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Laparoscopic Hysterectomy: LAVH - SmilingPrincess' story Laparoscopic Hysterectomy: LAVH - SmilingPrincess' story

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Unread 10-23-2007, 05:06 PM
Laparoscopic Hysterectomy: LAVH - SmilingPrincess' story

I'm 5 days post-op from my laproscopy assisted vaginal hysterectomy. I am 40 years old and have had dysfunctional uterine bleeding for about 3 years. Previously, I had two c-section surgeries and bilateral inguinal hernia repair.

Periods were never bad...but I had them more often than not. I was uncomfortable in dressy clothes: pads never seemed to fit right, and I could never tell whether the day was going to be dry or messy. I was cranky all the time.

In an attempt to correct the bleeding problem, my gyn performed an endometrial ablation. The procedure worked for about 6 months before I started bleeding constantly again. At its worst, I would experience light bleeding for 21 days and have nothing for about 14 before starting the cycle again.

After deciding I'd had enough, I scheduled a LAVH and had a bladder competency test in my doctor's office. This is an uncomfortable test but gave me hope in knowing that my bladder was competent and didn't need work.

I went through a very careful bowel prep because I am prone to constipation, and I highly recommend you take these precautions to keep your body from hurting after the surgery. In my bowel prep, I took Colace for 4 days prior to surgery and then went with liquids only for 2 days prior to surgery.

I met with the anesthesiologist on the morning of the surgery and told him I had problems with vomiting after anesthesia on prior occasions. He gave me something to help with the nausea, and I was grateful.

My surgery came and went without recognition; I was on oxygen when I returned to consciousness. I had an IV with painkiller in one arm and a pulse ox/blood pressure machine attached to the other. Both of my feet were in pressure cuffs. I slept most of the day and was ready to take in a little bit of food by dinner time.

Unfortunately, the hospital brought chicken broth that was so salty I couldn't eat it, and tomato soup, which I couldn't eat because of a citric acid allergy. The jellos and popsicles they offered were full of sugar, so I was quite put out with the fact that I had nothing to eat and was more or less strapped to a bed by tubes and cords.

In the end, my mother slipped away to the grocery store and purchased bottled water, low-sodium soup, and sugar-free jello. These were welcome and necessary to my well-being.

The nurse decatheterized me at midnight on the night of the surgery and kept the IV fluids on a low drip. She had express directions to do an in-out catheter procedure 6 hours later if I produced no urine.

Unfortunately, my first trip to the toilet was difficult because of my breathing and the constant need to cough. The second trip produced little urine, and the nurse was insistant on giving me a second catheter procedure. I refused it and subsequently dismissed her as I knew my bladder was empty. My hands and arms were swollen and retaining fluid, and from past experience, I knew that walking was the only way to rid my body of the swelling.

After I dismissed the nurse, a second nurse came in and did an ultrasound of my bladder to find there was less than 70 cc's of urine in it. After they found a significant amount of fluid for me to drink and something to eat, I was much better. I coughed up some bloody mucus, which the nurse said was normal after the surgery. They allowed me to go home 26 hours after surgery.

The next two days were spent sleeping upright in a recliner chair. I was in significant pain, but I insisted on taking motrin 800 mg for the pain instead of hydrocodone, which was prescribed by my gyn. Feeling the pain allowed me to know the limits of my body and kept me from doing anything too drastic during that time. By the 36-hour post- op point, I began running a 101.5 fever, which continued to a lesser degree under full amounts of motrin until I returned to the emergency room 24 hours later.

After 36 ounces of barium and iodine, I was wheeled to the CT scan room and given a test, which showed fluid in one of my lungs. They gave me Levaquin and sent me home at 4:30 in the morning.

My surgery incisions are just under my belly-button, which is significantly higher than either of my c-section scars. My belly still feels like someone knifed me in three places. My stomach is swollen and bruised.

Over the past 5 days, I have spent more time wishing I hadn't gone through with the surgery than being glad I did it, but I'm sure my feelings will change in a few weeks.

I'm grateful for all the information and support hystersisters have given me--especially with regards to asking for nausea medicine and preparing my bowels for what was ahead. I did not purchase a belly band but I wish I did. And the gopher reach-n-grab tool has been a significant help in picking up everything I have dropped (including my panties...and where would you be if you had to ask for help pulling those up?).

and Godspeed to everyone facing surgery.
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