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  #1  
Unread 02-04-2012, 03:31 PM
Need information

I'm 37 yrs old after having years of abnormal pap smears etc I was told i need a complete hysterctomy, with my ovaries taken out also. Originally I was scheduled for a Robatic type surgery but now they scheduled it as the old fashion abdominal cut surgery. This came as a total shock to me. To say that I am scared is a understatement, what can I expect? How is the recovery? How long of a hospital stay can I expect? Please any information would be greatly appreciated!
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  #2  
Unread 02-04-2012, 03:58 PM
Re: Need information

Hey Jen:

I'm having my hyst for the exact same reason - paps every three months since the age of 20 (I'm 48 and have HPV) ALWAYS abnormal - colposcopies, cryo, cone biopsies... It recently made the leap to cervical cancer. I will be removing everything as I have also been in perimenopause for 6 years and am ready to get on with actual meno and HRT.

My surgery is this coming tuesday, also abdominal. I had a c-section at age 25 but am told that a hyst and a c-section can't be compared because of the internal sutures that are involved with a hyst. I CAN tell you that the abdominal incision is no big deal at all if they're doing it horizontally - usually they cut right along the bikini line and it heals to about a 5-inch, thin scar. As long as you take care, it heals very quickly. Once you've been cleared bu your Dr., you can rub some Vit. E oil or cocoa butter on it to help with the scarring!

Good luck!! I'll let you know about the rest of it on Wednesday!! (ack!)

--Pam
  #3  
Unread 02-04-2012, 04:46 PM
Re: Need information

I was also really scared, but the reality of the surgery wasn't nearly as bad as the anticipation. I had a very good recovery, and while it wasn't a walk in the park, I was surprised at every step at how much better I felt compared to how I expected to feel.

The only difference, as I understand it, between any of the procedures (vaginal, laparascopic, robotic or abdominal) is the external incisions. The internal work is all the same, and requires at least six weeks of recovery time for healing to begin.

I had an abdominal procedure, and I walked to the bathroom on my own as soon as the IV was removed. I took a shower by myself on the second day. The pain management is really good now, so while I was definitely uncomfortable for the first few days, the pain never felt unmanageable. I was in the hospital for 4 days. Each doctor and hospital will have different expectations, but I think that seems to be about average for a TAH from what I have read.

Because all of your other parts get moved around during the surgery, your bowels and bladder may be sluggish for the first few days. It was the third day before I passed any gas, and nearly a week before I had a bowel movement. Even now, I still take stool softeners, and my bladder is improving, but I don't yet have my previous "push power". My doctor says that is normal, and will turn around.

You will be very tired afterward. I think the fatigue was what surprised me the most. I had days when I was more active, and that would be followed by one or two days of needing to sleep a lot.

If you pay attention to your body and make plans to take it easy, rest and allow the healing to take place, then you will be fine. I think that most women's frustration comes from expecting themselves to be "all better" before they are healed enough.

I hope this helps.
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  #4  
Unread 02-04-2012, 05:55 PM
Re: Need information

I had a TAH BSO with a vertical incision (6 inches). I went into the hospital on a Tuesday morning and came out Friday afternoon - so about three days. Recovery can take a while, and you will be very fatigued afterwards. For me, for the first couple of weeks, showering and getting to the couch was exhausting. I did not return to work (desk job) for three weeks, and then worked only part time for four weeks after that.

Do not expect to clean house for about 8 weeks, and you will need help around the house - cooking, dishes, grocery shopping, etc. for several weeks. You will be restricted from lifting 10 lbs for 6 weeks. You will probably have driving restrictions for a few weeks as well.

To be healed 100% will take about one year. I am about 9 months post-op, and still don't quite yet have the stamina I did pre-op. This past week was a busy week for me, with business travel and some overtime work. I can tell I am still recovering.

Good luck to you.
  #5  
Unread 02-04-2012, 06:08 PM
Re: Need information

Hi Jen,

I second everything Carol Anne said. I had the old fashioned abdominal hysterectomy almost 3 weeks ago. I can tell you, the worst part was the time before, wondering how things would be after.

My hospital stay was 2-1/2 days, but your doctor may be different. Take the time to wander through the pre-op articles on this site before you go to your next appointment. There is a lot of information in there, and some questions that you might want to ask your doctor. If you don't have another appointment scheduled before surgery and you have questions, make one. The articles will also give you an idea of how to get your home ready for your recovery time and lots of tips of things to do and have beforehand. If you prepare now, you'll have an easier time of it when you come home.

My recovery so far has been pretty good. The nurses had me up walking a little within hours of surgery, and I've made sure to walk frequently and drink plenty of water since. I was in some pain the first week or so, but it was well managed through medication. I started taking stool softeners and Gas-X as soon as I got home from the hospital, and they gave me gas meds while I was in, which helped a lot with bowel pain. I still get some, but it isn't too bad.

You will be very tired for a long time. This is normal. It takes a lot of energy for our bodies to heal, and you will have a lot of internal things going on that you can't see. Sometimes, I think those of us that have the belly incision have an easier time remembering that we're recovering from major surgery than those who don't have the external reminder.

Don't be afraid to ask any questions you have here. There is nothing too intimate or to weird. Trust me.
  #6  
Unread 02-04-2012, 06:16 PM
Re: Need information

Thank you guys I think now I'm just starting to feel as if I am not going to be that same person I was before the surgery, is this normal to feel this way?
  #7  
Unread 02-04-2012, 06:28 PM
Re: Need information

That is very normal. I was worried about that too. For me, having a TAH BSO dumped me into surgical menopause. It was way too tough of crash for my system (I am 46), and I had to go on HRT. I think the best way to describe the whole experience for me is that I am getting to a new normal. I do feel different post-op than pre-op - I don't want to scare you but it is how I feel. They removed my uterus and ovaries, and I am still adjusting to this. I do feel less feminine, and am trying to work out that issue. Recovery for me is a work in progress.

(((Hugs)))
  #8  
Unread 02-04-2012, 07:28 PM
Re: Need information

Before my TAH (3 weeks post op) I felt as if I was never going to feel normal again. I was just saying today how I can't wait to have a day when I don't remember I had a hysterectomy. Its way too soon for that. Each day is different, but I know by this time next year I'll be back to my old self...the old self before I started having long, heavy painful periods, and going to the restroom every 20 minutes.

Best wishes to you!

The worst part for me was the waiting. The surgery itself is a piece of cake. Recovery...well it takes time, but you have all of these fabulous hyster-sisters to help you through it.
  #9  
Unread 02-04-2012, 08:38 PM
Re: Need information

I can't believe how much better I feel now than I did before the surgery. Even though I still feel the results of the surgery every day, it is still better than it was before. I didn't have a great deal of pain, mostly just a full, uncomfortable feeling, but my energy level is already better.

I still am very tired at the end of the day, but I have been back to work full time for the past three weeks. I was lucky to be able to take all the time I needed, and since I am on my feet all day, I couldn't really face going in early than the 7 week mark. At the end of a day on my feet, my belly is still swollen, and sometimes I get a burning sensation at my incision. I say that because you need to know that recovery is a long time happening. But, I have been able to do everything I want to do for several weeks.

I wish you well with your surgery and your recovery.
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