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Many Questions Many Questions

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Unread 01-01-2002, 10:45 AM
Many Questions

I am new here. I hope I am posting this in the correct place. Here goes!

I am 48 years old and in the last 8 years since being diagnosed with fibroids, have gone from horrible heavy periods (which caused me to be anemic), to unpredictable periods every other month or so, to no periods at all. Ironically, after no longer having to worry about those horrible periods (although I had a surprise a few months ago) I, at this post menopausal stage, am facing a possible hysterectomy.

I am awaiting the results of a recent ultrasound after my new Doctor (changed from my original Doctor for insurance reasons) said one of my fibroids is the size of a grapefruit. He has not yet made his recommendation, but from the little he did say, I am assuming he might recommend surgery. My former Doctor had followed the wait and monitor approach to my fibroids, although I did have a D&C. And he also had said my uterus was enlarged, equivalent to being several months pregnant.

Anyway, I have several questions incase he does recommend surgery. If anyone would be so kind to give me your experiences, I would be grateful. Fortunately I had 2 healthy children in my 20's before having developing fibroids.

1. Is it standard/common to remove the cervix during an abdominal hysterectomy?

2. Are bladder problems common after a hysterectomy (either with or without removal of the cervix)?

3. Is there a loss of sexual desire after a hysterectomy? Does sex feel the same and are orgasms as easy to get?

4. To those of you who also had an enlarged uterus before surgery. Does hysterectomy result in a flatter stomach (wishful thinking I am sure!)?

5. Is weight gain common after hysterectomy and after starting HRT?

Thanks in advance for any answers to my questions. It is great to find a place like this to share this experience.

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Unread 01-01-2002, 10:57 AM
Re: Many Questions

I will reply to the questions I can answer!

>>[quote]Originally posted by Mariesw
[b]I am new here. I hope I am posting this in the correct place. Here goes!

YES--YOU HAVE COME TO THE RIGHT PLACE!!! This forum has been SO good for many us !!

1. Is it standard/common to remove the cervix during an abdominal hysterectomy?

I really don't know if it's standard. For ME, I'd had abnormal paps in the past (though I was fine now), but I couldn't see a reason to leave it in. It really had no function for me other than as something to worry about later with cervical cancer (though it's till possible to get cancer at the top of the vagina, even without a cervix, it is highly unlikely).

2. Are bladder problems common after a hysterectomy (either with or without removal of the cervix)?

Some of us have the surgery to HELP bladder problems. I had no problems afterwards. I was catheterized (while asleep). They took it out after about 24 hours and I immediately went to the bathroom with no problems. I'm 3 weeks post op and had no bladder difficulties.

It probably depends on what your other problems are, but you might find things BETTER afterwards, especially if you have an enlarged uterus now.

3. Is there a loss of sexual desire after a hysterectomy? Does sex feel the same and are orgasms as easy to get?

I haven't been there yet, but when I do Kegel exercises, I still found I had sensation in the clitoral region (sorry to be so graphic!).

4. To those of you who also had an enlarged uterus before surgery. Does hysterectomy result in a flatter stomach (wishful thinking I am sure!)?

Actually, since I had mine done vaginally, I DID have a flatter stomach!! And my uterus wasn't even enlarged! I think it depends on your current weight, distribution of fat, etc.

5. Is weight gain common after hysterectomy and after starting HRT?

I'm not on HRT and don't plan to be. I lost weight!

My suggestions to you would be to make sure you have confidence in your doctor. If necessary, GET A SECOND OPINION. I have a great doctor and my surgery went very well. I feel fantastic and have since the operation. My main problem is not overdoing it.

AND, if you have the surgery, I recommend taking stool softeners. I had NO problem with gas or constipation, and I 'blame' it on planning ahead!
Unread 01-01-2002, 11:03 AM
Welcome Marie!

This is an awesome website. I can't answer all your questions, but just from my experience I can tell you what has happened to me. You should also ask your DR these questions they are usually the one who can give you the medical opinion you might need. Now from my experiences:
1. Removal of the cervix is most of the time a decision you and your DR will have to make. I chose to have mine removed and could make a choice because I had a tah.

2. This I can only tell you what I know. I am 6 months post-op and have not had any bladder problems. I did however have them before but since surgery haven't had any. I really am not post-op long enough to be able to give a good answer.

3. I have no difference at all in my sex drive. I am a very sexual person but it really hurt before my surgery that it wasn't the good experience I once had. Now I am back to normal and to be honest can not tell any difference in having the big O or achieveing them.

4. Flat stomach haven't had one since I was young so that I can not help you with.

5. I have gained weight, but like I tell everyone I love to eat and I think my thyroid is messed up so I am not a normal case.

Hope this has helped and of course go to the pull down menu at the bottom of the page and it will let you search for any thing and find post about most any thing. Good luck and God Bless. Here are some cyber and . and welcome to Hystersisters.
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Unread 01-01-2002, 11:28 AM
cervix removed

I can only post to what my doc said about cervix removal as I am pre-op. She said it is removed in about 90% of the time. Mine is being removed cuz of abnormal paps. Hope this helps and wecome
Unread 01-01-2002, 11:57 AM
Many Questions

1. Yes it is pretty standard/commmon to remove the cervix! Dr. says it is just the "neck" and has no purpose! I had abnormal cells on my cervix so it was best to remove it!

2. No bladder problems before surgery normally results in no bladder problems after surgery! None here!

3. I am just barely past the point where I can start having intercourse again but I am here to tell you I have lost no sensations other than the pain!

4. I lost 4 pounds just by having surgery!

5. According to my doctor there should not be any weight gain unless you are undisciplined! Eat right and exercise right and you shouldn't have any problems!

My doctor says some women will use HRT as a "crutch" and blame it for moods and weight gain just like some women blame the pre op problems for being moody, etc.
Unread 01-01-2002, 12:08 PM
Many Questions

Hi Marie!

Welcome to HysterSisters !

I will answer the questions that I can: 1st of all, I am 41 years old and had a TAH/Burch for adenomyosis

1. Keeping your cervix is a decision you and your Dr. have to make. It is only a decision if you are having your hyster done abdominally. A vaginal hyst will require the cervix to come out. I had my cervix removed.

2. I had a Burch procedure with my TAH due to bladder stress incontinence. So far, I have seen some improvement, but I still have some swelling/pressure issues in that area. I think I am a little slower at healing. !!!!

3. My sexual desire is about the same as it was pre hyst and orgasms feel the same as they did before surgery.

4. My uterus was enlarged to 10 week size. However, I have never had a flat stomach, and still don't. I still am experienceing some "Swelly belly"......

5. I kept both ovaries, so no HRT for me. However, I have managed to gain a few pounds post op. The only reason I think I did is because I quit smoking on the way to the castle the day of my hyster. Had I not quit smoking, I don't think I would have gained any weight.

Hope this helps hon. Best of luck to you in your decision. Please feel free to ask more questions.....
Unread 01-01-2002, 02:14 PM
Many Questions

My answers to your questions is about the same as those above. I am 15 months post op from TAH/BSO.

I had no bladder problems before surgery, and have none now.

Sex is probably a little bit better for me than before my surgery because I had Adenomyosis, Endometriosis, and a Fibroid tumor, which caused heavy bleeding and lots of pain, so sex was not as frequent because of all of the problems. Orgasms feel exactly the same to me.

My belly is not totally flat, but hasn't been since before I had kids. It is slightly less after surgery. My uterus was about 14 week pregnancy size, and I had lots of lower belly pressure feelilngs before surgery, which I'm happy to say is totally gone.

I am on HRT, and my weight has not gone up since surgery, except for the few pounds I have gained over the holidays from eating too many sweets (Back on the low fat diet and to the gym tomorrow!!).
Unread 01-01-2002, 05:09 PM
many questions

hi marie

regarding your's what i experienced.

i had a TAH-BSO on 8/31/01 and am now 4 mos post op and feeling pretty darn good!!!

i had the option of my doctor removing only my uterus vs taking it all....and opted for her to take it all. the way i viewed it, why come back for seconds??
with a total abdominal hysterectomy the doc can remove only the uterus....and leave the cervix in tact and the ovaries......but i was afraid of the possibility of having to have another surgery, so for me....there was no question as to what i really wanted, plus for me, i didnt have big plans for any of it.

i too had a fibroid..and from what the ultrasound showed it was about the size of a grapefruit (or so i thought)....but... when the doc got in there...she said that it was more the size a melon....she said it was huge! glad i no longer have to deal with was bothering wonder!!!!!

unfortunately......a flatter stomach wasnt in the cards for me....grrrrrrr!!!! (wish now that i had had a tummy tuck done at the same time) such was not the case, however.

as for bladder problems.....didnt experience any.....but pain from lack of bowel movements was a problem at was gas try a stool softener if possible....and let me tell you that gas-x works wonders!

sex......just traveled that road not too long ago and it was pretty good! i was told that the first time having sex after a hysterectomy there is a chance of some spot bleeding...but that didnt happen in my case and it felt the same....
you might or might want to have some lubrication available however....depends on dryness.

i started HRT immediately and havent had a problem with first i was having headaches for a few weeks....but they have subsided and so good!

something i didnt expect which came as a HUGE awakening for me was the LACK OF ENERGY I HAD POST OPERATIVELY......I COULDNT BELIEVE HOW TIRED I one had mentioned to me that this surgery was going to wipe me out..eventually that gets better and energy has returned...but it took months..... not sure if that will happen to you, as we all are different....but thought i would throw that in for good measure! more thing...i had dissolvable sutures instead of staples...and had two little ends from the nylon that took almost 4 mos to completely go one told me it could take a looooong time for them to dissolve...but now they are all gone and my incision is beautiful!!!!!!!!!

good luck to you with your surgery.....

Unread 01-01-2002, 07:13 PM
Many Questions

Just want to tell you that everyone's energy level is different afterwards. I, personally, did NOT have any drain in energy. In fact, it's been a "drain" for me to stay down. I want to exercise, run, play with the kids, do it all, but I know I can't because it causes cramping.

There really isn't a way to know how you will feel.

BUT--I strongly urge you to get the stool softener ahead of time (not one with a laxative). AND, I got the Mylicon (gas medicine) as well. Have it all there ready for you when you get home.

I started all that right away (after I got home) and had no problems. I had to give myself a Fleet enema the night before surgery, and it came in a two pack. When I got home 3 days post op, I gave myself the other one. I was DETERMINED not to get constipated, and I haven't!! Check with your doctor, of course.
Unread 01-02-2002, 08:02 AM
Thanks to all!

I really appreciate all your answers and advise : ) . It definitely makes me feel better knowing there are some positive results and experiences after surgery. I should get my latest ultrasound results any day now. Crossing my fingers if I do need surgery that I can get it authorized quickly and done this month. I'm very glad I found this place.

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