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DaVinci Robotic Total Hysterectomy - Kept ovaries  Dec 1 2008  - Not too awful. DaVinci Robotic Total Hysterectomy - Kept ovaries Dec 1 2008 - Not too awful.

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Unread 12-08-2008, 05:09 PM
Talking - DaVinci Robotic Total Hysterectomy - Kept ovaries  Dec 1 2008  - Not too awful. DaVinci Robotic Total Hysterectomy - Kept ovaries Dec 1 2008 - Not too awful.

Well, Its been a week now, and I'm doin pretty good.

Back in Feb 2008 I was getting tired of the constant back pain and IBS type symptoms that no one seemed to pay attention to. My gyn said "Take lots of Advil" for the increasingly heavy periods and pain, even though I have renal insufficiency from chemo for bone cancer in 1982. (No recurrence tho thank God!)

I asked my GP to look into the pain, she ordered an ultrasound of my pelvis. I got busy and started just taking Lortab to ignore the pain and press on, and I never got around to making an appt to follow up on that ultrasound.

In Sept 2008 I realized I was on the way to Lortab dependence and REALLY needed to take time to address the pain so I could get off of them. Plus the pain was worsening, and a new symptom arouse in Aug 2008.. sharp stabbing pains in my pelvis during my period.

So the other doc in my GP office orders a second ultrasound to document changes, when I see him for the followup he says my uterus is enlarged and the fibroids had grown 1 cubic cm in volume just since Feb. I needed to go to my gyn.
I had at least 2 orange sized fibroids in the uterine walls.

So I go to my gyn, who actually seems angry that I asked my GP to do the ultrasounds; he examines me and asks if hes told me I had fibroids before. I said yes but we were on watch and wait. He said we couldnt wait anymore, I needed a hysterectomy, and he explained the horizontal bikini cut and said he does 5 a week, and gave me a business card to call to schedule it! Ooookay.. gee thanks.

I have no real faith in this guy since hes blown me off forever, so I seek a second opinion from a friend's gyn she recommended highly. He was very thorough and with my history of sarcoma and kidney issues said hed be really careful with me and would need to do a vertical incision since it was so big and would want to be sure to evaluate it for cancer; but he said that there was no "small risk" with operating on me due to my kidney issues. I freaked out a bit when he said that with my sarcoma history, any connective tissue growths need to be treated right away, so I def needed the hyst. I wanted some way of maybe evaluating these for cancer beforehand so I didnt have to do surgery if it wasnt absolutely necessary. I started thinking if the risks were that high I'd live with the Symptoms.

It wasnt the idea of the hyst that bothered me, hubby and I are not planning on having children; but something about the situation had me really spooked. I kept envisioning myself losing all kidney function from surgery complications; this guy was almost TOO dire.

He then suggested that I go see a gyn onc he knows in Mobile, AL (I'm in coastal Mississippi) for one more opinion. And this guy did Da Vinci, which is less invasive, less complications..

So I agreed to go. When I went, the facility was wonderful (they have an academic lab too, and I might apply there for my phd next year in research - glad I found out about it!)

The doc was really great, and when I tearfully explained my fears and ended with "Is it worth the risk of surgery?" He said "Oh, the risks are REALLY low for you. Its nearly bloodless so volume loss isnt as pronounced (big renal issue) and I think I can get this out with the robot." I felt so at peace. I had an MRI done to gauge the size (it was HUGE and it was obvious why I was feeling bad)

So I scheduled it for Dec 1. I was at peace with the decision. Time went quickly, as I only had a 2 week wait from this visit to the actual surgery.

Night before I was nervous but lots of prayer and making cookies helped. The morning of surgery I had to be there
at 7am so we left home at 5. I was having such an awful gout flareup in my heel that I needed a wheelchair, I couldnt walk.

Once we got there, I was checked in and called back to preop pretty quick a little before 7am. No one else was in the room yet, and the nurse took me back and got me weighed and a pee sample and settled into a bed in the preop room, and asked me tons of questions like allergies, prev reactions, etc. I had to remove my clothes and put em in a bag and put on the gown and some sock booties and support hose. Not even undies allowed. I got a couple big warm blankets since it was cold in there.

When she saw we were from MS she commented that she was too, she was from the town where I work/go to grad school. My hubby told her I worked at the laboratory and she said "Oh you must know my sister!" Turns out her sister was my close coworker. What a small world! I had no idea the coworker had a sister who worked here, lol. We laughed about that because yeah, her sister was on my "Please call after surgery list" heh.

Anyway, the beds in the preop area were all separated with the pull drapes, and there was a funny old guy across the hall who made me chuckle because he had PJ pants on under his gown and wasnt supposed to, so the nurses were tryin to pull them off behind the curtain. He was railing on about how those gowns are too breezy and not worth a "darn thing".

They started my IV (wasnt bad at all with the lidocaine first, nurse said "You'll feel a pinch" and afterwards I was like "You lied! No pinch, I want my $$ back" heh. I was pleased with how easy the IV was. And I have really tough tiny veins.

Then they poked me for blood (was not awful but not the best I'd ever had) and then the anesthesia guy came in, had me say AHHH and ask a lot of questions. I told him I had post anesthesia nausea back in 82.. two surgeries, he said hed been doing anesthesia since '86 and the old stuff caused nausea in 40% of ppl, the new stuff in only 5%. But if I got sick they had ways to help now.

He said the risk to me for anesthesia was low, it was safer for me to go under than to drive over there. That kinda scared me come time for the ride home, heh, but at the moment it was comforting. He said hed never had a person wake up during surgery since he started in 86, he wasnt starting today. He inspired a lot of confidence.

Then the resident, asst surgeon, surgeon, OR nurse, nurse anesthestist all came in and peered at me and asked questons. I liked the surgeon's resident; he had a nice dry sense of humor. The N.A. was a big Alabama Crimson Tide fan (her surgical cap said "Roll Tide!" and she and hubby discussed football some.

After everyone finished the parade it was 10:30 it was time to go!

As they were wheeling me out and chatting, the NA said "I'm giving you something to relax you but you wont be out yet, but you prolly wont remember much after this."

I said "Versed"? She said "Yeah howd you know?" The other nurse said I was a biochemist/molecular biology grad student and had done a lot of research, I had told her that earlier. I actually read about Versed here at hystersisters heh. There were some threads awhile back dedicated to its virtues heh. I was glad I got it.

As we kept rolling I kept saying "I still am remembering!" all the way down the hall. I was waiting for when it went black. It didnt yet.. and I was aware of them chasing a guy pushing a big chrome supply cart down the hall telling him to get out of the way. Then we got to my O.R. and they wheeled me in.

It was such a dingy little room, all tile; seemed dark to me; shadowy (I'm sure that was the Versed). I saw the big round lights and the Da Vinci robot and remember saying "Oh so theres the cool robot" and remember being moved to the table. They put a mask on my face and said "This is oxygen right now not gas yet" and stretched my arm to the side. I was completely not nervous, just mildly interested is how I'd describe it. I had no real thoughts on any subject at that moment, then I was OUT. They musta been lying about the gas or the Versed kicked right in because the next memory was a weird very vivid dream where I was *in* the World of Warcraft game, fishing.

To anyone who has never seen the game, its a bright cartoony world, really beautiful. I was like immersed in it. No pain, very pleasant and gentle. Then suddenly someone was thrusting a little cylinder in my hand saying to push when it hurts, its the morphine pump, and I cant OD so just push it when it hurts, it helps them track my pain. I was in this shadowy room, I think musta been recovery because there were lots of dark shadowy people and noises.

Then I pressed the button, I dunno why, thats all sketchy, it seemed comforting. I was back in WoW-land. Then back in shadowy room.. I asked someone if I was ok, they said yes have an ice chip. I ate it and oscillated back and forth between the crazy happy world and the recovery roomfor awhile. Every time I woke up I was wondering where my family was. No one was in there. Turns out I was in recovery from 12:30-3:30. Surgery lasted from 10:30-12:30. My hubby didnt hear anything so at 3:30 finally went up to ask them my status, and right after that he was taken to meet me in my room.

I remember after waking up one time asking where everyone was and if I was ok they said yes and that they would be in my room, and they were taking me there now. I remember they took the oxygen mask off me and wheeled me around in my bed to a room. Not 5 secs after I was wheeled in (at least to me) my hubby and parents walked in. I remember telling them to eat the cookies, making hubby go get them from car, then I was asleep off and on, I had a clear liquid dinnder (I think I drank the tea but anything else made me retch) till I remember the nurse waking me up at 1am to sit up.

Once I sat up, the gas pain in the right shoulder hit. I couldnt lie back down with any amount of morphine, so I spent the rest of the night dozing in the chair by my bed. I wasnt focused enough to do anything else but doze.

The next am I managed to get back in bed, they took out the catheter and I peed, a LOT (This was good) then they removed the morphine, then the IV. I had the little squeeze things on my legs this whole time too, I forgot to say.. since pre-op.

I would retch with nausea every time someone entered the room despite the meds (they didnt give me phenergan while I was on morphine - but as soon as I was off the morphine they did and it worked. ) I think a lot of that is psychological, I've got deep issues related to my chemo in 1982 as a child. Thats a WHOLE book right there...

I took the turkey/dressing lunch home with me in a to go box andwas discharged about 4:30. We got home about 7 and I felt better pretty quick.. I ate the turkey and sat in my computer chair.. I still couldnt lie down comfortably so I spent the first 2 nights in the computer chair. I walked the hall to pee and took Milk of Magnsia, stool softeners and gas ex. Thurs night was the first night I could lie down. I developed a fever of 101.2 on Wed night and went to an urgicare clinic here and got a script for LevaQuin.

Fever's gone now; I'm a week post op and have been sittin on the computer, watching DVDs and today did a LOT of sleeping. I can get around better, sleep on my left side, and am pooping like a champ.

On Day 1-6 I was having hot flahes, night sweats and was crying and emotional like a nut. This morning I awoke to a pleasant suprise.. no sweat; and its like the A/C is back on in my body. If anything I have chills now. Today I had a fever of 99.2 (no biggie) and have not been able to get warm. But that beats the hot flashes. I'm also feeling a lot more mentally stable. Could be the sleep I got too tho, or my ovaries woke up.

Oh and the frozen sections done at hospital during surgery looked benign.. hes pretty sure it wasnt cancer. Will know more when pathology comes in.
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