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Should I even be considering surgery? Should I even be considering surgery?

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Unread 04-30-2002, 08:45 PM
Should I even be considering surgery?

While my symptoms are bothesome they are not life threatening. A hysterectomy is a serious surgical procedure. Should I even be considering a surgical solution to my gynecological problems or should I just "buck up" and put up with the discomfort until menopause takes care of it?

I'm 46 and had a myomectomy (surgical removal of fibroids) 8 years ago when my (ex)husband and I were still trying to have children. Everything was pretty much okay until about 2 years ago when my periods became increasingly heavy and painful. At this point, the fibroids have reoccurred and my periods are extremely heavy 2-3 days of the month but more or less normal the rest of the time. I'm slightly anemic and, of course, very inconvenienced by the heavy periods. But is this enough to put myself through major surgery? Should I just tough it out until menopause eventually takes over, stops the periods and shrinks the fibroids?

I would really appreciate feedback from women in my situation. It's one thing to have a foot amputated because it will kill you if you don't. It's another to have the amputation done because you have really bad bunions.

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Unread 04-30-2002, 08:54 PM
Should I even be considering surgery?

Hi, SLissant,

You're the only person who can decide whether a hysterectomy is right for you. I can tell you than many women who do choose hysterectomy aren't facing life-threatening conditions. They choose the surgery because their symptoms, usually pain and/or heavy bleeding, are affecting their quality of life.

I had extremely heavy vaginal bleeding, which lasted for months at a time. I bled so heavily that I occasionally needed blood transfusions. There were many days when I couldn't leave my house, or even my bathroom, because I was bleeding so heavily.

My situation made leading a normal life very difficult. I could have continued on living as a hermit, with my overnight pads keeping me company in my bathroom. But I chose LIFE!

For me, hysterectomy was the right choice. I've never regretted it. I feel much better and I can lead an active life now.

I'd suggest that any woman who's considering a hysterectomy get at least two medical opinions, before making a decision. You may want to visit the Hysterectomy Options and Alternatives Forum, here at Hystersisters. That's a great place to explore your options, and to meet other women who are in the process of deciding on the right treatment for them and their problems.

Good luck with your decision.

Best wishes,
Unread 04-30-2002, 09:01 PM
Should I even be considering surgery?

A lot of people here refer to and have read Dr. John Lee's book, "What your doctor may not tell you about menopause". I'm no doctor, but he has a strong belief of progesterone for a number of issues. I can understand your hesitance for getting a hysterectomy. Once you have it, there's no turning back. You may want to give the book a read and see if that kind of treatment could work for you. Also, check out the "options and alternatives" message boards and post your question there as well. Then maybe give yourself a set time period to try some alternatives before opting for a hyst. Good luck!
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Unread 05-01-2002, 08:40 AM
Should I even be considering surgery?

I'm responding since I'm the same age as you and went through roughly the same thought processes. I never had a previous procedure, but my periods became heavier about 3 years ago and have continued to worsen. You don't say how big your fibroids are - I have 4 that I know of and the two biggest are just over and just under 7 cm. They are continuing to grow, and if my uterus continues expanding at the same rate it is, I could be at "full term" size by around age 50, menopause. My gynecologist pointed out that while the fibroids would likely shrink, the shrinkage would not be total and most likely would be in the 1 - 2 cm range. Like you I am somewhat anemic, and that is worsening. Those were my medical considerations. I just didn't think I would make it to menopause without suffering progressively more serious symptoms and complications.

There are also other considerations, social and emotional ones, as well. These also influenced me in the direction of having a hysterectomy now and not waiting any longer (I've been monitoring fibroids for about 9 years). As was pointed out, every woman must weigh medical and other considerations for herself with the input of her doctor(s).

Not all surgeries are done solely to save lives - many types of back and joint surgeries, for example, are done to relieve impairments. Good luck, read all the good information on the site here, and let us know what you decide.

Unread 05-01-2002, 09:03 AM
Should I even be considering surgery?

I agree with Helen.Only you can make the choice. I suffered for 5 years and had 3 myomectomies. 5 years ago I was not ready to have major surgery and give up my uterus. I FINALLY decided to give up my uterus.. I am very happy too.I was sick of my romatic vacations being ruined by bleeding and packing a suitcase full of tampons pads and underware!Also always feeling tired due to anemic. Well take care and good luck with your desision.angela P.S. Hello Pellice another NJ girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Unread 05-01-2002, 12:17 PM
Should I even be considering surgery?

I felt sheepish about wanting a hysterectomy because my only complaint was severe cramps 1-3 days a month. No anemia, fibroids, heavy bleeding, cancer concerns, etc. But those 1-3 days a month really limited my life, and chronic recurring pain takes a huge toll on the body. I couldn't schedule anything without looking at the calendar. I canceled innumerable plans that ended up falling on the wrong day.

I'm very glad I had the hyst. I'm 7 weeks post-op and I can't tell you how excited I am never to bleed or cramp again! I have PMS symptoms and I just want to shout from the rooftops that my ovaries are working but I will never have to face that monthly pain! Yay!

So if you're not sure because you feel your symptoms aren't as bad as other women's, don't compare yourself. Just think about what the hyst would buy for you long-term. If you're not sure because you don't really feel it's necessary for you, then it sounds like you have some thinking to do.

It is major surgery, and while after the first few weeks, recovery generally isn't uncomfortable, it takes a looong time for normal energy to come back. So it's a major investment of time.

Good luck with your decision.

Unread 05-01-2002, 01:13 PM
Should I even be considering surgery?

Melissa, your post just made me grin, I know that feeling, shouting it from the rooftops is something I can relate to!

SLissant, hi! Welcome to Hyster Sisters! There is an options and alternatives board here, you may want to read the information on there as you are still deciding.

I personally couldn't live with the pain. I couldn't stand or sit for any length of time. My hubby had to drive the kid to school and pick her up there at the end, as I couldn't do that. It's 10 minutes away.

I will never regret being out of pain, totally. Any surgery is a tough decision. I was in shock when they told me that was the only way to stop the bleeding and pain. I'm only 37! Even though I was done having kiddos I still felt that the surgery wasn't necessary. After the 4th doctor told me that it was my only choice, I agreed.

I have only noticed good things since the surgery. No pain, no pain or bleeding during or after sex, no running to the bathroom to see if I am bleeding still. No carrying around super plus tampons and pads. No worrying about bleeding on my sheets or on the couch. I can exercise without being worried if I will start bleeding during it!

I have improved my way-of-life and I'm so happy I did.

Please read the pull-down menus on the main page. There is a lot of information on this site and it will help you get the questions for you doctor and answer some of your questions.

Unread 05-01-2002, 01:33 PM
Should I even be considering surgery?

I can sooooooooooo relate to what y'all are saying. I have had chronic pelvic pain associated with heavy, crampy, clotty periods basically for the past 9 years. But since finding this site and hearing some of the things my "sisters" have been through I feel a little guilty for even considering a hysterectomy. I do sometimes feel that I just need to tough it out. But I just had my preop appt. today and I'm going through with the hysterectomy. My life IS altered around my heavy periods every single month. No.............I don't bleed for weeks on end like some women, but it is a debilitating 1/4 of my life. So yes, I've made the decision that I feel is right for me!!!!

Good luck to you!!!

Unread 05-01-2002, 06:32 PM
Should I even be considering surgery?

No one can decide for you but here is a link that you can check out. Read HorseWoman's response about the math she did. Also I don't know if this is true or not but I have heard that prior to menopause the bleeding gets heavier before it finally ends.

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