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Unread 02-12-2002, 06:57 PM

I'm going to have to have a uterus-only biopsy, and the doctor is talking about doing a vaginal. All of this due to endo cancer stage1.

I've heard good and bad about both traditional and vaginal hyster's and wonder what some "real life" experiences are.

Thanks so much!

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Unread 02-12-2002, 07:25 PM

Hi Kelli!

I had TAH/BSO with a vertical incision, and I am perfectly fine with it, and would do it again the same way with no qualms whatsoever.... not that I had a choice, but some women do have a choice and go with their DR's recommendations for the most part, I believe.

DRs sometimes have very specific reasons for doing an abdominal incision, or being able to go in vaginally. It really depends on your condition most.

Some might say that recovery from TVH is easier and/or shorter than TAH, but I truly do not believe that this is the case with all women. I believe that this surgery can be every bit as invasive internally with TVH as it is with TAH.

If you do have a choice, I know you will be able to discuss it further with your DR and come up with the method that is best for you.

Unread 02-12-2002, 07:40 PM
My Personal experience w/TAH

Hello there kellib

I had a TAH & bladder suspension a little over 7 weeks ago. Before i go on, I'd like to add i am doing great now

As for my TAH. I spent three days in the castle. First day i remember almost nothing about it after the hyster. Morning after well... OK my PCA pump did work for me. I got very sick on the demerol. I'm alergic to codine so morphine was not an option. Although oral pain meds did manage it fairly well.

The day after. I was put on a clear liquid diet for the day. I got up for my first walk in the halls. It was not a long walk, but it felt like it . The hardest part was getting in and out of bed. Tummy muscles have taken a beating. The actual walking was not to bad. I took it slow with my trusty tummy pillow. I walked about 4 times that day. The last walk for the day was a lot longer than the first few.

Day 2 Put on a regular diet. Getting in and out of bed was still my largest task. I am now also turned from one side to the other more regularlly. It is important to do this due to gas etc.. I walked a lot more that day with my tummy pillow of course. ( with this surgery a tummy pillow will be your goddsend for a week or so. ) Also drank tons of water.

Day three yay!! got to go home. I pee'd for them cath free and ddi my required walks and a few more Home was so much more comfortable for me to heal and rest

It took about one week to stop using my tummy pillow. After that i took it slow. It took about 3 weeks to really start feeling more myself. By week 5 i was cleared to resume life again, All of it My Dr just told me to keep the lifting to a minimum (no more than 25 lbs till week 8. That was it after 5 weeks.

Now almost week 8 and i feel really good. I have healed very well and my tummy is starting to resemble my ole tummy again (not that it was all that grand) LOL But its mine never the less hehe

I hope you get some more input. Come to the chatroom. You will find a lot of great ladies with stories to share and a great line of support,

Always take care
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Unread 02-12-2002, 08:02 PM

Hi, Kellib,

I had a TVH/BSO.

I was hospitalized overnight, and my only complaint was back pain. I had no bleeding after my surgery. I also didn't ever have gas or constipation. My surgery was done with spinal anesthesia with sedation, and I'm now a believer in spinal anesthesia!

The initial recovery period for a vaginal hysterectomy is 6 to 8 weeks, just like the abdominal hyst. My doctor told me to spend the first two weeks after surgery reclining, with my feet elevated. I was allowed to go up and down stairs once a day, for the first two weeks. After two weeks, I was allowed to drive, but I still needed a great deal of rest, and didn't feel like doing much.

I followed all of my doctor's orders, and the common-sense guidelines I'd learned here from my Hystersisters. I didn't bend, stoop, or lift anything over five pounds. I didn't do housework. I let my family pamper me. Before surgery, I'd frozen meals, and made sure that my family knew how to do laundry, vacuum, dust, etc. I rested, walked, drank lots of water, and rested some more.

After three weeks, my doctor released me to do "anything I wanted" except sex. I still needed a great deal of rest. I started to gradually resume normal activities. I still rested, walked, drank water, and rested when I felt the need. I was tired!

After six weeks, I felt like a new woman. My energy came back, and I was able to do almost everything I'd done before my surgery, and sometimes more! I've continued to live a normal life, and it's been 8 months now, and I feel great.

I hope this helps you to plan your recovery. Please feel free to email me if you have other questions I can answer.

Best wishes,
Unread 02-13-2002, 06:27 AM

I havent had either surgery but I keep reading about more who have had the abdominal surgery ending up with painful adhesions that end up requiring repeat surgery. However, logically it seems that it would be easier for the surgeon to approach it from above (TAH) then approaching it from beneath (TVH)....

Unread 02-13-2002, 06:57 AM

The TVH was not an option for me due to the size of my fibroids, but the TAH/BSO that I had was far easier to recover from than I thought it would be. I had a very large vertical incision (10 inches), but at 9 1/2 weeks post-op, it's fading nicely into a thin white line. I felt really comfortable with the TAH because I wanted my surgeon to have a clear field to work in and make sure that there was nothing else growing in there besides the fibroids. At first, my gyn thought that some cancer might be involved because the size of my fibroids was preventing her from getting a good pelvic exam and ultrasound and she felt some things in there that were suspicious. So I never regretted going with the abdominal because the oncologist was able to look around and make sure it was only fibroids. The clean bill of health was worth dealing with the incision. The TAH is also a bit easier on the muscles and nerves of the vagina and is said to be less disruptive to that very sensitive area as far as sexual response is concerned. That made sense to me since the DR is working from above and not through the vagina. It also means that there isn't the need for any vaginal packing and there seems to be less bleeding.

I never once regretted having the TAH and would probably have asked for it even if my surgery could have been done vaginally. But your DR is the best judge of your individual situation and everyone's experience is very different. Find a DR that you trust and trust his/her recommendation. Your DR only wants the best possible result and outcome for you. The recovery period is relatively brief as compared to how long you'll have to live with the outcome of your surgery. The additional recovery time for a TAH is very short compared to the rest of your life. Don't fear it at all if that's what your DR recommends.

Unread 02-13-2002, 08:04 AM

I had a tvh and had such a little bit of pain afterwards that I only ever used the pain killers as a sleeping aid for the first few nights. I still have most of them left. My doctor gave me no restrictions at all except to not lift anything for the first two weeks. I walked up and down stairs several times each day, walked several times to my sister in law's house a block away, did light housework including small loads of laundry (I can hear the pillow police now!!). In fact, I made an overnight trip to Baltimore's Inner Harbor and to a Ravens/Steelers football game with 7 friends, 12 days after surgery and was able to keep up with all of them.
When I look back at my recovery now, it seems like it was more like a vacation. I had a great time not working and felt great. I know if I had had a tah things would have been a lot different and recovery may have been a lot more complicated. I, for one, am glad that I was able to have a tvh!
Unread 02-13-2002, 12:38 PM

Kelli, I had a TVH also with just my uterus removed, and I also had very little pain after the day of the operation, I got up 12 hours after the operation, was walking after 18 hrs and they had removed my cath. and have not used many pain pills, the heaviest was Ibuprofen 800, I am now at 1 1/2 weeks and have been taking my dog out for a couple of walks and I am planning on going back to work on Tuesday next week, I don't have strenuous work so it won't be too hard on me, but my Dr has not put any restrictions on me either and today I drove a standard vehicle to church and back. I do have a high tolerance to pain (had all my children naturally) but I am feeling wonderful. Good luck with your decision.

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