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Have you decided not to do it? Have you decided not to do it?

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Unread 02-08-2007, 04:24 PM
Have you decided not to do it?

In the last 2 days I've visited my family doctor and my gyn. I like and respect them both and they are up to date and helpful. The family doctor said to not go through with it if at all possible. He said that the female organs are useful for a lifetime and my problems are not life threatening. The gyn is not exactly pushing a hyst, but he sees it as my best option if I want to solve my problems. My problems are 1 or 2 days a month of heavy bleeding, pain in the lower left abdomen, and fatigue. The gyn said the pain is from fibroids - primarily one in the back side. I am getting blood tests for the fatigue.

He said an ablation would get rid of the periods and leave the painful fibroids. He felt a UFE would not be successful in my case. And he won't prescribe bcp to control bleeding because he said they would make the fibroids grow and increase the pain. I thought, okay he'll suggest a uterine removal only. I was shocked when he said he would do a total hyst and ovary removal because (as he put it) I'm already 51 and they won't be working much longer anyway. Then, I would go on natural hormones (tri est, progesterone, testosterone) for the rest of my life. He did say he would leave the ovaries if I requested and they looked good but "if I were his wife" he would recommend against it. He wanted to do an endometrial biopsy and an ultrasound before we do anything though. He wouldn't even assure me of a vaginal hyst and said if would depend on the test results and the size of my uterus.

I have no other problems (these are bad but not unlivable), and now I'm almost ready to back out of the whole thing. The biopsy is scheduled for tomorrow morning at 9, but I'm not sure I need it if I'm going to back out of the surgery. I guess it would be good to know that everything is okay in there, but it's a lot of pain if it isn't needed. I do want the ultrasound either way - just to know how it all looks since the last time.

After all the fuss I've made about this, I'm feeling a little crazy wanting to back out now. Honestly, it isn't fear. But, I'm almost 52 and menopause can't be that far away. Doc said the fibroids will probably shrink then.

I'd love to know your thoughts.
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Unread 02-08-2007, 05:41 PM
Have you decided not to do it?

If you are not 100% sure I would take a "wait and see" approach. I had the Endo Biopsy and lets just say it's no picnic. I was told it was mild cramping and to take aleve or something before. I have mirgrains and just to be on the safe side I took a prescibed pain pill before and it hurt like the dickens for about 45 secs. Then I had cramps and pinkish bleeding a couple of days after. I was not warned of this, and I hate going into something and it being told its just "mild" and here comes the pain. I have also read that other Sisters on this board have feltthis too. I am not trying to scare you, but if you have something take it before the test. like I said it doesn't last long but it took me by surprise, and I don't wish that on anyone.
Unread 02-08-2007, 07:21 PM
Have you decided not to do it?

I am glad I had my hyst. No more pain, anemia, worrying about leakage everywhere I went, missing work because of it, etc. Also no cancer worry.
I don't take HRT, I haven't had any symptoms and so why take something if you don't need it.
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Unread 02-08-2007, 09:26 PM
Have you decided not to do it?

I am two years past menopause and my fibroids were not shrinking to any discernable degree. I wrestled with ever-increasing bleeding and pain until menopause and was developing prolapse problems. I want to alert ladies to an article in the Wall Street Journal this past Monday which details the changing medical view of keeping your ovaries past menopause. I had no idea that doctors believed that removing ovaries contributed to a women's health. Now there is much information showing that the hormones secreted by the ovaries help protect against heart disease. Before I would agree to a TAH with removal of ovaries, I would want at least a second opinion from a totally independent doc.
Light and Clouds, this is major surgery. If your family doc has concerns(and his view is the progressive view of forward thinking physicians) and if you don't feel that you can't live with your symptoms and if the ob-gyn is not saying that he is worried about cancer, why not step back and see how you feel after a couple of months? After all, you can always reschedule the surgery; you can't undo it.
It took me more than six years to decide to have this surgery and my symptoms were getting progressively worse but I don't think I was ready for the surgery before(New doc offered me a laproscopic procedure). Now I can accept this. I really urge you, if you have any hesitation, to listen to your heart and take more time to consider this.
Unread 02-08-2007, 10:01 PM
Have you decided not to do it?

Here in the "Options and Alternatives" forum we can not stress enough: Get a second, third, fourth opinion. Find out what alternatives might be possible for you and try them. You might be able to avoid this major, irreversible surgery.

A hyst can be life changing, and not always for the better. There are women who end up with more problems than they started with and regret their hyst with everything in their being.

I would strongly advise seeking another opinion from a GYN. And discuss keeping your ovaries, regardless of your age. Your ovaries secrete tiny amounts of hormones even after menopause.

We have several Fibroid Resources and also Alternatives for Fibroids Resources.

You may also find some valuable information regarding fibroids here:
Endometrial Ablation Discussion Group
Hope for Fibroids
Fibroid Network Online

Unless you feel 100% sure a hyst is the best option for you, I would hold off and continue to research. The more you know, the better able you will be to make the best choice for you!

I wish you the best as you decide what is right for you!
Unread 02-10-2007, 05:17 PM
Have you decided not to do it?

I had a UFE and it worked great for me. You should be evaluated by an interventional radiologist experienced in performing this procedure to find out if you are a good candidate for this or not. It's not done by gynecologists so they are not experts in determining if it is a good option for you or not. By the way, an endometrial biopsy is also done before a UFE - I've had two - they weren't that bad. I recommend taking 800 mg ibruprofen (if you can take that stuff) before having one - that seemed to minimize discomfort for me.
Unread 02-11-2007, 10:10 AM
Have you decided not to do it?

My symptoms sound a lot like yours. I've seen two gynecologists, both of whom recommended hyst without hesitation. The first one wanted to remove my ovaries "just in case". That all kind of put me on the warpath to avoid surgery, to the point now where I'm ready to be a research guinea pig in a focused ultrasound study. (Cutting edge treatment without having to deal with insurance, yay! And if it doesn't help me, maybe it will help our daughters, nieces, granddaughters, et al.)

Definitely make an appointment with an interventional radiologist. I didn't give my second gyn a lot of credit a first, but now that I pushed the issue he seems quite willing to be the progressive, collaborative type. When all is said and done, I might end up wanting a hyst. But only if absolutely necessary.

Don't let yourself be rushed into making a decision. You'll know when it's time.
Unread 02-11-2007, 11:12 AM
Have you decided not to do it?

Life and Clouds,

Yes I opted out of a hysterectomy in 05. I had all the pre-op stuff completed and was only about 1 week out. At first I just postponed it until July. In the meantime the abnornal cycle and periods stopped as abruptly as they started.

The reason that I had scheduled one in the first place was due to the fact that I was having 8 day periods every 13 days. Some days I was flowing so heavy that I was lucky not to overflow. One night I ended up in ER. I was diagnosised with fibroids as to one of the reasons for the heavy/abnormal cycle.

Once the cycle reverted back to a more normal cycle with less flow, I decided to "not fix it if it wasn't broken".

Fast forward to 07. Once again I started the heavy flow with a 16 day period. I was already scheduled for the surgery when my period slowed down and finally stopped. This time I went ahead with the surgery. My OB did tease me about the fact that "we could have had this resolved back in 05". I took my lumps gacefully, but still feel that I made the right decision both times.

<oops! physician's name remove per site guidelines!> is a wonderful OB that may have teased me about bailing on him the first time, but he had come in on his day off to do my pre-op consultation so that I could be fast tracked for surgery. I had bleed so hard for so long that he was worried that I was going to need a blood transfusion prior to surgery.

While he was doing my surgery he discovered a complication with my GI track and called for a GI surgeon to take care of that problem.
Unread 02-19-2007, 01:48 PM
Have you decided not to do it?

Hi LightandClouds,

The ovaries secrete important hormones that help with the bones, skin and hair, to name a few. And, newer studies are showing that the ovaries secrete impotant hormones well into menopause. Ovarian cancer occurs in approx. 5% or less of women leaving approx. 95% of women who do not get ovarian cancer. Why remove healthy ovaries to *prevent* something that might never happen?? And the hormones are *free* when we leave healthy ovaries.

Sending best wishes~

Unread 02-28-2007, 08:59 PM
Have you decided not to do it?

If you have an Exablate center in your area you should check into it. I've had the procedure 2 years ago and glad I did. Am planning to have another one soon for other fibroid growth but the first ones killed are still shrinking and not causing me problems like they were.

It also gave me time to check into other options and I was scheduled for an LSH which is much less invasive than other surgeries. I've been told by 2 GYNs that my uterus was too big for LSH but I finally found a specialist in that area not intimated by an unlarged uterus.

Kepp checking into your options even if it means going to other doctors because ovaries are worth keeping.

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