Any advice following laparoscopic bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy please?

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I am currently at home recovering from a bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy which I had exactly a week ago today. The surgery was advised following the discovery of a dermoid cyst on my right ovary which appeared to be growing rapidly. The operation took considerably longer than expected as having had two previous c-sections I had a lot of adhesions; my surgeon said that my uterus was fused to the stomach wall and other areas needed freeing up before the surgery could commence. I have four incisions and unfortunately developed quite a severe reaction to the dressings which resulted in lots of very red, sore and itchy blisters. This has settled now but the incisions are still very tender and my abdomen is very bruised and swollen. The incisions are presently covered with waterproof dressings (these ones seem fine!) and steri-strips on top of the dissolvable stitches. Does anyone know when I should attempt to remove the dressings and steri-strips please? I think I was told ten days but I am really not sure and don't like to bother the ward staff. I am really nervous about removing them as the wounds seem to have bled quite a lot and I am scared of pulling the incisions open. Since my surgery I have had a troublesome cough and now my chest feels very tight and I have pain in my upper back; is this anything to worry about? I don't want to bother my GP needlessly if this is normal following a general anaesthetic. My consultant wants to see me next week and again at six weeks to check that everything is healing. I am 53 and post-menopausal so at least I have none of the horrible symptoms usually related to having the ovaries removed. I really didn't expect to be in quite so much pain a week after surgery as I ensured that I was physically fit beforehand and I only weigh just over 8 stone. I am guessing that I have a fair few internal stitches that are going to take a while to heal and I am probably just being impatient. I have read so many conflicting reports about when a return to full-time work is advisable and would appreciate any comments regarding this too.

Many thanks for any advice or tips!

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  • Posted

    Hello, I am also 53 and had a bilateral salpingo oophorectomy and removal of a 16cm cyst on the 5th September. I was told to expect quite a bit of discomfort. My external stitches were removed after 5 days at another local hospital. I have had to return to the hospital that operated on me as I have acquired an anaerobic infection which is making my pelvic area very achy. I went on the website for Chelsea and Westminster hospital even though that wasn't where I had my surgery and they have a very good leaflet explaining what to expect and how much and what you should do. I have made a speedy recovery but still have the ache in the pelvic region. I am taking 8 weeks off work as advised by my GP. I am going to take things very slowly as should you! Don't expect to be racing around. I tried doing a lot of housework on Friday and felt awful afterwards.

    Here is the link to the Chelsea and Westminster leaflet.

    http://www.chelwest.nhs.uk/your-visit/leaflets/wc/Gynae-Surgery-Aftercare.pdf (you may have to cut and paste into browser)

    Good luck and feel free to compare notes!

    All the best Alex

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  • Posted

    Hi Alex, thank you so much for your response. I am assuming you had open surgery in view of the size of your cyst? I decided to remove the dressings on the ninth day and it was fine! The two tiny incisions at the sides are barely visible, the tummy button one is inside so I can't really see that one although the dissolvable stitches do not appear to have dissolved, the larger incision has about four external stitches and that one still looks a bit red and angry. I am seeing my GP this afternoon as my original sick note from the hospital was just for the first two weeks. I am still very sore inside and I think my bladder has taken a bit of a battering as 'spending a penny' is very uncomfortable and I have dreadful backache. I had to have some physio for a rattly cough following the surgery and my chest and upper back is still sore so I will get the GP to check that out for me. I really thought this would be a walk in the park and that I would bounce back to full fitness really quickly. I am surprised at how uncomfortable and easily tired I still am; I am clearly not as fit as I thought! Thank you so much for the link, really helpful advice. I hope you continue to make a steady recovery and that you are being well looked after by family and friends. Take care and thank you again for responding, Shaunagh xx
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    • Posted

      Dear Shaunagh1,

       I am booked to have an oophorectomy next Thursday and would welcome any advice you have for me. I am very worried, particularly about how I will be affected after the op , and would like to hear your story if you have the time to tell me.I am worried mostly about my love life, the effects of losing the ovaries on my hormones etc. Many thanks!!

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    • Posted

      Dear Tania4

      How did your op go? did you have laparascopic procedure?

      I had a bilateral laparatomy oophorectomy 12 days ago and am interested in how you are. Maybe we can compare notes!

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    • Posted

      Hi Jane! Great to get your message! I had a laparascopic procedure yes. Like awaywithtefairies I had two caesareans and the surgeon found adhesions, the two cysyrs but also endometriosis in one of my fallopian tubes. I had both ovaries removed.  I didn't have a catheter. I was in some pain but pain relief seemed to help with this. I stayed in overnight and went home the next morning.  I did bleed for sicx days and my uterus was very sore; I was told this may be because they had to move my uterus out of the way during the operation.

      It is now 10 days post-op. I am feeling a lot less swollen and a lot more comfortable. I am still taking paracetamol and ibuprofen but have stopped taking the tramadol they gave me. I have been walking round he block once a day and pottering around the house but nothing more. I had been worried about the effects of surgical menopuse but thus far I have none apart from feeling I may have had a hot flush. What about you?

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    • Posted

      Glad to hear you're recovering well.

      Like you I've had a few hot flushes, usually during the night but they're not keeping me awake.

      I have also stopped taking regular pain killers and just take if needed now. I didn't have to much post op bleeding which surprised me.

      I think I need to get out this week as you and away with the fairies are showing me up with your walks!

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  • Posted

    Hi ladies. I'm interested in comparing notes also. I had my right ovary removed on November 25th and am recivering now.

    I had 2 Caesareans back in the nineties so my surgeon found many adhesions left over from this and found that endo had stuck to a lot of my bowel etc. So that all had to be dealt with before he could even start with the ovary removal.

    When I came round I'd been in surgery for over 2 hours and had a catheter and drain in my side which really frightened me.

    I had to stay in overnight so went home about 24 hrs after my op.

    As far as recovering, I'm still feeling very weak so am trying to take things easy and gradually. The pain isn't too bad at all and the bleeding is lessening each day. Yesterday and today I went for a very slow ten minute walk round my neighbourhood but felt drained when i returned home and a bit faint which I was sad about.

    So how are you ladies now?

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    • Posted

      Hi, I didn't have the complications you had from previous surgery but I did wake up with a catheter (which I wasn't expecting but it was a relief to find I didn't have to get out of bed for a while). I stayed in overnight before going home.

      I've only been out to the doctors to have stitches removed so I cannot comment on going out but I've been surprised that I haven't been too tired although i had a leaflet from the physio dept regarding returning to activities, such as cooking, cleaning etc, and have been following this quite closely so I haven't been doing anything other than sit around! Did you get any post op information?

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    • Posted

      I didnt get post op info as such but the nurse came round and told me basically to leave everything for  a week and to make sure i had someone to look after me for the first 48 hours at home. What sort of time span does your leaflet suggest for cooking,cleaning etc? Be interested to hear what they suggest!

      My surgeon signed me off for 2 weeks before he did my op but when things got a little harder he said my GP would probably allow me a further 2 weeks minimum off work to recover .

      My stitches are dissolvable thankfully. I am so squeamish with anything about them sad

      My stitches are dissov

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    • Posted

      I was originally told I needed 2 weeks recovery but as I had to have laparotomy this has been increased to 5-6 weeks although hospital can only sign me off for 4 weeks. GP said I was looking good last week and should be doing more but I'm checking with physio first ( I don't want to be lazy but I don't want to risk doing any damage).

      My list is similar to caesarian or full hysterectomy I.e. nothing heavier than a bag of sugar, no cooking, cleaning or driving for 4 weeks then advice for no weekly shopping and aerobic exercise for 8 weeks.

      I'll post again after speaking with physio.

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    • Posted

      Spoke with the physio this morning, she was very apologetic that I didn't see anyone before hospital discharge. The 12 week recovery schedule I was given is what I need to follow despite feeling like Icould do things now.

      I Did have a walk out yesterday which was lovely but I've told everyone indoors I have got to follow the physio plan so its back to the sofa for me!

      I've also received an appointment for a follow up with consultant in January (at 8 weeks).

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  • Posted

    Hi everyone. Jane, I don't think you should worry about the walking! You had a laparotomy which is a much bigger op to recover from. After my caesareans it took me quite a few more weeks to recover as they have sliced through muscles and these need to recover. Give yourself a break! X
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    • Posted

      Yes I agree with that. The Caesarean sensations when getting back on my feet were just awful. I was thinking about them alot this week and wondering how i dealt with a little baby at the same time?!

      Jane, your body will let you know when its ready to take things further smile x

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    • Posted

      No one has given me any time scales. When I asked the consultant before the surgery what the after effects were he just said instant menopause.

      Because I have a family history of breast cancer I've been advised against HRT so I'm just waiting to see what happens. I have a good friend who has tried the natural remedy route so I'm hoping to be as lucky as she has with taking sage leaf but I haven't started this yet.

      Have you had any information regarding symptoms?

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    • Posted

      The consultant said that within 3-4 days I would enter the menopuse but I can't feel much difference to be honest. Because they found endometriosis and because of the family history I would rather not tske HRT unless I have to. I was worried about symproms like anxiety, deopression, memory fog etc
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    • Posted

      I've felt a bit low a couple of times but I've been like that after general anaestethic before (just feeling sorry for myself!).

      I did some reading about the menopause before my op but I think some of the symptoms like memory fog and anxiety can also be down to getting old as I know people who have been through the menopause and are still functioning normally. I'm 46 and I think I may have started some symptoms before my op anyway, either that or my brain is just too full to remember everything :-)

      I sometimes think we can talk ourselves into symptoms after reading too much.

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    • Posted

      Hi, doing well thanks. I'm going back to work part time tomorrow (having had 6 1/2 weeks off). I'm feeling well although still not doing all household chores or spot yet. It's good to be driving again to. I've got a consultant appt on 13th Jan so I'm hoping he'll say everything is good so I can get back to doing everything. Hot flushes a bit of a pain and occasional palpitations are a pain but otherwise all is well.

      thank you for checking up on me. I hope you're doing OK and enjoyed Christmas and New Year celebrations.

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    • Posted

      Going back to work has not been as easy as I'd hoped! Sitting at a desk is uncomfortable sad   I'm hoping consultant will say all I well next week so I don't  worry about feeling 'squashed'. Much more tired than I'd expected to...
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    • Posted

      So sorry you are feeling is way. I'm sure that it is what you might expect recovery-wise after what you gave been through so try motto worry.I am back at work now too buts. Having problems with night sweats and haven't had a good nights sleep for ages. I'm still considering low- dose HRT. 
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    • Posted

      Night sweats are definitely a nuisance. I've been trying sage leaf but can't say I've felt much improvement (although I don't know how long it takes to take effect). Let me know how it goes if you ask about low dose HRT. I've got copies of my mums medical notes which relate to her breast cancer so if I'm offered HRT we can make an informed decision re cancer risks.

      glad to say I'm feeling brighter today - maybe I just had mid week blues smile

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    • Posted

      Well, actually saw my consultant ( who was off sick during my diagnosis and treatment) today, glad she was off sick!! 

      She was very dismissive, it seems she just wanted to check on external surgery site and send me off.

      i managed to find out internal discomfort may last for several more weeks but it's only a dull ache and I'm still resting in the afternoons after work which feels OK.

      im just going to follow my feelings now and try to get back to doing chores I've been getting others to do I.e. Hoovering and ironing and see what happens.

      i need to see GP if I want HRT but I'm going to try for a while longer before seeing him. Need to get back to some exercise after sitting around for 8 weeks and Christmas excesses!

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    • Posted

      Glad to report feeling good now, back to Pilates tonight which was hard work but I guess a couple of weeks back and I might be in better shape. Back to badminton to so feeling like my old self.

      night sweats come and go but evening sweats seem to have settled.

      hope everyone else who's had their ops are doing well and to those who are waiting hang on in there and don't panic... There is a light at the end of the tunnel biggrin

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    • Posted

      Hi Jane, Well done for getting back to badminton. I am back to work now; I am on my feet all day and feel fine but not completely better. Two weeks ago I gave in and started on HRT. I am starting to feel better already. Our sex life had not been great as I didn't feel the way I used to and I had been unable to sleep so had been getting very tired.The night sweats seemed to be waking me. Two weeks later these seem to have completely stopped. My sex life is better but not perfect; hoping this will improve the longer I take HRT. I am now waking less which is good. Exercise is the next thing on my list.
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