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How can they write this? How can they write this?

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Unread 04-08-2002, 04:35 PM
How can they write this?

I found this on the internet, stating facts about a Hysterectomy. From what I read on this site, it hardly seems true.

I rarely hear about these kinds of complications after a hysterectomy from THIS board..or is that something that they dont as not to scare us??

Read it:

If a hysterectomy is recommended for any medical condition, you should know the risk factors involved in such a procedure. According to the Center for Health Statistics, 25 to 50 percent of women who undergo a hysterectomy experience one or more complications from surgery. Most of these problems are minor or reversible. They may include:

* fever and infection following surgery

* urinary tract infections or discomfort

* sudden hormonal drops, which may produce menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats and dizziness; these symptoms may be temporary if the ovaries are not removed during surgery; physicians may also offset hormonal declines by administering hormone replacement/supplement prior to or immediately following surgery

* constipation

* fatigue and/or decreased energy

* depression

* pain or discomfort during intercourse

* loss of sexual pleasure and/or interest

* ovarian failure

Serious complications can include:

* hemorrhage requiring transfusion

* injury to the bowel or bladder during surgery, requiring repair

* life-threatening cardiopulmonary problems

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Unread 04-08-2002, 07:45 PM
How can they write this?

Hi, Dancindebz,

There's no law that something must be true in order to find its way onto the internet. Unfortunately, sometimes people pick and choose their statistics, or "facts," in order to make their point.

I don't know where you found this "information," but I can guess. There are a few violently anti-hysterectomy websites out there, and you may have wandered innocently into one.

Hystersisters is neither pro- nor anti-hysterectomy. If you need a hysterectomy, we're here to provide support. If you don't need a hyst, that's great.

Speaking for myself, ten months post-hyst (and I did need a hysterectomy) I never had fever, infection, urinary tract infections or discomfort, constipation, depression, problems with sexual intercourse, or enjoying it, and I certainly didn't have hemorrhage, bladder or bowel injuries, or life-threatening cardiopulmonary problems.

I was tired and fatigued after my surgery. Yes, many women are, for a while. Since my ovaries were surgically removed, they failed to remain in my body. And I take HRT, to avoid hormonal drops.

Please don't accept medical advice from strangers you meet on the internet. Please get your medical information from your doctor. If you have questions for actual women who've had actual hysterectomies, here we are. Fire away.

I'm sorry you encountered mis-information on the internet. There's some terrifying and not-always-accurate information out there, so be careful.

Best wishes,
Unread 04-08-2002, 09:36 PM
How can they write this?

Some of what you wrote is true, but not in all cases.

After my hysterectomy I had a slight fever for the first 24 hours. I think that is common in any surgery, not just a hysterectomy.

I had no complications from infection.

Some women report bladder discomfort, but again, this could happen from any surgery where a catheter is used and not just a hysterectomy.

Most women who have their ovaries removed will start hormone replacement therapy. This will help with the hot flashes, night sweats, etc.

Constipation may be related to any abdominal surgery and not only a hysterectomy.

Yes, fatigue and decreased energy can be expected, and the usual recovery time is 6 - 8 weeks.

The other "serious" complications you mentioned can happen in any surgery. Most of these complications you read about are related to *any* surgery and are not only seen in hyterectomies.

A hysterectomy is major surgery, and with any major surgery there are risks. The best thing you can do is gather up all your questions and discuss them with your doctor. Your doctor is the only one who can honestly tell you what complications may be involved with your surgery.

Best wishes,
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Unread 04-08-2002, 09:58 PM
How can they write this?

Hi Dancindebz,

Helen and Catherine wrote what I consider to be mighty fine replies to you, but I thought I'd throw in a little more...

First, I wanted to point out that while the information you found on the internet claims that 25 to 50 percent of women who have hysterectomies experience one or more of the things listed, it's significant to me that they don't give a breakdown for each individual thing. It seems important to remember that even if their statistics are correct, it could be that most of the women encountered some of the more minor (and probably common to any major surgery) things such as fever, constipation, etc. Fatigue must be common to pretty much any sugery, and the 25 to 50% may be made up of women who encountered that alone. What would be really worth seeing might be *accurate* numbers for everything listed, particularly the serious complications.

I hope your surgery goes well and that you have a smooth recovery!
Unread 04-08-2002, 11:05 PM
How can they write this?

Excellent responses above. Bear in mind that many of those symptoms are rare, and many others are extremely temporary and easily bearable.

Bear in mind also that at least one anti-hyst site out there has an agenda to discourage hysts AND make money by selling frightened women pamphlets with info easily available for free on the web -- yuck!

It's all very scary ahead of time; we all expect the worst and then some. While it's not always smooth and easy, it's rare for things to get bad. And frankly, I figure I can get hit by a truck as easily as I can have a bad surgical experience. Just going outside is a crapshoot. <shrug>

Here's my experience (almost 4 weeks post-op):

* fever and infection following surgery - brief slight fever, didn't bother me, was gone within 48 hours, no biggie. No infection.

* urinary tract infections or discomfort - nope

* sudden hormonal drops, which may produce menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats and dizziness; these symptoms may be temporary if the ovaries are not removed during surgery; physicians may also offset hormonal declines by administering hormone replacement/supplement prior to or immediately following surgery - nope

* constipation - some, right after surgery, alleviated easily with prune juice, psyillium, and stool softeners (which I started taking in the hospital)

* fatigue and/or decreased energy - well, yeah, I just had major surgery, but I'm sure it will come back

* depression - slight, but also temporary, due to enforced inactivity. This too I'm sure will resolve itself in a couple of months.

* pain or discomfort during intercourse - don't know yet, but no problems with the big "O"

* loss of sexual pleasure and/or interest - I'm a bit tired these days, but my dreams are driving me nuts! My husband just isn't safe....

* ovarian failure - not to my knowledge; no menopausal symptoms

Serious complications can include:

* hemorrhage requiring transfusion - nope

* injury to the bowel or bladder during surgery, requiring repair - nope

* life-threatening cardiopulmonary problems - nope

Good luck!

Unread 04-09-2002, 05:13 AM
How can they write this?

There's not a lot I can add to what the other ladies have already said. ANY surgery has a risk of complications, that list could apply to almost any surgery, NOT just hysterectomy.

That's one of the reasons for the advice to be sure surgery is what you want and need; get a second or third or fourth opinion if necessary, and that is for ANY recommended surgery, unless it is in an emergency, life threatening situation.

And yes, you will read, and frequently, on any one of the boards, whether it's pre op, post op or the hormone jungle - questions, concerns, problems - regarding constipation, bladder problems, fatigue, night sweats and sex. Yes, some ladies experience problems, some are occasional and short term, some take longer to resolve.

My DR explained the possible risks of surgery. Between what she told me and the Hyster Sisters web site, I knew what to expect every step of the way, before, during, and after my surgery.

This site is a blessing. Reading the actual experiences and getting advice from those who have been there done that made the experience a little less scary.

The mission statement (located on the home page) says it all:
Our Mission Statement: is a woman to woman support website for hysterectomy recovery. It is not intended to take the place of a personal physician. The Hyster Sisters site is neither anti-hyst nor pro-hyst, rather, it is an online community of women who give and receive support for hysterectomy decisions and recovery. offers resources and kindness so that our visitors can discover options and make decisions for themselves.
Unread 04-09-2002, 06:09 AM
How can they write this?

I really can't add much to what the other ladies have said. But I have to tell you that the only problems I've had have been fatigue and constipation. The fatigue is common with any surgery (I've had numerous others), and constipation is a problem I've always had. It's been easily resolved with Milk of Magnesia. I had no fever, no bladder problems, no transfusion, no excessive bleeding (my DR told my DH that I lost only about a cup of blood), and no infection. Haven't had sex yet (surgery was 19 days ago), but I am happy to report that I haven't lost the desire!!!

Prior to my surgery I had heard all of the possible complications, too. In fact, at my pre op appt. my DR went over all of this with me. She told me she had to let me know what was possible, but added that the serious complications are rare. I must confess, I was scared to death! I've had other major surgeries and this one has no more or fewer risks. Just take care of yourself before and after and you'll be fine. Good luck!!!
Unread 04-09-2002, 06:31 AM
How can they write this?

Yes, I have been on some of those sites and they are definitely anti-hysterectomy, they are very crude.

But like everyone else says your doctor is experienced in this, he has the education, etc. And if you are unsure just ask him about these things I am sure he will be honest with you, and make it more clearer.

Unread 04-09-2002, 06:55 AM
How can they write this?

I experienced many of the minor ones:
- fever (treated)
- UTI (treated)
- pain/discomfort with intercourse (temporary)
- fatigue (temporary)
- hormonal drop (treated)
I'm sure those statistics are correct. Remember, it says that 25-50% of women having hysterectomies experience ONE or more....
I'd be surprised if that percentage wasn't higher considering most of us have mentioned fatigue. You need to read the statistical language carefully before jumping to conclusions that 50% of us have had major complications. In fact, considering what they are terming "complications", I'm surprised it's not closer to 100%!
Unread 04-09-2002, 04:00 PM
How can they write this?

This information was taken from the .."The women's network"...

I am glad i shared it with you all..because I was really confused by i..but, I loved the resonses you girls gave...Puts it in its proper perspective..

Had pre-op today.. ears still hurt, but doctor insists not an infection..possibly due to allergies combined with TMJ...(oh, thats just ducky!) Hate to do surgery when i feel so lowsy...but, i guess the show must go on...

Its so close now...
April 16th is around the corner..


I bought 7 pairs of size 10 bloomers..and a backscratcher..
also found some peds to put on my feet. My feet are always cold...and regular socks cut off my circulation when i wear them to bed..and these ones dont have much elastic around the ankle part..they are really low. It beats trying to put slippers on and off..

I still want to get walkie talkies for days when i dont feel like yelling for husband...not a big house..but, since he hates to be told to do things..maybe this will be more like a "game" for him..and he wont argue as much!


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