have to buy tampons every month and worry about my period showing up a week early or all the other issues I deal with.

I need to know...

What kind of recovery can I expect?
What should I ask the doctor??
What should I insist on??
Will keeping my ovaries guarantee that I won't get menopause symptoms?
How long before I can resume normal activities, like working?
What kind of sexual changes will there be?

Is there anything else I should know??

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Unread 04-17-2002, 08:17 AM
LOTS of questions

Hi Anna! Welcome to Hyster Sisters!

I hope you find the information to your questions here. Have you had a second opinion from a different doctor? Here's my answers, I tried to answer them as best as I could!

What kind of recovery can I expect?

It depends totally on the person and the surgery. I had an easy recovery as I heal very quickly. Something I found out! I had a TAH which is more difficult to recover from than a TVH from what I have been told.

What should I ask the doctor?? What should I insist on??

I would make sure to read the pull-down menu's on the main page. You can get there by clicking on the 3 princesses on the uppper left corner of this page. There are lists of things to ask and you can always use the search feature on this site as well. Helped me find out what I should ask!

Will keeping my ovaries guarantee that I won't get menopause symptoms?

This I cannot answer as I'm not a doctor and I cannot see into the future. I kept my ovaries as I am in my 30's and it was the right choice for my situation.

How long before I can resume normal activities, like working? Each doctor gives their own list of "no-no's" I would definitely bring this up at the pre-op appt. as you will have to know ahead of time. Usually 6-12 weeks seems to be the window, varying with people and doctors.

What kind of sexual changes will there be?

So far, I haven't noticed anything, except for no PAIN!

Unread 04-17-2002, 08:36 AM
Hi Anna

I too just wanted to add a big welcome

You had some great questions and Gadget Girl has given you lot's of good answers.

One thing you will notice as you read through the different posts on the forums is that we are all different. Gee, I guess if we were all alike we wouldn't need Hystersisters and we would miss out on meeting each other. So let's be glad we are different.

So please keep reading and posting your questions. All of the varied experiences women have shared helped me to understand what I might experience and to feel more prepared.

It is true that some women feel better, faster with the TVH instead of the TAH. However, it is still major surgery with lot's of internal stitches. So you do need to plan on about a 6-8 week recovery. It is a time for healing and being pampered.

And yes, at your age especially, we would want to encourage you to keep your healthy ovaries. There are no guarantee's but the chances are very good that your ovaries will produce hormones for you for many years to come.

And you may want to seek a 2nd or 3rd opinion to determine if other options might be available for you.

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Unread 04-17-2002, 01:09 PM
LOTS of questions

There is no guarrantee that your ovaries will continue to work. Since you are young, it would obviously be nice to keep them IF they continue to work. Up until last week, I had not talked to a single person who's ovaries lasted longer than a year after their hysterectomy. So I made the statement on this website to see if there was anyone out there that lasted longer. I did get one response that a women and her mom had both had the surgery and their ovaries continued working until their natural menopause ( I think it was 10 years or more)

Another thing to keep in mind is your family history. I had ovarian/uterine/breast cancer in my family history, AND I was 44, so I told them to take them. As it turned out, even though it appeared on my ultrasound that I had one "good" ovary, it was atrophied when my surgeon got in there and I would have gone through menopause within months anyway.

As for recovery, 6 weeks is about right, but for most of that time you will feel pretty good, but tired. I went back to work part time after 2 and 1/2 weeks, but I had to. I wouldn't recommend it. It was very exhausting and uncomfortable. Sex is different, but not any worse or any better, just different.

I resumed normal activities at 6 weeks and began exercising at about 12-14 weeks. I'm 6 months out now and am sooo glad I had it done. Best thing I ever did for myself - (up until the 20 pounds I've lost since!)
Unread 04-17-2002, 03:22 PM
Hi Anna


Sara answered all your questions very well. I would like to say that I am also a women of size and I had no problems with my surgery or recovery.

As far as your ovaries, I am 47 and I had them both removed. I am on Climara and I have had no problems so far with my hormones.

Good luck


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