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Radical Laparoscopic Assisted Vaginal Hysterectomy on 3/11/08 Radical Laparoscopic Assisted Vaginal Hysterectomy on 3/11/08

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Unread 03-15-2008, 01:40 PM
Radical Laparoscopic Assisted Vaginal Hysterectomy on 3/11/08

I'm a 33 yo mother of two and wife of an awesome man. I had my surgery on Tues 3/11/08.
So what brought me to that decision? In the interest of keeping the readers attention as well as getting on with the surgery part of the story, here is the long story short:

Symptoms: Mega menstrual pain, esp with BM, classic endometriosis symptoms, heavy bleeding, spotting and clots (ewwww), PMDD, small intrauterine fibroid, stress urinary incontinence. All of which were getting steadily worse.

Duration: Since the birth of my girl 3.5 years ago

My Actions: I went through an NP and GYN both who told me they could do nothing, that surgery wasn't really an option at my age and I'd just have to live with it. They would give me BC pills and suggested I try going to a therapist for my PMDD stuff.

My reaction: I was more than a little upset. I instictively knew that something was wrong and I wasn't going to settle for those answers. I had done my own research, talked to many women who'd had the same things with surgery as a successful result.
(for the record, I did go to a therapist, she told me I was doing all the right things to take care of myself and that I should try another Dr before I went on any kind of mood altering drug)
My new Actions: I went outside my normal comfort zone and made an appt with an older male Dr. who is a specialist in laproscopic stuff. I figured he'd at least be willing to DO something. So we talked and he said, "Yup, you are a candidate for LAVH and I can take care of your bladder at the same time and no you're not too young for that. Here is some info, think about it, research it and call me when you decide and we'll go from there." I was surprised that I didn't have to try to convince him that my pain was real and that I was tired of waiting. He also said he would make sure my bladder repair would last.

I found that after pushing for the option of a hyst. that I was a bit afraid to take the plunge. I was operating on so many "what if's", What if I don't have Endo, what if taking the uterus and not the ovaires doesn't help my PMDD? What if these problems can be solved non-surgically, what if there is a lesson in the problems that I've not learned, will the lesson come back as something worse? I was very worried about sexual function, as it's a very important part of me and my life. I actually found that looking here at the sexual dysfunctions area was very scary. I didn't come back for a while. In the end, and after having talked frankly with all the ladies I knew who'd had a hyst, I decided that the people who DON'T have a problem sexually with thier surgery aren't posting here, and NOT to go read all that stuff. The site did help with my prep for my family and good questions to ask the Doc and stuff.

Eventually, I just pushed all that aside and focused on not being in pain and we set a date. Due to my father having knee surgery (and an MB20 concert that I wasn't about to miss) I ended up waiting for almost 2 months. I was more nervous than I've ever been. I had far too much time to mull it over and question myself, to think about the details of the surgery and all that crazy stuff. (I had also been on BC pills this whole time, which lessened all my symptoms and therefore made me a bit forgetful) A bout with heavy bleeding and two week menstrual cycles (even ON the pills) quickly made me remember!!
So we get to the hospital at 6am for the 7:30 surgery. The normal , prep, Dr talk etc. (the nurse got a stern talk for not starting my IV sooner... then she botched it cuz the anestheiologist was right there watching trying to do his talk with me) The anesthesi... Dr. Gas we'll call him... Dr. Gas talked me into doing a spinal instead of a morphine pump, which I am super happy that I did.
Then Dr Gas ended up starting my IV for her cuz we couldn't mess around anymore and I was wheeled into the O.R., which had a really nice wall mural of islands BTW. I scooted onto the table and was told to stay sitting up, so I could get my spinal. With my Doc on one side and the nurse on the other, I heard Dr Gas's voice from behind me say,
"I'm giving you something to make you whoozy"
"Ooo, I do feel whoozy!" I said with kind of a laugh.

The next thing I remember is the recovery room being told to breathe deep and looking across at a clock and thinking 'it's almost 10, that took longer than he said.. hmmm' then I laid there being thankful that I wasn't getting the shakes, that I had made it through surgery, and how much I loved my husband, kids, family, the world etc etc.
I was taken to my tiny room in the birth center and had an awesome little nurse who listened to my babble.
The Doc came in and talked to me shortly after. We had planned to leave my ovaries, unless they were diseased. Well, he was sorry to tell me, they were covered in endometriosis so he made the decision to take them too. I also had tons of adhesions causing most of my pain. He brought out some pictures to show me and that was a very wise and helpful thing for him to do. Seeing what was going on inside me made me OH SO happy that I had decided to do the surgery. I totally concurred with his decision and I got to keep the pics.

I was visited by friends and family and ate an early dinner of chicken and potatoes (i also ordered extra food for later in the evening) I was able to keep food down no problem.

I had the spinal, as I mentioned before, and that was great for pain control that first day, even if my legs were a bit heavy and hard to move at first. They were able to use a tiny amount of morhpine in the spinal to keep me pain free, instead of me hitting a button every 15 min. BTW, I didn't have any tubes in my back when I woke up, but the effects lasted 15-18 hrs.

An issue that I did have. I was also on some Toredal (like liquid Ibuprofen) and that made parts of my skin feel kinda numb and buzzy. Also when I laid down to sleep, the the buzzing went into my face and I felt like I couldn't breathe properly (even though I had 100% oxygen saturation) That wigged out the nurse, so when we figured out it was the toredal, we stopped it and switched to oral ibuprofen.

One sort of funny thing was that anytime my catheder bag was moved, it caused my urethra/clitoris area a funky almost tickle-not-quite-hurting sensation. So I was joking with my hub that those parts still have sensation and that's a good thing!
So after a night in the hospital, my doc comes in to see how I'm doing and if I'm having issues with no ovaries etc, he decided I'm ready to go home as long a I can pee on my own. So the nurses take 200 mls of saline and inject it into my bladder via the catheder tube. I've never had to pee quite so badly!!! Wow. Did I mention the saline was room temp? Brrrr!!! Then they took the tubing out, which hurt more than anything else and I cursed (of course I apologized a moment later) then I hurried (haha) to the potty and peed out 300ml of fluid. They were quite amazed as apparently most ladies go home with a catheder and bag strapped to their leg. After a bit of a wait for paperwork and my IV to come out I was home and peeing some more by noon the day after surgery.
My pain spiked a bit after I got home, mostly gas pain in my abdomen and shoulders from the surgery. So I decided on the max meds that I could take, which was 2 percocet every 4 hours and 800mg ibuprofen every 8 hrs. That seemed to work fairly well.
The only issue that I've had pain wise is that I ran out of percocet and the Doc 's office can't call that into a pharmacy. So after waiting for the Doc for a couple of painful hours, I decided to go down a step to vicodin, which they can call in. (he was on call and at the hospital and it was Friday) It seems to be working well so far. My gas pain is gone so it's mostly just tenderness from surgery. I suspect that after tom. (which is Sun) I'll be able to go on just the ibuprofen. So all in all doing well.
I'm also on the vivelle 0.1 estrogen patch. I'm figuring that if this dose and kind of estrogen doesn't work out for me, that we'll have to spend some time figuring out what does work. So I'll be keeping on the lookout for any odd symptoms after this initial healing phase is done. the only thing I've had so far is that after I put on the patch, I started having dizzy spells, but I'm thinking this may be the mix of pain meds that I've been on. We'll see.
So other that the peeing very frequently, which I understand is to be expected at this point with my bladder sling thing, So far So good! And what a long post! wow.
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