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Pre-op consultation question about possible toxic shock complications Pre-op consultation question about possible toxic shock complications

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  #1  
Unread 04-25-2002, 08:43 AM
Pre-op consultation question about possible toxic shock complications

Ladies,

It will be the wildest chance if any of you can answer my question, but here goes (warning, long question):

has anyone had a hysterectomy who also had a prior bout with toxic shock syndrome? I'm going for my pre-op appt. with the Dr. tomorrow and will ask her about it, but you ladies have already answered so many of my questions with your postings here I am taking a chance that you might could answer this one too.

My background is that I had toxic shock in 1979, just before they knew what it was. I ended up in the emergency room with a temp of 104 and the doctors saying "it must be a venereal disease". It wasn't and the tests came back negative. I was lucky that the antibiotics they used to tread VDs were the same that were used to treat toxic shock. They finally said that there was a new disease caused by wearing tampons and thought that was what had caused my illness.

What does this have to do with hysterectomy? I had D&C a year ago and developed a high fever about a week later. My doctor immediately picked up on the fact that I had previously had toxic shock and called in a script for better antibiotics. I saw her the next day and the infection had already spread to the bladder and other organs. She told me that she had several other patients who had a recurrence of toxic shock after a D&C and apparently it could "lurk" in your system for years after recovery.

The obvious question is will it recur after the trauma of hysterectomy surgery? Has anyone out there ever been in this situation? Thanks.
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  #2  
Unread 04-25-2002, 10:26 AM
Pre-op consultation question about possible toxic shock complications

Hi, Bananaquit! I don't know if you are more apt to have a recurrence of toxic shock infection after you've had a previous one or not. But it's good your dr is very aware of your history and will be on the look-out for any infection. Here's hoping you sail through your hyst and recovery without any infection. s and best wishes!
Ruthie
  #3  
Unread 04-25-2002, 12:26 PM
Pre-op consultation question about possible toxic shock complications

Hi,

I'm wondering if your question can be answered. I would like to know as well. Please post what your doctor says about this after your pre-op. I'm glad that she is aware of your previous history with TSS and that she will prevent it from occuring again after your hyster.

I was reading a little about the causes and symptoms and I'm just guessing that if you don't have the blood to form the pool where the bacteria can form to make TSS, it wouldn't be likely. But, I did find this: Most cases of toxic shock syndrome have been associated with tampon use. However, a few have been reported in women who use a diaphragm for birth control, or during the first few weeks after childbirth. A very few cases have occurred in men and in children.

I'm not a doctor. Just posting from the article on this site: http://www.womens-health.com/health_...yn_md_tss.html and read some good material on it.

Please let us know!

Sara
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  #4  
Unread 04-25-2002, 01:51 PM
Pre-op consultation question about possible toxic shock complications

I too am interested in what the doctor has to say. I've not been able to use tampons for years becuase I would start to get a fever after just a few hours. I was told I was probably sensitive. DUH. I was never tested but I tend to be a baterica magnet. And after my C-section was very ill. What was the determining factor in TSS?

Jo
  #5  
Unread 04-25-2002, 02:36 PM
Pre-op consultation question about possible toxic shock complications

Thanks for the replies to my post. I will tell you what my doctor says after my pre-op appointment late tomorrow afternoon. Here is a bit of the toxic shock explanations doctors have given me.

What happened with me in 1979 was that I was having my period and got very ill with what I thought was the flu. It got worse and worse until I ended up in the emergency room with a fever of 104. They did a pelvic exam and found a raging infection. The doctors assumed it was some kind of venereal disease. I didn't think that was probable and the test came back negative a few days later. Fortunately, they immediately started me on strong antibiotics that happened to be the same ones effective against toxic shock. They knew very little about the disease then and said they "thought" it was because of wearing tampons. I have worn them very little since then. Only for swimming, etc. I was sick and on antibiotics for a couple of months and missed 3 weeks of work. I'm probably lucky to have gotten off that easily.

From what the doctors told me, tampons are a breeding ground for bacteria and this (especially if you have a cut or other way the bacteria can enter your system) can cause systemic infections that are difficult, sometimes impossible, to control. I'm not a doctor or medical professional and I'm sure you could get a better description elsewhere. When you have a D&C done they flush water around and that can spread the dormant bacteria and cause a reactivation of the toxic shock. That is what I have to ask my doctor about tomorrow. There may be no way for it to recur with a hysterectomy, but I've had two bouts with it now and am not anxious for a third! The thing that shocked me about the recurrence with the D&C was that the bacteria could remain dormant in your system for so long. Talk about scary. And I thought a bad man was hard to get rid of!
  #6  
Unread 04-25-2002, 04:58 PM
Pre-op consultation question about possible toxic shock complications

Hi Bananaquit,

Thank you for posting. My daughter had toxic shock in the summer before her senior year in high school. She was in the marching band and told me that morning that she didn't feel well enough to go to band camp. By noon, she was running an extremely high fever, had chills and fever so badly that her entire body was shaking, and I took her to the emergency room. By then, TSS was known about, and so she was diagnosed pretty quickly, but was still in the hospital for several days and given a very powerful antibiotic. I plan to tell her of your experiences so that she will be aware that the bacteria can lie dormant and it can recur later.

She did have a LEEP procedure done for cervical cancer about two years after that, but did not experience what you did after your D & C. She also had to be hospitalized a week after the birth of her daughter, but that was diagnosed as a rare occurrance of pre-eclampsia - now I wonder.

Please let us all know what your doctor has to say about the possibility of it recurring after a hysterectomy.

Thank you again for your post.

's

Karen
  #7  
Unread 04-26-2002, 03:39 PM
What doctor said at pre-op

Sorry to hear about your daughter's (and everyone elses) problems with toxic shock. It is a nasty staph infection. For those of you who wanted to know the symptoms, they are flu-like symptoms, dizziness, a high fever, drop in blood pressure and, sometimes, a sunburn-like rash.

It is a good thing I reminded my Dr. about my previous bout with toxic shock when I talked with her today. She had forgotten about it and wasn't anticipating any problems with the surgery. My uterus is enlarged, but not greatly so and I have never had any abdominal surgery, so she wasn't anticipating any unusual scarring. She asked how bad the toxic shock infection was. I told her that all I remember was that the emergency room doctor was shocked and said "there are even ulcerations on the cervix". It must have been unusual because he brought every doctor and nurse he could find to have a look-see between my legs! It was very embarassing!!! My Dr. said that was very unusual and that there might be scarring from the infection they would have to deal with in the surgery. She did an exam and said the cervix felt like it was adhered to the bladder. I wanted to keep the cervix anyway and now it looks like there might be no choice.

As to the infection recurring. During a D&C there is alot of movement of fluids between the vagina and the uterus, etc. Most of the bacteria resides in the vagina and that is when the risk of infection is greatest. During a hysterectomy if you don't remove the cervix the vagina is never breached, so the risk of infection is greatly reduced. If you remove the cervix and breach the vagina you increase the risk of infection. That is another good reason for leaving the cervix if you are at increased risk of infection. The Dr. said that in my case it might be best to leave the cervix for that reason. There may be "pockets of bacteria" at other places in the abdomen also. They never know until they open you up.

I'm not qualified to give medical advice in any way, but it seems prudent to tell your doctor that you have had toxic shock before you have any surgery. Especially abdominal surgery. I'm glad that I brought it up and talked about leaving the cervix. I had never considered that there was a greater risk of infection by removing the cervix. You learn something new every day!
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