Large Fibroid.....stories please!! | HysterSisters
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Large Fibroid.....stories please!! Large Fibroid.....stories please!!

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Unread 04-08-2006, 01:52 PM
Large Fibroid.....stories please!!

I have a large fibroid that is the size of a football. I'm more miserable than in pain. Just very uncomfortable. Anyway, my hysterectomy is scheduled for april 17th and I'm so scared. I know that it will be better to get this out of me, but I cant help but have some anxiety about having a hysterectomy. I'm still pretty young (33), and never had any period problems until about 7 or 8 mths ago. I started to have heavy painful periods. I'm supposed to have a vertical incision and have my uterus and cervix removed and keeping my ovaries if all is well with them. I had a lady(a nurse friend) tell me the other day to get those ovaries out of there because they are just cancer waiting to happen if i keep them in there. Then she said if I dont get them out that I will just have to go through surgery later to get them removed. What are some of the experiences that you all have with ovary removal? Also, I'm so scared about getting put to sleep, and I'm scared of the scar, I'm scared of if the morphine will make me sick, I'm scared about being in the hospital, I'm just scared about it all!! Also, sexual function worries me because I watched a documentary about hysterectomies and about how sometimes the clitories is not sensitive anymore. Gosh,, I am just really worried.......Please let me know that just because I'm getting this hysterectomy it doesnt mean my life is over...After I watched that show, that's kinda how I felt.
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Unread 04-08-2006, 02:32 PM
Large Fibroid.....stories please!!

Oh you poor thing!

So many worries and concerns - surgery is in deed a very scary thing to face. You have come to the right place. Take some time and read through this site. There is so much information and everyone is here for YOU.

Education is your best defense against your anxieties. This site is neither pro nor con for hysterectomies. I don't know what docmentary you watched on hysterectomies or who produced it - and I take issue with the nurse friend insisting your ovaries be removed. Your post does not state whether there are factors that predispose you to ovarian cancer. However, "cancer waiting to happen"? A NURSE said this? Hey, let's just remove every body part that is a potential cancer risk, then!

After you read through the information and posts here, see if you still are concerned that "your life is over" post-hysterectomy. Maybe you could make a list of all your questions to ask your doctor. Seek out another opinion with a different doctor if you are not comfortable. Delay the surgery until YOU are ready. Only you can make the decision what to do, and right now it sounds like you need lots of information to help you do that.

You will feel better after posting your questions here - just watch the response you get from this thread alone! Everyone here is wonderful - we are all in the same boat, we all have/had the same concerns and questions you do. After being a member here for a month, I see the same questions come up again and again, and again and again they are answered with compassion and caring from all the HysterSisters.

I am to new post-op to help you out. I can tell you that I have no regrets to having the surgery, but my circumstances were different. This was something that took me about a year to decide if it was the route I wanted to take. In my case, I felt the benefits out-weighed the risks, and the risks for me were low. The other veteran HysterSisters can tell you their stories.

I feel for you, Cinnamon72! You're in a tough place right now, but I promise you it will get better!
Unread 04-08-2006, 02:42 PM
Large Fibroid.....stories please!!

In a nutshell, KEEP YOUR OVARIES. Why go through sudden menopause (although keeping your ovaries is no guarantee that they will function properly afterwards) when you don't have to. I understand the nurse's worry about ovarian cancer, but if you can believe this, more women get breast cancer than ovarian cancer. I held onto one of my ovaries and the organ is producing like a well oiled engine. I know I'm a lucky gal to have my one ovary produce for both. If I experience complications down the road, then I'll just deal with it then. For now, I fought to keep my ovary and I'm so thankful that I did it.
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Unread 04-08-2006, 03:07 PM
Large Fibroid.....stories please!!

Boy are you on a roll. I also had a huge fibroid. The dr said it was football sized before surgery. After he admitted maybe a nerf football. And you are right about more uncomfortable than in pain.

As for the hospital. Being put to sleep is a wonderful thing. Can you imagine being awake while they are doing all that stuff. No thanks. The scar is annoying so far but improving. What are ya gonna do? Something to brag about.
Don't worry about the morphine making you sick. They have anti- nausea drugs and don't be afraid to ask for them. Better than the alternative! Believe me, I know.
And the RNs and CNAs in my castle were wonderful. Hope you are as lucky.
And go check out the post-op message board for all the happy campers after surgery. I am 7 wks post op, still a little uncomfortable with DH, but still working on it. Love practicing!
Yes lots to look forward to with dread. But look to the long term, you WILL feel much better after that football is removed. Just be patient.
I know I know, not my strong suit either.
Unread 04-08-2006, 03:40 PM
Large Fibroid.....stories please!!

Oh for heavens sake, I can't believe a nurse is so uneducated as to tell you to "get those ovaries out" because they're cancer waiting to happen. Even with the slight risk of ovarian cancer, the longevity of women who retain their ovaries is significantly higher than for women who have ovaries removed. Your ovaries perform many critical functions throughout your life, not just before menopause. You might also do some research about keeping your cervix. If it's healthy (ie, you've had years of clear pap smears and are HPV negative), retaining your cervix means a simpler operation, less chance of infection, faster recovery, and for some women, improved ligament strength and sex post op. It does mean you'll need to continue having pap smears.

In terms of the operation, if you're young and healthy, recovery will likely not be a problem. I'm 8 days post-op from a SAH (kept my cervix and ovaries) with vertical incision for fibroids that were massive--the size of a 7 lb baby. I feel fine, not tired, not really achy, just a little spacy. The waiting and worrying is much worse than the actual surgery.

Good luck! Keep your ovaries if they're healthy and if that's what your doctor recommends; don't listen to that friend who says they're cancer waiting to happen. By the same reasoning, you'd remove all your skin, which is also cancer waiting to happen.
Unread 04-08-2006, 03:54 PM
Large Fibroid.....stories please!!

Hi Cinnamon72,

I have read on Hyster Sisters that if a Hyster Sister has endo and/or cysts in pre-op, they can have a higher chance of ovary removal after a hyst.

If you do not have either and have the fibroid, and your ovaries are healthy, I vote to ~keep them~ also. In pre-op, my Dr. said ovarian cancer runs in approx. 5% of women. I thought that was good odds for me. And from posts I have read on Hyster Sisters, that decreases after a hyst. Also, in pre-op, I read that the ovaries secrete hormones that help with the bones, skin and hair to name a few. Why remove healthy ovaries that are secreting important hormones for your body when, most likely, you may have many more years of use with them??

On the sex might research the cervix. I was a good candidate to keep mine since I had had normal pap smears for years and I had a sturdy cervix. In pre-op, my Dr. thought the cervix helps with pelvic support and with sex. For me, both are true and my button size cervix is doing its job. I can suggest you check out the SAH (Subtotal Abdominal Hysterectomy) if you are interested in keeping the cervix.

Here is a Hyster Sisters link that goes over the different types of hysts. The SAH is listed at the bottom of the TAH.

Best wishes,

Unread 04-08-2006, 04:07 PM
Large Fibroid.....stories please!!

I had some abnormal cells on my last 3 paps so I guess keeping my cervix is not an option. The ovaries are the only things I get to keep. Oh and you all, I'm not going to listen to my "nurse friend" She's kind of mouthy anyway. She actually had a hysterectomy about 10 years ago and she had everything removed so I guess maybe in a way, that is the way she makes herself feel better or something by convincing herself that having the ovaries removed was best. My doctor wants me to have my ovaries so I would think he knows best. And of course the cervix is going because of those abnormal cells. You guys have made me feel so much better, thanks!!
Unread 04-08-2006, 04:24 PM
Large Fibroid.....stories please!!

When I discussed keeping my ovaries with my doctor he told me he was not really in the business of removing healthy body parts. He said you don't remove lungs, breasts, testicles, etc. just because it's possible to get cancer in them. In my case there was no family history of ovarian cancer and what cysts I did have were simple cysts. I did not want to keep my cervix as I wanted 0% chance of mini periods. He told me that if there was any indication that anything was wrong with my ovaries he would remove them but I would have to trust him to make that decision when he got in there.

I am very happy with my decision. Not being thrown into menopause after surgery made the whole thing that much easier. My clitoris is quite functional and sex is no longer painful so all is well in that category.

Don't worry about being put to sleep. It's quite easy. You go to sleep and what seems like an instant later you're awake. The annoying post-op nurses will keep telling you to take deep breaths and cough to clear your lungs. You'll want them to go away and leave you alone but it's a necessary part of their job. They can give you meds before and after surgery if you're worried about nausea. Tell them if you're in pain and they will take care of you.

Your life will not be over after the surgery. For me it seemed like I was getting a fresh start. No more pain, bleeding, bloating and getting up 5-6 times a night to pee. I can tie my shoes without feeling that horrible pressure. My one regret was that I suffered for so long before having the surgery.
Unread 04-08-2006, 04:26 PM
Large Fibroid.....stories please!!

I am with everyone else on the ovaries thing if I could of kept mine I would have but they were to busy producing cysts and the last ultrasound before deciding for surgery it was quite large on the left. I just kept praying it wouldn't give me trouble before my surgery. I think you are wise to keep them if you can and don't have any problems with them. I will be at six weeks post op on Wed. Each day is better and better. I too had 3 fibroids I was like one of the ladies on here she said she was a fibroid farm I guess thats where I was heading. Anyway the being to sleep thing is great at least I think so. The hardest part for me was the waiting and worrying I did before the surgery. Then I was just ready to be done with it and on the road to recovery. Just make sure if you need something at the castle to ask. My nurses were good about making me comfortable with pain meds and nausea meds when I needed them. Hang in there. Let us know how you are doing.
Unread 04-08-2006, 04:28 PM
Large Fibroid.....stories please!!

Hi Cinnamon72! I agree with NellieNel--education, education, and more education. To that end, I'll paste a link to a place on here about fibroids and their treatment options:

It's a good place to start. And don't be afraid to ask your Dr. questions.
I also really wouldn't jump the gun on removing those ovaries. The only real reasons to remove them are if they are diseased or if you carry the breast cancer gene (there are two genes and I can't remember if one or both is linked to ovarian cancer). Even after menopause they produce protective hormones.

Look around this site, there is tons of information on here and keep asking questions.

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