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Surgery scheduled for Nov 7 Surgery scheduled for Nov 7

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Unread 10-26-2011, 05:36 PM
Surgery scheduled for Nov 7

Let me give a little background first. I am 52, my maternal grandmother passed away from ovarian cancer when she was just 51.

I had an Laparoscopic Supracervical Hysterectomy - LSH (removal of left ovary and tube) in Nov 2003 due to a tumor on my ovary. From the date they found the tumor until the surgery less than 2 months later, the tumor had more than doubled in size. My dr had started out laprascopically, but had to do a large incision when he found how big the tumor had gotten, so I was cut from hip to hip basically. They biopsied the tumor and it was benign.
After the surgery my rt ovary took over and did the job of both because my periods never slowed or stopped at all. The dr was a bit surprised that I was still as regular as clockwork. Plus I ovulated regularly also.

Fast forward to last yr. I started having unusually heavy periods with a lot of clotting. I had to wear 2 overnight pads all the time and then I would have to change those at least every hour. Passed a lot of clots that were quarter to silver dollar size, sometimes larger. I had a couple of polyps on my cervix (one being very large and extending a ways up into my uterus) plus several small polyps in my uterus. My Gyn removed the polyps on my cervix and then did a D&C and the Novasure procedure in Feb.
I bled for several weeks, tapering off gradually. Then it was a waiting game to see if the ablation worked. Within 2 months I was having periods again. Each month my period would get a little heavier and last longer until my last one (which was in Sept) when I started passing some clots again, not as big as before, but I also needed to wear 2 pads again and I still leaked during the night while I was sleeping. Between the period and the spotting before and after it, it lasted 10 days. I have also been having some trouble with spotting when I have a bowel movement, plus I seem to be more constipated since the ablation.

Dr did a CA125 and as far as I know it came back normal, because no one called me. My dr also scheduled an ultrasound which came back normal.

My GYN (who is out because she just delivered her baby) will not be doing my hysterectomy because she is out of the office until the end of Nov. The GYN who is doing my surgery is the GYN who did my surgery in 2003. My new GYN works in his new office. She became my GYN because the OB/GYN who did my surgery in 2003 has had his practice grow so much he has added 2 OB/GYN's to his staff. I love both my GYN and the GYN who will be doing my surgery. The GYN's in his practice don't normally remove your ovaries unless there is a need to because they want you to go through natural menopause. So when I went to my GYN to discuss the bleeding after the ablation, last month she said my next step would be to have a partial hysterectomy done...leaving the rt ovary and cervix. She first suggested trying BC pills, but I have tried BC pills a few times over the years and every time I go on them I get sick. I feel miserable, get bloated horribly and my abdoment just hurts, plus I just feel like crap overall and they had never stopped my periods, no matter what dosage they gave me. I tried several. So going back on BC pills is not an option.

I had my pre-op EKG and chest xray last week and the consult with my PCP a couple days ago. My PCP dr is asking why isn't the GYN doing a total hysterectomy given my history and because I am 52 and have been going through perimenopause for at least 5 + yrs now with the memory loss, hot flashes, night leaving his office left me with that many more questions. I do NOT want to go through another surgery in a couple more yrs or so. I am not terribly fond of the idea of going on HRT either, and am wondering if I would even need it with all the menopausal symptoms I have had for years.
I see my GYN who is doing the surgery next week and after talking with my PCP dr I have even more questions. I have read the Pre-Op information here on Hyster-sisters and that just gave me even more questions, still. I will admit I am worried about leaving the rt ovary in tact because of my history. What about leaving the cervix and taking the ovary and tube? Is that an option?

I have a list of questions for my GYN next week, but I need to talk to some ladies who have been through this and can give me some answers/support...anything!
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Unread 10-30-2011, 12:21 PM
Re: Surgery scheduled for Nov 7

I'm glad you joined us! There's plenty of information on this site to help you with your concerns and can also help you with questions to ask your doctor(s). Plus you can get support from women who can share from experience.

If "just" your left ovary and left fallopian tube were removed in your previous surgery, your surgery wasn't a LSH but instead was LSO (Left Salpingo-Oophorectomy--removal of the left ovary and fallopian tube). The LSH removes the uterus only, leaving the cervix in place. A total hysterectomy, by definition, is removal of the uterus and cervix and doesn't involve removing one or both ovaries. I know the medical terms can be confusing and a good explanation of them can be found here: Abbreviations. I hope that helps!

Definitely discuss all of your concerns with your doctor. You might be surprised to know that women who have gone through natural menopause can experience menopause symptoms when the ovaries are removed. That's because even after menopause, the ovaries produce beneficial hormones--just in lesser amounts than prior to menopause. If your remaining ovary is healthy and there's no sound medical reason to remove it, consider keeping it just as you would keep any healthy body part. If you are opposed to using hormone therapy (which isn't the same as using birth control pills), discuss options with your doctor to control any symptoms you may experience if your remaining ovary is removed.

Best wishes to you!

Unread 10-31-2011, 12:09 AM
Re: Surgery scheduled for Nov 7

Thanks for the info April Dawn!! Yes, I am getting a lot of questions to ask my dr, that I never would have thought of asking, from the site and learning from what some of the other ladies have or are going to ask. This site is so helpful in so many ways!!
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Unread 10-31-2011, 12:58 AM
Re: Surgery scheduled for Nov 7

Hi julie59. I will just tell you my personal experience. My history is similar to yours, and I cannot tell you whether I have done the right thing or not, but I do have piece of mind.
I have had a history over the last 6 years of going through menopause with symptoms relating to heavy periods etc. These seem to mostly have been driven through ovarian cysts. Four years ago, I had a diagnosis of simple endometrial hyperplasia, seemed to then go through menopause and recently had some bleeding which turned out to be complex endometrial hyperplasia with significant nuclear atypia. My gyno recommended hysterectomy as there is a high chance of endometrial cancer occuring if you have had this second type of hyperplasia.
My mother had a history in her 70's of having an ovarian cyst and right ovary removed. This was not cancer. 18 months later, however, she developed ovarian cancer with all the major surgery and chemo required to treat it.
I had both my ovaries removed at my hysterectomy and now feel that I have piece of mind. The hysterectomy is large enough surgery not to feel like going through it or any other surgery again. As I am only 7 days post-op, I cannot tell you what menopausal symptoms I will have, but so far, they are no worse than before the surgery. I know that they say ovaries continue to work to some extent even past menopause, but I was not prepared to take the risk. At this stage, I am not considering HRT.
I'm not sure whether my comments will help or hinder you in making the decision, and I wish you all the best.
Unread 10-31-2011, 11:52 AM
Re: Surgery scheduled for Nov 7

zany56, your comments did help some. Ever since the surgery to remove my left ovary and tube along with the benign tumor I have worried about the other ovary. Ok so I got more than 6 yrs use out of it now and with all the perimenopause symptoms I have had for the last few yrs, I sometimes wonder if it could be worse. Of course I know they could be, but I also know if I needed it at that time with the other ovary gone also I could get on some HRT. The worry about having something go wrong with the other ovary, every time I start to have pains on the right side, is worth getting rid of in my opinion. Hopefully the dr will agree with me. Thank you for sharing your story with me! Best of wishes on a speedy recovery for you!! ((hug))

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