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Getting second opinions... Getting second opinions...

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  #1  
Unread 10-24-2009, 03:48 PM
Getting second opinions...

About 5 years ago I went to a new gyn w/symptoms that I assumed were perimenopause. I liked her immediately--she was young and female and I'd never had a female gyn before. After the exam, she told me that she suspected I had another five years ahead of me before menopause (at 50, this surprised me, since most of my friends went through menopause in their 40s and I was the only one still having periods). She also said we'd have to look for other causes for my symptoms, and it turned out that the heavy bleeding, cramping, etc. was from a large cervical polyp which was removed with a D&C.

My periods became normal again, which for me meant five days but only heavy for th first couple, and never so heavy I had to worry about bleed through.

A year or so later I started having heavy periods again, so heavy that I'd have to get up several times in the night to change pads or I'd soak through, and sometimes I bled through on my clothes during the day.

She did an ablation and told me that at my age (52) there was a good chance I'd never have a period again.

Well, for awhile I didn't, but then they came back. Again, they were normal, and finally began to get slightly irregular, and then stopped. Fifteen months later (two weeks ago) I had a very heavy period with cramping, and went back to the doc.

She told me that she could continue to do D&Cs from time to time, but that since my body is still producing so much estrogen, the longer I keep my uterus, the more likely I am to develop uterine cancer, so her advice was to strongly consider the hysterectomy. (Uterus only, it appears, and probably vaginal, though that is still up in the air.)

I felt we'd tried to keep it, but the time has come to just move on. I'll be 56 next month, and even though I'd prefer not to lose a body part, enough is enough. Plus, I would prefer to avoid cancer, if possible.

I notice on this site it encourages second opinions.

Is it enough to go to my GP and run everything by him? Do I really need to get a second opinion from another gyn? (I'm not thrilled about going to the GP but if it's that important....)

I'm not asking for medical opinions. I know nobody here can tell me I don't need a second opinion as any kind of definitive answer in my specfic case.

But what are your general feelings toward it?
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  #2  
Unread 10-24-2009, 09:55 PM
Re: Getting second opinions...

Dear mopsy:

Would you check out more than one car before you purchased? Would you visit more than one home before you bought it?

I hope you will push forward on a second medical opinion.... You're worth it!!

I am sending huge cyberhugs
  #3  
Unread 10-25-2009, 10:43 AM
Re: Getting second opinions...

Hi mopsy

Sounds like you've been going through it!

Yep, you should certainly get a second opinion - you can bet your sweet bippy that doctors do that when making decisions about major surgery!

My case is very different to yours (my Gyn doesn't seem to be sure about what I have) but when I started having second thoughts I approached another doc who got me an appointment in a very prestigious cancer treatment centre. My original doc was proposing a really major (and risky) operation. If the gyn-onc recommends the same thing, it will be horrible but at least I'll know it was necessary.

Best of luck.

Big hugs
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  #4  
Unread 10-25-2009, 03:55 PM
Re: Getting second opinions...

Absolutely get a second opinion. My regular Dr. told me that having a Vag. hysterectomy was the easiest, with quickest recovery time. I told her that I'd like info on laproscopic and she sent me to another Dr. because she didn't perform them. She said that because of the size of my fibroid, (which caused my pain and heavy bleeding) I'd need to be on lupron to shrink the fibroid first. The 2nd Dr. said "no way". He'd taken out much larger fibroids without a problem. I can keep my ovaries and cervix and just lose the uterus. I am 50 and probably 5 years away from menopause. He told me that laproscopic was SO much easier to recover from - because they don't cut thru all the muscles around the cervix like they do with Vag or TAH. My normal Dr. also said that I would still need pap smears because I would be keeping my cervix. The new Dr. said "not true" because they take out the cervical canal which stops all mini-periods, but still leaves the cervix. It's amazing the difference between the level of knowledge that Drs have regarding these surgeries. I am so happy that I got the 2nd opinion. I am scheduled Nov. 6 and I am so excited to be pain-free!!
  #5  
Unread 10-25-2009, 09:16 PM
Re: Getting second opinions...

Thanks to all of you. I'm afraid I'm not going to be able to dive in and do this as quickly as I'd hoped (next week) unless (please no) my biopsy comes back scary.

There are several reasons why having this done immediately would be best, including concerns about our health insurance, travel arrangements, and a teaching schedule that will be shot to hell this semester, but at least I'd be able to recover before next semester.

But I'm not sure I can get a second opinion that fast.
  #6  
Unread 10-25-2009, 09:22 PM
Re: Getting second opinions...

  Quote:
Originally Posted by Trixie22 View Post
He told me that laproscopic was SO much easier to recover from - because they don't cut thru all the muscles around the cervix like they do with Vag or TAH. My normal Dr. also said that I would still need pap smears because I would be keeping my cervix. The new Dr. said "not true" because they take out the cervical canal which stops all mini-periods, but still leaves the cervix. It's amazing the difference between the level of knowledge that Drs have regarding these surgeries. I am so happy that I got the 2nd opinion. I am scheduled Nov. 6 and I am so excited to be pain-free!!
You know, I probably really am diving in too fast. I had an endometrial biopsy and the doctor discussed my options (without much detail), and why she thought I probably should be considering a hysterectomy no matter which way the biopsy comes out. Within a few hours I'd realized all the reasons why, if I was going to do this, I needed to do it fast.

But I haven't gone back into her office. We haven't discussed the various kinds of hysterectomies (other than her mentioning a procedure that involved sending a camera through the navel and removing the uterus vaginally--but for some reason I thought maybe that was the laproscopic surgery, but now I realize I have no idea about any of it). She's probably assuming that once she gets the results we'll sit down and talk about everything, while I'm wanting to charge ahead and Do It Now.
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