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Found what was causing my pain for nearly 2 yrs Found what was causing my pain for nearly 2 yrs

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Unread 02-04-2006, 02:01 PM
Found what was causing my pain for nearly 2 yrs

Dear Ladies,
I've been visiting since a few weeks before my laparoscopic hysterectomy two years ago. Like many of you, I went from an innocent scared "pre-op" sister to an older, wiser "road less traveled" sister, trying desperately to find out what was still causing my post-op pain almost two years after the operation. Thankfully, my doctor and I (and I do take some of the credit because I had to be VERY persistent with him) finally found what was causing my pain, and I'm posting this in hopes that it might help someone else out there in their investigation of their problem. It may not be the answer for your particular situation, but it might be something to check off your list.

I'll cut right to the chase. My hysterectomy involved removing the cervix as well as the uterus. My post-op pain felt like it was coming from the top of the vagina (at the sutured vaginal cuff area). Not totally constant pain, thank God, just doubled-over, Lortab-popping week-long-pain-after-intercourse type of pain. This destroyed my happily married sex life and was completely depressing in general, as pain is. After several appointments over the first year post-op with my gyn, he and I were both frustrated and he said he thought it might be adhesions and our next step would be a laprascopic surgery to take down any adhesions he found. The weird thing was that, at each appointment, during the pelvic exam the gyn would say he could see a suture or two and would clip them. Then he'd tell me to see if that made any difference in the pain level. At that point I decided to get another opinion as to what was going on. I got a copy of my records and made an appointment at the world-famous Clinic in Scottsdale, AZ with one of their gynecologic surgeons for a consultation.

At that appointment, that doctor examined me and gave me his opinion that my problem was being caused by my surgeon having used a permanent suture material (I won't mention the brand) at the top of the vaginal cuff. He said he had seen 7 or 8 cases where this had caused problems like mine and was a reason he uses self-absorbing sutures that just disintegrate after a while. It was explained to me that there's nothing wrong with the permanent suture material, and it's just the surgeon's personal preference as to what to use, but one disadvantage of using the permanent sutures is that they don't allow the top of the vaginal cuff area to expand during intercourse, and consequently you get pain. So his recommendation was that he do laprascopic surgery and remove the permanent sutures. I flew back home to think about this.

I returned about a month later to my gyn and he was able to see and remove another suture. So far by this process he has been able to remove 4 of around 6 or 7 total sutures, and my pain level is much much better, although I still feel some twinges, but nothing like before. I also avoided additional laprascopic surgery.

So ask your doctor whether he or she used a permanent suture material at the vaginal cuff. It's hard to believe that something this seemingly simple was causing so much pain. This was a long and frustrating road, but nothing like what many of you have gone through and continue to go through every day. I hope this helps someone with their struggle. I hold all of you in my prayers.
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Unread 02-04-2006, 07:51 PM
Found what was causing my pain for nearly 2 yrs

That is quite intriguing information you have posted here, gadaboutgal, and I appreciate you posting it. I have never considered this to be a possible problem contributing to some pain issues I've had myself. Now I have another thing to ask my GYN at my next appointment. I am VERY curious as to what type of sutures he used on me. very much for this information. {{{Hugs}}} to you! I hope your continued recovery is better and better every day.
Unread 02-04-2006, 09:29 PM
Found what was causing my pain for nearly 2 yrs

could you pm me with the name and phone number or a web url of this clinic. I have a long term problem with my vaginal cuff, and can't seem to finda local doc who can diagnosis it.. I would appreciate it very much
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Unread 02-13-2006, 02:51 PM
Found what was causing my pain for nearly 2 yrs

Dear Gadaboutgal,
I am now 8 months post op and am having much the same pain feelings that you describe... although due to spotting and persistent bleeding I have to abstain from sex.(However am fully aware that it would hurt!) I am aware that my surgeon used surgical wire sutures since they were noted on my CT scan and my latest ultrasound report. I wonder very seriously if this could be causing my pain and bleeding? I was pretty sure it might be scar tissue but I would have thought I would have experienced problems with my emergency c-section 8 yrs ago if that were the case. My surgeon had mentioned that my cuff had a hematoma and granulation tissue early on but he is no longer treating me so I am unable to ask him about the suture issue... my new gyno is done waiting around for more info, he says that I need to see a specialist for a laparoscopy... which is what the radiologist agreed needed to be done. This has at least given me hope that a possible solution might be found for me. The weird thing is that I remember my surgeon telling me that the internal sutures would dissolve within 2 to 4 months at the latest and I am now 8 months and wire ones are NEVER going to dissolve... or am I incorrect? Any input of personal experience or advice would be greatly appreciated at this point. Hugs. Tami S. in Florida
Unread 02-15-2006, 11:52 PM
Found what was causing my pain for nearly 2 yrs

Hello there "Sisters"~ I too went for 5 1/2 yrs with pain in the upper part of my vagina. It hurt like heck when I was examined. My doctor said it was an inflamation of the cartilage between the pelvic bones...made sense. But then, awhile later I cut back on my estrogen (estradiol) trying to get off of it since my hysterectomy in 2000, and it is GONE! after all that time NO PAIN. I am just posting what happened to me...I don't know if it will help anyone else. The pain was worse while sitting, and alot of times urinating. If this sounds familiar...well, you might want to give it a try.
Love, Wendie
Unread 02-23-2006, 03:55 PM
Found what was causing my pain for nearly 2 yrs

I am curious about your post. If you could answer some questions I would really appreciate it. I had a TAH in November of 2004 and the pain started in February of 2005. The nurses told me initially that some pain was normal the first few times with sex, so I blew it off for a long time thinking it would improve.
I just came home from getting the results of a Cat scan and nothing showed up there. I'm really frustrated that they can't tell me what's causing my pain. I had an Rx for Lortabs and he wrote me one for Percocet today. This is obviously not the solution I was hoping for. Anyway, the questions...Was the pain only after sex? Were you sore several days after (with some internal feeling pain too)? Would the permanent sutures have showed up on the Cat scan?
Thanks for your help. If anyone else can give me any advice, I would really appreciate it.

Unread 02-23-2006, 08:24 PM
Found what was causing my pain for nearly 2 yrs

Cannot thank you enough for sharing this info. I am almost 3 years post op and have suspected the
permanent sutures could be the source of my continued pain and discomfort. My surgeon used alot of CV2 Gore-Tex sutures.
I would also appreciate a pm about the doc in Arizona.
Thanks again,
Unread 02-25-2006, 05:52 PM
Found what was causing my pain for nearly 2 yrs

I experienced something along these lines, although not sutures...

Seems that my gyn had left clamps in me 7 years prior to TAH/BSO and after my complaints of right sided pain for seven years went unheeded and ignored (to other doctors) I finally went back to him and then he said he saw a "mass" on the ultra sound. Out of fear, I consented to surgery.

Then all my other problems started and I was focused on just trying to stay alive.

After things settled down, (I went to a world renowned hospital) I mentioned the pain again and that doctor listened to me and said, "Let's take an X-RAY." Duh!

Well, there they were . . . not one, not two, but THREE surgical clamps left inside me! The source of my pain before TAH/BSO and still after. (Doc had left them there during operation for ectopic pregnancy.) I didn't need the TAH/BSO at all!

The moral here is . . . don't forget about the simple X-ray!

I had many CT's and MRI's that failed to see what the X-ray did.

Best wishes,
Unread 02-25-2006, 08:47 PM
Found what was causing my pain for nearly 2 yrs

Would non-disposable sutures show up on CT, MRT, ultrasound, pelvic exam? I had to go back into the ER for a hematoma of the vaginal cuff-a few weeks after my hysterectomy. My pelvic pain increased over the many months following. I have a pulling sensation which worsens with sitting. I asked my urogyn recently about the possibiity of a neuroma. He assured me that the sutures (in hyst) were disposable and "long gone". Now I wonder about the ER doctor. There's no communication between all the specialists I have seen. I keep a journal but they seldom act interested in seeing it. Now, here's a new question for my next doctor visit. The saga just keeps going on and on.
Unread 02-27-2006, 02:20 PM
Found what was causing my pain for nearly 2 yrs

Hi there, I am really impressed with your persistence in finding the diagnosis...many of us just give up......I would also like to know about the world renowned clinic in you think there are any on the east coast? I have been diagnosed with a rectocele, but my instincts are telling me more might be going on.....I am very happy for your relief, these stories are so inspiring to everyone on here....thanks for sharing it..bettyj

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