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Supracervical Abdominal Hysterectomy - SAH - My Story Supracervical Abdominal Hysterectomy - SAH - My Story

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Unread 04-06-2000, 08:32 PM
Supracervical Abdominal Hysterectomy - SAH - My Story

I'm a 36 year old female (no children) and I had a Supracervical Abdominal Hysterectomy on 3/22/00. I was able to keep my right ovary. I have had very painful periods since I was 8 years old. I always looked at is as "just part of being female". About 8 months or so ago, it got unbearable with many of the usual complaints heard here; heavy flow, labor pain like cramps (so I'm told), passing out. I've also always had more hair than other girls (I was teased about this as a kid) but the hair on my face and chin was out of control! I had also started having night sweats.

I had a laproscopic procedure about 6 weeks before my hysterectomy. The plan at the time was to zap a few fibroids with the laser, and there was something else the doctor was hoping to do to something else to help with future menstrual pain, but I forget what it was called. At the time, we thought that would be all that was needed and there was no talk of a hysterectomy, but somehow I was expecting it. A past unrelated surgery 2 years ago had reveled fibroids and we found that I had really gone downhill since then. We found many large fibroids including one that completely surrounded the left ovary. Adhesions and more adhesions. The doctor said that it looked like someone who in the past had untreated pelvic inflammatory disease or worse. My right ovary was very small and stuck way up on the right side on the abdominal wall (this turns out to be a mixed blessing, it's nice and out of the way). He was so surprised by the pictures (from my pelvic exam he was not expecting this disaster area) and he even showed the pictures to his colleagues for their advice.

The doctor called me in and told me my options, hysterectomy (recommended) or we could try to remove the fibroids. He explained what that would mean and that my chances for a pregnancy after that would be quite low. Since this clinic is primarily a fertility clinic and against taking organs unless they have to, I made the decision for the hysterectomy. He also insisted I speak with another doctor who also specializes in fertility to make sure I really understood that I still could change my mind and try to have a child (but what I would have to go through physically and emotionally just didn't seem worth it to me).

After doing a lot of research, I decided to have a supracervical (keeping the cervix) operation. My doctor leans towards doing the "total" and that would have been his first choice, but because I have no cancer in my family history, he was willing to do it my way. I admit, much of my decision was based on anecdotal evidence and part of it was even based on some fear. The terms "vaginal cuff" and "vaginal wound" scare the heck out of me. I really liked the idea of one less place on the outside that needed to heal. I also really like my sex life. I know there are people who have had one or the other operation who have good things to report (and people on both sides also have negative sometimes) but since I could never go back, it just wasn't a risk I wanted to take. My doctor did point out that there wasn't any research to support my view, but then, was there any research done about this at all? Where would the money be in research like that? The research that I really wanted to see just doesn't exist and that is talking to women who had hysterectomies who kept their cervix and then for some reason needed it out later. They are the only ones that can really give subjective information about this and I just can't find people in that situation to ask.

I'm sure my actual surgery day was just about the same as everyone else's that went well. I was in the hospital 2 days (insurance approved 3 days but I was feeling so good after 2, I asked to go home). In fact I felt too good, after I got home I did a bit too much, and it sent me back to bed.

The pathology report is very interesting and it explains a lot. My left ovary had something called Stromal Hyperplasia which can easily explain some of the hormone issues I was having. To explain the level of pain I was having, it turns out that some of the fibroids that were inside of the uterine wall were showing something called "central hemorrhagic degeneration" What this means is that some of the fibroids were starting to disintegrate. My doctor says this is unbelievably painful and he wonders how I was able to get by as well as I did.

I'm having a little bit of a setback right now, I'm still in pain on the left side and now instead of just night sweats, I'm having full-fledged hot flashes. Not the cute little sitcom 'blushes' but yucky 'cover yourself with ice and still feel hot' flashes. I told the doctor about this today and we are going to try some hormones for a while. We hope the right ovary kicks in, but if not, I guess I'll be hitting the hormone jungle for more advice.
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