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Unread 01-11-2003, 08:57 AM

I'm scheduled for a TVH, prolene sling bladder suspension, anterior/posterior repair on Jan. 15th. This website has been a "godsend" and I thank all of you for providing such valuable information. Like many others, I am SCARED TO DEATH about this surgery. I'm 54 yrs old and started menopause at 46 so I don't have many of the other issues to worry about. My concern is how much help I will need when I come home from the hospital. Doc said I will be there 2 - 3 days. I live alone with my two dogs and have always been very independent and self-sufficient. My 26 yr old son lives nearby and will be available to help along with friends. Will this be sufficient? My son will keep my big dog for the first week or so and I will only have the little 6 lb terrier at home with me. I also have a two story townhouse with bedroom upstairs but have 1/2 bath on 1st floor. Thanks so much for any info you can provide.
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Unread 01-11-2003, 10:29 AM

Hi, LuvMyDogs,

Although I don't live alone, I had much the same kind of surgery as you will be having. I'm 56, and had my TVH with A & P repairs when I was 55. I didn't have a bladder sling, however. I was pretty scared too - in fact, I found Hyster Sisters the night before my surgery, when I was too nervous to sleep, and was sitting at the computer trying to find some information (my doctor was VERY uncommunicative). I spent several hours here that night, trying to read everything that I could.

In my case, I found that the episiotomy-like incision was more uncomfortable than the actual hyst. If you haven't already gotten one, I would suggest that you have a donut pillow to sit on beginning with your car ride home from the hospital. I didn't get one until I'd been home a few days, and wish that I had had it for the ride home.

Please remember that even though you won't have an abdominal incision, you will have many internal stitches, plus the sutures from the bladder sling and the A & P repairs, and please be sure to not lift, stretch, or strain. It sounds as if you've made some good plans, and maybe you can also alert your neighbors that you will be having surgery, so that there would be a couple more people to call on, if necessary?

Here's a link to a great thread with some ideas for ladies who live alone:

You'll be in my thoughts and prayers for a successful and uneventful surgery and recovery.


Unread 01-11-2003, 12:10 PM
Kdeit's thread she referred you to is good, but some addition

1. Have some cash on hand to cover expenses for whoever is running errands for you. Makes it easier on them

2. Take your pharmacy number with you to the castle, so someone can call ahead to the pharmacy and your scripts are ready to pick up by your helper. See if the pharmacy will allow you to pay via phone with a credit card too. Less messy money issues this way.

You still have time to do some preparation of your special healing space so that things are convenient and more self-sufficient. Pre-cooked, microwavable meals that avoided gassy foods was my biggie. The other biggie was having my "nest" set up so all the conveniences were in easy reach, remote, phone etc.

While you are stocking up, those disposable cleaning cloth products might be perfect for a quick swipe in the bathroom. A clean toilet was important to me post op, why I focused on that, beats me. Try to get things that you think you might need at waist level, silly as that seems, but it does help to avoid bending to get something out of lower cabinets and drawers.

The stocking up thing for me was a life-saver and kept me from being tempted to drive too soon. I was so well-stocked that shopping was just to replace perishables. And I did discover, the world and what it had to offer at the local Walmart, didn't really need to go out there and get it personally.
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Unread 01-11-2003, 02:18 PM

Hi Luvmydogs! My doc told me that I would not be able to do stairs for a few days unless absolutely necessary for a shower or whatnot. A hint for the stairs is to go up them backwards so your are straining less. I'm actually moving a twin sized bed downstairs into my office for the week to 2 wks post op. I've got my computer, telephone, t.v., stereo and lots of windows. I have a half bath, down here and it'll just have to do for the first day or 2 and then I'll venture up for a shower. I did something totally wacky and sent out an email to all my online friends and family and asked if they'd be willing to help out with something. Not a single person replied with a no answer. I've got people coming with meals, one is helping to bus the kids for 3 days, another said she'd go through the house with the vaccuum and do some general cleaning twice a week. It sounds tacky - but people actually loved being asked to help. Maybe you should try that. Good luck to you. I will keep you in my prayers. I'll be getting an LAVH on 01/30.
Unread 01-11-2003, 03:29 PM

I just LOVE this site!! So, now that I am a constant reader, I learn more each day...and have more questions, too!

I am having a LAVH on Feb 3rd, and wondered about the episiotomy incision you spoke about, Karen. I hadn't heard anything about that... I was under the impression that my surgery was without incisions (short of the entrance areas for the Laporoscopic procedure).

Was this incision due to other procedures that are different than a LAVH? I am not needing a bladder sling (at least as far as i know), or anything else to major.

Sorry to be so stupid....but, as they learn something new every day!

Thanks for any input!

Unread 01-11-2003, 04:40 PM

Hi, Laura,

First - there is no question that is stupid.

The episiotomy-like incision is done when you have to have repairs done because of prolapse of the bowel. In order to fix the problem, the excess, bulging, tissue is cut out of the wall of the vagina, and then it's all stitched up again. And, in my case, it was pretty uncomfortable to sit with all that pressure on the area, and the donut pillow made it a lot easier.

Please keep on reading and posting your questions. We'll do our best to help answer them.

I wish you the very best for your surgery and recovery.


Unread 01-11-2003, 08:33 PM

Thanks to all who responded with wonderful suggestions on how to prepare for recovery since I live alone.

Karen, I like Laura, was not aware of the episiotomy. I will definitely have to ask my doctor about this before surgery. I will never forget the pain/discomfort from the episiotomy that I had almost 27 yrs ago when I delivered my son. I did have a donut at that time and it helped tremendously - I was unable to sit w/o it. When I asked my doc why the posterior repair since I don't have a rectocele (only grade 4 cystocele) - he said that he was going to strenghten the posterior or else in the future I will have problems with the bowel pressing on the vagina so they try to prevent future problems as long as they are in there. My doctor is a urogynecologist and he specialized in pelvic prolapse so I do have confidence in him. Even tho I've done a great deal of reading, all these different procedures are so confusing to me! I never understood just how complex the internal female anatomy was! Again, I have to say that this website is a "Godsend"!
Unread 01-11-2003, 08:44 PM

Karen, one more question. Was it your decision to keep your ovaries? Both my gynecologist and the urogyno doing my surgery, recommend removing them if they are low enough and he is able to reach them during the vaginal hysteretomy. I figured that since I started menopause at 46, it wouldn't matter now anyway. My dear friend who is a nurse practitioner also says to "get rid of them" so you don't have to worry about ovarian cancer. Thanks again for your responses.
Unread 01-11-2003, 09:28 PM

Hi LuvMyDogs,

Actually, it wasn't my decision to keep my ovaries. I had a very uncommunicative doctor, and I didn't know what to ask, and even when I did ask a question, I got a very poor response. All that being said, in my case, I think, knowing what I do now, that I would have still kept them because they were (are) healthy, and even though I was going into menopause, whatever little bit of hormones they do produce is just that much less HRT that I have to take.

It is definitely a hard decision to make, and one that can only be made by you, with your doctors' advice. Did either of them tell you why they want to remove them? Do you have a history of ovarian cancer in your family?

If you do a search here (click onto the link toward the top of the page) on the word ovary (or ovaries) you'll find lots and lots of threads discussing whether to keep them or not.

In a way I'm glad that I didn't know enough at the time to even ask my doctor about it - I'm sure it's a hard decision.



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