Need to hear about your (girls only)

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Star*, Aug 21, 2008.

  1. Star*

    Star* call 911

    hysterectomy - I was scheduled for an ablation and apparently have surpassed the requirements and moved right on to surgery.

    1.) I'm NOT ever wanting another child - ever ever.
    2.) I'm okay with hysterectomy, but doctor wants to do the uterus and leave the ovaries....citing if they come out I will only be exchanging one problem for others ie: hormone replacement therapy and another um unmentionable problem.

    Anyone have thoughts on leaving the ovaries or did anyone think like me and say "If you're going in - you need to get it all now, I'm not doing this again in 10 years at 55." He said he agreed, but reluctantly to do the entire thing, and then told me to plan on being out of work for 3 -6 weeks? OMG - I have one week of vacation coming and while I thought I would use it to travel to OHIO - now I'm using it on this....three weeks? Really? OMG that is too much. Anyone get back up and working in shorter time? I'm doing office work - no heavy lifting. Just sitting and hitting a 10 key and typing.

    Thoughts and advice appreciated.
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Star....aint no way! I had a vaginal...kept my ovaries...didnt work...and still was wandering around in a semi fog 3 weeks later! Even with a vaginal it can take awhile to heal and if they do it the other ways you will need even more time. I made the horrible mistake of thinking I was pretty much mended about 3 or 4 weeks out and attempted to load a bag with 2 2 liter diet cokes into the back seat of my car and thought someone had inserted a hot poker in

    Go to and join.
  3. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green hysterectomy here although I keep asking for one for Christmas. But....just my thoughts. (and without knowing what the issue is for why you are having one)

    I've always had issues with my period and was diagnosis'd with endometriosis. When I got that diagnosis, the doctor did some lasering when he did the lapro and got me into a drug study for treatment. (no cure but it can be periodically treated) The drug put me into a temporary drug induced menopause. Because of that, if I ever DO get the chance to have a hyster. I want to keep at least one ovary if at all possible. I do not want to go through menopause again any sooner than I absolutely have to. Now granted, I think I'm a little younger than you (but not much since you're still a hot young chick) but there is a reason those shots I had were not-so-affectionately referred to as Satan Shots. It truly is a wonder that husband and difficult child survived during that time without any major injuries or maiming. Also, I realize that "natural" menopause and what I had the pleasure of experiencing are probably different but it still hoovered in a major way. This was done in 2000 and I was still having side affects up to a few years ago. Again, this could be because it was drug induced....I don't know.

    What I do know though is that it wasn't fun. It disrupted my life more than I thought and made me feel like Sybil.

    But...this is YOUR decision, you have a different situation than I did, different age (not just our age difference but I was a lot younger when this happened) and different goals. I just wanted to give you a glimpse of my experience to give you something to consider.

    Whatever you do...I hope things go as well as possible! (and I AM jealous!)
  4. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    I haven't had the hysterectomy, but when I was 30 I had 2 (HUGE, and thankfully benign) tumours removed from my uterus. The surgery was equivalent to the sort of thing they'd do for a hysterectomy, and the recovery was about the same.

    I was given 6 weeks of short-term disability leave from work. After the first couple of days I was up and around, when they took out the surgical staples (you should see the lovely zipper I have down my front!) I was even more mobile. By the end of week 2 I was champing at the bit to get out and do things.

    My doctor warned me that I might split my internal stitches open and rupture my sewn-back-together uterus if I did, so I behaved. If you're having your gubbins taken out, then this won't be an issue for you...if you tend to be a quick healer, then you might only need 2 or 3 weeks, but I would say that you'll definitly want to give yourself at least 3 weeks to make sure that nothing busts loose inside you once you're done.

    Mstang, they had to put me on the Satan Shots prior to my surgery, so I've been there too and it's not pretty.

    I would think that having the whole McGilla taken out now would be my preference. And I would try to do without the HRT too if I could manage. There are herbs and supplements and things that might help.

    Just my 2 cents, and NOT from experience.

  5. Star*

    Star* call 911

    So if you BOTH had a "do-over" you would GO for complete hysterectomy?

    This is going to be camera in the belly button, two slices where you would imagine ovaries to be and the uterus comes out like a baby.

    WHY keep ANY ovaries?
  6. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Put it that way and sounds like it would be easier. I guess I was just thinking of myself and not having had started any premenopausal symptoms. Personally, I want to delay that as long as possible.

    But then again......I'm a wuss and have no desire to go through that mental fog and pea soup spitting mood swings anytime soon.


    Should we get DF a bib to protect his clothes from said pea soup???

  7. Genny

    Genny Worlds Best Nana

    Don't rush the healing process! Do you qualify for short-term disability? Something to look into...

    Good luck!
  8. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Keep 'em.

    If you don't have ovarian cancer in your family tree and the doctor doesn't see that as much of a possibility for your future, keep 'em.

    I had my inside completely cleaned out many years ago. He even took my appendix while he was in there- lol. I thought the same as you------who needs 'em? It will eliminate the worry of ovarian cancer (none in my family and not a concern with my doctor, by the way). But I did it anyway.

    I have to tell you that the adjustment has been horrible. I've been on HRT since 3 months after the surgery and it's about 19 years now. I wish I'd allowed myself to go through a "regular" menopause instead of a BANG-surgical one. ugh ugh ugh. I hate wearing the patch just for the principle of the thing but if I don't my body goes nuts.

    Keep 'em, Starbie.

  9. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Oh- PS.....I was a very hearty soul when I had my hysterectomy and I still waited 5 weeks to go back to work, then went back 1/2 days for 2 weeks before I tried FT.

  10. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Hi Star...
    I know someone who kept her ovaries and didn't have as many hormanal issues. I guess that might be expected. Recovery seemed more or less okay...about as can be expected. However, with the ovaries in, I think there is always a need for testing...esp. if cancer is a concern.

    I have another friend who did a complete hysterectomy. She was in bed a little longer, had more hormonal issues and a little more trouble with weight gain immediately afterwards. She is doing more regular exercise now and that is helping.

    I'm sorry that you need to have some sort of surgery. If you have the time and energy, don't hesitate to get a second opinion.

    One more thing...there is that really great lady doctor that often appears on Oprah (can't think of her name at the moment). I have heard her say often that it takes mucho time after this operation to fully recuperate. You will have to fully rest physically and emotionally. I would NOT do this surgery unless you have a plan in place for a decent recuperation and supportive/understanding folks afterwards who will understand your needs.

    Best wishes and hugs.

    p.s. That site Janet recommended is excellent:
    Lasted edited by : Aug 21, 2008
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I dont have any cancer in my family so ovarian wasnt a threat in my case. The reason I had my hyster was because of problems with my periods and HUGE fibroids. I dont know if you were missing in action back when I had it done but it was in late august of 2004...I had my left knee scoped in june 2004 and the hyster in late august of the same year.

    I would keep the ovaries if you can. I did have the cervix removed which they sometimes leave in but I could see no reason to have.

    If you are having the lap definitely need more than a week off! Trust will think you have been through the ringer, will be so emotional, every baby you see will send you into crying fits, and there are other *ahem* issues that will drive you insane for a few months.

    Please go read on that site I told you about.
  12. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    EI had a complete hysterectomy 4 years ago, when I was 40. I had an ovarian cyst that needed to be removed to check for cancer and I told them to just take the other one while they were at it. Without ovaries, they also wanted to take my uterus.

    We have a family history of ovarian cancer so for me, it was definitely the way to go.

    I am on an HRT patch with no problems. After my surgery, I didn't have any real hot flashes. I was kind of warmer than usual at times so that was probably from menopause. My doctor thought it was because I was taking Lexapro. Apparently, people who can't take hormones for menopause can use SSRI's instead. After 6 weeks, I got on HRT. It took about 6 months to find the right one, though.

    I do not have a job other than taking care of kids. I rested a lot the first week and avoided heavy lifting for 6 weeks. I don't know how long I was unable to take care of the kids but it wasn't long.

    I consider myself lucky to have skipped menopause by having the surgery and getting on HRT.

    I agree with hystersisters as a good resource.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2008
  13. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Your doctor is right. You don't want to remove the ovaries. You will have sudden onset menopause and it will be extremely unpleasant. If there is nothing wrong with them, keep them. They will continue to balance your hormones in lesser and lesser doses until you are through menopause. It would be like sudden withdrawal from crack cocaine.
  14. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    I was 28 when I have my hysterectomy. I chose to keep one ovary for hormone reasons. While my body adujusted to the decrease in estrogen, I did have some symptoms. But I have been period free, pain free for almost 20 years.

    I remember my grandmother and what she's was like after hers. And that sweet, loving woman turned into an insane monster. She was mean, irritible and hard to deal with. When the hormones kicked in, she went back to her former self. We always knew when she had forgotten to take her hormones---and we would remind her---
    I think that going through natural menapause is much easier, slower.

    At least keep one ovary. I promise you, it's worth it.
  15. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    No hysterectomy advice. Mine was scheduled and for some reason, 2 years into continuous BCP, my problems stopped. Its been 4 years now, and knocking on wood it stays that way.
    I was looking at having a hysterectomy because of endometriosis. It was causing non-stop bleeding (for 2 years after difficult child) and pain. Just want to pass along what I learned making my decision if that's your problem, too. If bleeding is that largest part of your problem, the hysterctomy alone will fix it without sending you into he...I mean, menopause. In my case, I had a lot of pain in addition. If this is part of your problem and you keep the ovaries, they will keep producing their little hormones and the endometrial tissue in your gut will keep reacting to those hormones monthly, and the pain may well continue.
    I'm assuming your doctor would clean out as much tissue as possible while he's in there, and hopefully it would take a long time to regrow, but....that's one reason to take the ovaries, too. Just depends on what problems you're trying to fix. If pain isn't your problem, tho, my vote would be to keep the ovaries.
    I looked into that Lupron shot and OMG, no way. Thank GOD I found a group of women who SCREAMED no before I went thru with that. For those of you who've had it, too, do you know that there is a shorter acting version of it??? Why the he!! don't these docs give women THAT one first, instead of the 3 or 6 month version, til they know if they can take it or not???? Sometimes docs don't make sense.
  16. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Full hysterectomy here. I would have liked to have kept my ovaries but it wasn't an option -- severe hormonal imbalance on top of a tipped uterus on top of fibroids plus .....

    Reasons to keep the little round things -- hormonal replacement puts you at higher risk for breast cancer and cancer of the cervix (if this isn't removed); menopause is no fun and you'll have to go through it regardless at some time -- supposedly, it is somewhat better to go through it naturally (I have no idea, I'm now in year 6 of menopause and it seriously Hoovers); removing good, working body parts is rarely considered a good thing.

    Don't push the recovery. Even if you think you're better, the reality is your innards are still healing. Plan on the 6 weeks.

    I will say that having the hysterectomy was the greatest thing I ever had done. I had no idea just how ill it was making me, how much energy was being drained out of me, what a witch I was becoming. Three months after surgery, I felt so much better -- happier, stronger, more energetic. My only regret was that it meant there was no chance of ever bearing a child (not that there was any real chance of that pre-surgery).

    Find a way to take the time off. Keep the parts that are working, get rid of the junk.
  17. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I have endometriosis and like Mstang have done the lapraoscopy and the lupron (the drug induced menopause) and now take synthetic progestin to stop my periods and to keep my estrogen levels low. My gyn has recommended a hysterectomy because the endometriosis came back and the only cure is a full hysterectomy - ovaries, too. She said I would regret it - in my case - if I left the ovaries. And that's the only reason I won't do it.

    I've been through the instant menopause and have NO desire to do that again. The aygestin (synthetic progestin) has worked wonders for me. Plus, with my heart disease I cannot take estrogen so I wouldn't be able to do HRT. Although, I have a sneaking suspicion I'm in perimenopause already and my GP said to go ahead and have the endocrinologist test for that when I see him. I'm only 35!!!

    I don't know what the reason is for your hysterectomy, but if the doctor says to leave the ovaries, leave them. Seriously.
  18. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It


    with PCOS, the ONLY way to get some help with the symptoms is to get the ovaries out and go on hormone replacement therapy. As my fave OB told me, you only need estrogen therapy. Progesterone is what signals to the body that it needs to flush itself, and if you have no uterus you don't need progesterone. It has been 6 years since my hysterectomy (total) and I haven't regretted it AT ALL.

    I do have to watch the bone density, but even with almost NO vit d I have fairly good bones.

    It is important to follow all the directions for post-op care, and it is NOT a walk in the park. BUT it is very possible to be happy and healthy post total hysterectomy.

    One thing my OB told me is to listen to how you FEEL to see if your estrogen levels are correct. there is a range where you can be fine. But if you feel cruddy and are with-in the range, it won't hurt to up the estrogen and it may make a HUGE diff. Always talk to the doctor about how you feel. Don't depend on what the estrogen level SAYS if you feel bad.

    Also, make SURE they remove the cervix. Otherwise you can get cervical cancer. with-a history of bad pap smears, I was very thankful that they took mine out. Some insurance companies demand that it be removed, others make it up to the doctor. So make sure that you don't have to have them go back in down the road.

    I hope htey can help you feel better. Make sure DF does the shopping for a few weeks and ALL the lifting for a while after the surgery.
  19. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Oh, the big cancer/heart attack risk is combined estrogen/progesterone hrt, using 1 or the other means a greatly reduced risk of cancer.

    As for sudden surgical menopause, I came out of the OR with an estrogen patch on. It kept me from going through the mess. I guess if I stopped the estrogen suddenly I would go through it, but as estrogen was started during the operation, I didn't ahve any problem - I mean not ANY. No mental fog (from that), no hot flashes, nuthin. So ask the doctor to do that. Every hospital shoudl have those patches in the pharmacy.

    Make sure you like and trust your doctor. I am very surprised, with your history of pcos, that they even offer the option of keeping the ovaries. If kept, the eggs have NO WHERE to go when "released", so I don't know if that would make the PCOS better. Seems it would make it worse.

    They took out the ovaries and everything else vaginally. No external scars. I also had no problems with sex after the operation (when I was cleared). using estrogen means that you don't get really dry or have other problems.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2008
  20. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    My cardiologist specifically told me that I can continue the aygestin because it's progestin. He said it's the estrogen I can't take.