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Upcoming hysterectomy 10/21: Preparing for open abdominal surgery Upcoming hysterectomy 10/21: Preparing for open abdominal surgery

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  #1  
Unread 10-07-2021, 03:15 PM
Upcoming hysterectomy 10/21: Preparing for open abdominal surgery

My doctor and I have been tracking and measuring my fibroids for years, but unfortunately 2020 was a doozy and they doubled in size. My MRI results now indicate that everything is too large for a less invasive surgery and due to location they can't do the c-section cut either. I am now with a specialist and feel confident that this is the right procedure for me. But needlessly to say I'm nervous about the pain and healing afterwards. I've read a lot of experiences with the less invasive procedures, but would appreciate hearing some good experiences from those who have had the lateral incision down their abdomen. Thanks all!
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  #2  
Unread 10-07-2021, 05:10 PM
Re: Preparing for open abdominal surgery

Hi there
I had vertical incision along a scar from a myomectomy 10 years ago. This is my experience and we are all different.
For me, the first 4 weeks were rough. I kept up my painkiller regime even when it started to feel a bit better. The worst bit was the stabbing feelings when I was out walking or needing to bend slightly. I was able to move around and I helped prepare meals and cook simple ones.

I was scared at first to get in and out of bed but it was fine and I needn’t have worried. Week 8 was when I realised I was feeling better. I also saw a physio who gave me exercises to help start to loosen me up and start building up my stomach muscles again.

It took until week 9 for me to feel confident to start driving again.

I was signed off work for 3 months because it involves driving, walking around, standing, as well as sitting at a computer.

I am now at 12 weeks today and feel much more like myself. I still have the swelly belly but I also had endometriosis removed so had a lot done that is still healing.

In the scheme of things, it is no time at all. All along, I have just felt a deep sense of relief and that kept me going. I wish you well with your surgery and recovery.
  #3  
Unread 10-07-2021, 05:25 PM
Re: Preparing for open abdominal surgery

My fibroid was very large (it could be felt above my belly button) so it was going to be abdominal. I was lucky that I could have a bikini line cut after taking hormones to shrink it down to a mere 13cm. It’s still a 6 inch incision so will give you my experience in the hope it’s reassuring.

I was dreading the pain afterwards but I’ve been really lucky. I had a spinal block beforehand and woke up without feeling in pain. Hospital gave me opioids for first 48 hours and sent me home with another three days worth. I was able to cut dose in half and move onto OTC drugs within 5 days and came off a schedule for taking them in 10 days so only if I felt achy. It might be that I have just been lucky but did want to reassure that it’s not always as painful as we might fear. The worst bit was the day my bowels woke back up despite the stool softeners.

In terms of healing, I was glued together which stayed on until 6 weeks which made it very easy to keep dry. When the glue came off, it looks more healed that I expected. A pale pink line with just a few gnarly bits under the skin if you feel along it.

I was also scared about mobility. Getting out of bed was a challenge initially and I was really careful in sticking to my restrictions and resting with feet up. But again, I’ve been lucky enough to have a textbook recovery so far (admittedly only 7 weeks out)

Best of luck with yours and do ask if there’s any specific questions
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  #4  
Unread 10-07-2021, 05:54 PM
Re: Preparing for open abdominal surgery

Hi there,
I am 15 days after TAH with a vertical incision. My uterus was 24 cm with many fibroids, the largest 13 cm. My recovery has been going far better than I expected. I stayed 2 nights in the hospital, and the worst parts for me were nausea and terrible gas pain with constipation in those first few days (my care team in the hospital were great about treating this, and at hone I am still working to keep bowels in balance). I took narcotic pain meds in the hospital but have not needed them at home—alternating extra strength Tylenol and Advil has managed my pain just fine, from day 3 onward. That being said, I had the oral narcotic pain meds and would have taken them if I needed them, …everyone’s pain levels after surgery are different… my care team told me that it’s really important to have good pain control after surgery so that I could get up out of bed and walk.

Speaking of getting out of bed, the body mechanics after surgery have taken some getting used to… there are some really helpful YouTube videos, if you google “getting out of bed after hysterectomy,” that show you how to do this safely and comfortably with minimal use of your abdominal muscles. I am a planner, so I practiced before surgery.

I am so grateful to have had this surgery… the pain and bleeding and all the other terrible symptoms from the fibroids are gone, my bladder and bowels are already functioning better than before, and I am healing well… yesterday after my surgeon released me to drive I walked a mile by the ocean for the first time since my surgery and it felt great! I am so hopeful and excited to see what my new body and life will be like when I am fully healed, and grateful now to have the time (9 weeks of leave from work) to rest and recover.

I hope all goes well for you as you prepare and that surgery and recovery bring healing.
  #5  
Unread 10-07-2021, 08:08 PM
Re: Preparing for open abdominal surgery

I had a fibroid and a bulky uterus (about 22 weeks). I am about 5 weeks post op today. When I woke up after my surgery my belly was in a binder. My incision was covered by a waterproof dressing so I didn't see it until my 2 week post op appointment.

I didn't experience any nausea and I was off narcotics very quickly. I never took any once I was home. Most of the pain I experienced was getting in/out of bed or sofa or getting on/ off the toilet. I took 800 my Advil until about 4 weeks post op.

I began homeschooling my kids again 7 days post op. I sat on the sofa and supervised their work (and then took a nap every day after lunch). I started driving at two week post op. at about 4.5 week post op most of my pain was mostly gone. I am very glad I had the surgery.
  #6  
Unread 10-11-2021, 02:57 PM
Re: Upcoming hysterectomy 10/21: Preparing for open abdominal surgery

Thank you to everyone who replied - your responses make me less nervous and your tips are very helpful. I've already been practicing how to get out of bed and sit in my fav spot on the couch. Your stories are all promising with everyone reporting how much better they feel. It's nice to have this community.
  #7  
Unread 10-12-2021, 07:45 PM
Re: Upcoming hysterectomy 10/21: Preparing for open abdominal surgery

Hey there,

Good luck with the op.

I'm now 8 weeks post op from a hysterectomy that went through my previous c-section scar.

Like the other ladies have said, everyone has a different story but a few things I wish I'd have known previously

* my fear of bowel movement post-op were next level. In hospital they offered movicol (I'm in Australia so not sure what name of US brand is) to help get things going, but that was after two days. Wish I'd have been on it earlier, or even just eating prunes or something to ease my concerns. Turns out it was all in my head anyway and there was no problem.
* Sleeping with cushions under your legs made it easier on my belly.....seemed to take the pressure off
* A nurse friend suggested a belly belt a week post-op and it was a game changer! I'd discuss that with your dr
* Groom your bikini line hair......the pain of removing the waterproof dressing from the top of my pubic region was intense.

Hope it all goes well for you!
  #8  
Unread 10-16-2021, 04:51 AM
Upcoming hysterectomy 10/21: Preparing for open abdominal surgery

Hello there: I am currently on day 10 post op. I had TAH with a bikini line cut. Kept both ovaries. Due to a large fibriod growing at the back of my womb. I was pretty nervous in the weeks leading upto the op but on the day something flipped and I just wanted it done. I went in really positive and happy it was her . I have had a awful year due to this fibriod: on very strong hormone drugs to shrink it which gave me the most hurrendous side effects. So I was super excited to get to the point of the having it removed. You will be tired for sure after the op. I had pain but it was pain that was not totally unbearable whilst in hospital: I stayed in for 3 nights. It was more of a tender bruised pain. I had lots of pain relief. Oral morphine was one. Day after the op I was up and about , kind of waddling lol. Went for a shower which felt really nice. I have been home a week now and the pain has been ok. Some days worse than others. But I keep on top of it with the meds. I attempted a walk up and down the stairs yesterday. Felt fine afterwards. So today I will attempt a garden walk. Go with the flow and just remember how much better you will be after all this is done with. It does make you feel confident when you start to feel a little better you think oooo I can do more. But you can’t. The interval healing takes weeks. We have to remember to be kind to ourselves as rest. Currently laid up in bed at the Moment typing this. But I am going to get up for a wander around the flat soon. Take some t shirt dresses or button up night dresses for hospital, I am wearing them a lot at home too. Take some pads as well for spotting after the op. Some mints and lip balm. And books. Maybe audible. Good luck you will be absolutely fine
  #9  
Unread 10-16-2021, 04:52 AM
Upcoming hysterectomy 10/21: Preparing for open abdominal surgery

Apologies for some spelling mistakes in previous reply. I hope it made sense
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