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what to expect what to expect

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Unread 01-28-2012, 03:28 PM
what to expect

Hi there.... I am scheduled to have an abdominal hysterectomy in just a few weeks.... What should I expect in regards to length of surgery, time in hospital and most importantly, pain?
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Unread 01-28-2012, 04:14 PM
Re: what to expect

Everything varies from person to person and surgeon to surgeon. What did your doctor say about length of surgery and length of stay? Expect your recovery time to be 6-8 weeks minimum maybe longer because you are getting a TAH. Follow your doctors instructions post op and you should be fine. You will have a vaginal cuff in place of your cervix which is one of the reasons for no sex until at least 6 weeks.
Unread 01-28-2012, 04:27 PM
Re: what to expect

Hi Niagararegion!

Hopefully your doctor is planning to sit down and go over all of that with you, and if s/he does not have something like that scheduled, you might consider asking for an appointment. There you can bring all of your questions and have them answered by the one who knows your medical history and what protocols s/he will be following for your surgery.

Length of time in the OR (operating room) depends on what is involved with your surgery -- there are various types and techniques. My surgery was a radical total abdominal hysterectomy (TAH) and bilateral oophorectomy (BSO) with a vertical incision and took a few hours, I guess, but my stay in the hospital began Monday morning and I went home Wednesday evening. Sometimes length of stay is less, sometimes more, depending on many different factors.

My pain levels varied, but the nursing staff monitored that in the hospital and I had a pain button to push to release the medicine into my IV. I was asleep every 15 minutes. Then they gave me a prescription for pain medicine to take home, and I did end up needing them for about a week. Then I had to be really careful for the next few weeks not to overdo it with too much activity, even sitting at the computer, because there was soreness here and there for a while, and not just that incision -- the incision was not even painful, actually. It was inside the abdomen.

Stick around and read about others' experiences, keeping in mind we are all very different. I think you will feel an abundance of support here!

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Unread 01-28-2012, 05:15 PM
Re: what to expect

I will make an appointment with my doc to ask, but what is the "vaginal cuff"? I will have a horizontal incision, and he said to expect to be off work for eight weeks.... My ovaries will be staying, but the uterus and the tubes will be going..... the doc said I have a "rock hard" uterus and an inflexible pelvic wall... anybody familiar with that?
Unread 01-29-2012, 07:48 AM
Re: what to expect

Hi again!

For more info about the vaginal cuff, click here


I have never heard of removal of the tubes without the ovaries. I believe the pelvic wall and uterus should be soft and flexible; being rock hard and inflexible would indicate abnormality and the doc should be closer to knowing what caused it in your case.

The surgery is quite invasive regardless of what type of incision -- looks like you and I have in common that the moderately sized incision is something to monitor very closely and take very good care of in addition to taking it easy on the abdominal area so it can heal well (thus the 8 weeks off from work).

I made sure my postop instructions were spelled out for me in writing so I could refer back to it when I forgot different things. And I did. For most people, this is a rather smooth process as long as doc's instructions are truly followed. That can be difficult to do when you're home, off from work, and tempted to do normal activities. It's not something that should have you bedridden; in fact, there should be some easy walking and gentle stretching to get the blood flowing and your body moving around from time to time, but pay close attention to your lifting restrictions and other activity directives in your doctor's instructions.

Unread 01-29-2012, 08:49 AM
Re: what to expect

i too,had tubes removed but kept ovaries.
dr. told me standard hospital stay is around 48 hrs for TAH.they will give you pain push button you'll use after surgery and the next day after surgery.just in case you're not encouraged to walk halls from hospital staff be prepared this really helps with the gas issue you will face.if i hadnt known to walk myself,i wouldnt have walked.the hospital i used wasnt a very good one.didnt realize this until i was actually there.i am a nurse's aide so i knew to walk plus i had had 2 c-sections.have you had c-sections before? a TAH cut will feel alot like that.but much more intense.
they act like 6th week mark is magic # but i am normal active person and its took me around the 8-10 week mark to actually feel normal.
tah is a major surgery not one to be taken lightly.its not a procedure.
i had to have pain meds refilled on/off for several weeks due to i couldnt quit doing things.its manageable but 1st 2 weeks was extremely painful for me.i hope you have good support system,i didnt.thats one cause of delayed healing.
i really thought i was better @ 3 weeks but i soon learned that this type recovery actually goes thru stages and it more like 8 weeks when you feel like your old self. everybody heals differently.i am glad you have found this site before surgery.i wish i would have.didnt find it til 2weeks after surgery.its quite good cause other women can tell you what to expect at hospital,what to bring w/ you and what you can expect after surgery.but be prepared for TOTAL HOUSEREST for 1st week at your home after surgery.
Unread 01-29-2012, 01:13 PM
Re: what to expect

I am really glad to have found this site before surgery.... To Christinatas, no, I have never had a C-section....actually, I have never given birth (adopted two children), which is why my uterus is hard and my pelvic wall inflexible..... I am glad to have read on here to walk as soon as possible after to help with impending gas problems... Should I expect to walk the day after surgery? I have heard that the first day I will be mostly sleeping.... I have also heard that I need to avoid the impulse to walk hunched over, that it is important to walk straight, though I dont know why this makes a difference....Is it the pain that makes you want to hunch over?
Christinatas, I am sorry you didnt have a great support system, that must make it very difficult. My husband will be great but it will be difficult as I am sure that my husband and two boys will not clean the house as I would like it and I know I wont be able to do anything about it.... I will have to learn to let go....I am really worried about the pain..... I wish I could understand how much pain it is, people compare it to things I cant relate to like childbirth and other surgeries....
Unread 01-29-2012, 02:48 PM
Re: what to expect

to be quite honest a lady at my restaurant told me to feel like an old hunched down lady for a while.i havent heard it was bad to hunch down ,you'll have to for a couple of days up to 1 st week just depends on your comfort level.i really thought lady was exaggerating but thats how you'll walk for a little bit.pain does make you hunch over and nurses should make decision about you walking halls.i did on my on.
also you'll walk doing baby steps.lol
i wish you'd had c-section where you could kinda understand pain level.i was always told its where they cut muscle that causes you such pain but my gyno said it was this plus during healing process it would hurt badly and he said the fashias(muscle covering) has very limited blood supply and causes delayed healing & pain for many weeks
i dont mean to scare you.the pain is manageable with motrin and narcotics.but you will have pain.regardless of taking meds or not.i seemed to hurt more about 2nd week than straight out of surgery,thats when dr. told me about muscle covering and how it doesnt have good blood supply.
make sure your dr. gives you a list of things to do and not do.
mine thought where i had had c-sections i knew my restrictions but i didnt and that's what delayed healing.i had last c-section almost 17 years ago!!!
yeah i was expecting just to hurt around a week like c-section but thatwasnt the case at all.its like your body goes thru weekly stages
like week 1 ,2,3 so after procedure check in with other ppl. that had your surgery date and you wont believe how helpful this is to you.plus you know you are not alone.but actual surgery doesnt hurt real bad its just a tough total recovery.hugs to you and post any of your concerns.just remember you'll have ppl. going thru this w/ you.hugs

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