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I would like to share my experience with you on My Open Myomectomy, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
On the 4th July 2018 I had an open myomectomy, aged 33 with no kids. Just in case anyone is not familiar with this procedure, an abdominal myomectomy is a major surgical procedure. It involves making an incision through the skin at the lower abdomen, known as a "bikini cut," and removing the fibroid tumors from inside the wall of the uterus. The uterine muscle is then sewn back together using several layers of stitches.
Yes I know it sound horrid, well that's what I went through...and what an experience it was!!! Tumors can also be encouraged by stress, I went through a very stressful time in my life which i believe contributed to the growth of the tumors. Unfortunately I didn’t know they were present and my situation at the time caused them to grow rapidly in size due to the amount of stress my body was under. I began to experience heavy periods early last year which was not normal for me as I usually had light periods lasting for 3-4 days, they became so heavy and painful causing me to loose up to 1 litre of blood in 3-4 days lasting up to 5. I began to feel extremely weak, faint and was rushed to hospital almost every month due to the amount of blood loss. I was leaking through clothes, having to use the thickest sanitary pads available which still wasn’t enough for the amount of blood being lost. My doctor began to monitor me and I was sent for blood tests which showed I became extremely anaemic and had a worrying vitamin D deficiency, I was then given a vitamin D supplement and Tranesamic acid to thin the blood, both had no impact on the situation. I started to loose weight as a result of not being able to eat due to the stress and blood loss each month. My iron levels also dropped down to 3. 😲
I was sent for a scan which displayed I had 6 uterus fibroids of which some were imbedded in the cavity, one of the largest was pressing against my bladder which was causing constipation due to the blockage and also causing me to urinate very often, I had constant pelvic pain, my stomach was constantly swollen and my uterus had expanded to the size of someone who was 14 weeks pregnant. I became even more stressed out as I could feel and see that my body wasn’t the same anymore and there was very little I could do to control this. I was closely monitored over last year but my iron and vitamin D level was still worryingly low, my doctor considered a blood transfusion as the medication given was not making a major difference, as you can imagine I didn’t want this. The bleeding became worse as I was bleeding at random and at this point I had bled so much I lost track of what was a period and what wasn’t. Unfortunately I was still being rushed in to hospital due to blood loss, at this point I was really fed up of the whole ordeal. I was placed on Northesterine which is a synthetic drug used to mimic the hormone progesterone which prevents bleeding, this really helped and the bleeding stopped. My doctor offered me the option to have the fibroid tumours removed last year September as we had tried all other options, I felt I had no choice but to have them removed, I went away and did some research into what the best possible procedure would be for me as I wanted to still be able to conceive when I was ready to. I was booked in for a hysteroscopic myomectomy in November 2017 where the surgeon attempted to removed the fibroids via the vagina, unfortunately the procedure was unsuccessful as the tumors were deeply imbedded in the cavities and some were unreachable, a sample was taken from one of them and sent of to the lab for testing and I was given the all clear for cancer December 2017 (thank god).
I was no longer able to work and was signed off by my doctor, I was off for a total of 3 months and decided it was best I didn’t return as my role was also extremely stressful and I no longer felt I was able to perform to the best of my ability. I spent most of my time researching different procedures and reading other women’s experiences in forums, after a while I decided to go back to work as i felt like I had become a little depressed with everything that was happening, I found a new job on a part time basis. I explained all that was going on to my manager who was very supportive.
After months of research I decided that a Myomectomy seemed like a good option for me as the Myomectomy is a surgery to remove fibroids without taking out the healthy tissue of the uterus. It is best for women who wish to have children after treatment for their fibroids or who wish to keep their uterus for other reasons. I spoke to my doctor to seek his advice and he agreed with the procedure, I also consulted with my surgeon who went through the Myomectomy procedure and explained the risks, The disadvantages of abdominal myomectomy are that due to the invasiveness of the procedure the surgery requires a larger incision, general anesthesia and has risk factors associated with abdominal surgery such as blood loss which could lead to a Hysterectomy, accidental damage to the uterus, pain and infection, longer recovery although recovery time is generally 2-6 weeks. So as you can imagine there was still a risk of me not being able to conceive even though I had chosen the best possible option for me.
I was finally scheduled for an open Myomectomy on the 4th July 2018, I don’t think words can describe the relief I felt after waking up from the operation, the operation took about 2 hours and they successfully removed a total of 9 tumours, luckily I didn’t loose too much blood and the surgeon managed to preserve my uterus. I spent a week in hospital.
I am now 6 weeks post op, still feeling sore but the joy of knowing the tumours have been removed is worth the pain, knowing I can conceive if I wanted to and I can hopefully get my life back on track. The first 2-3 weeks of recovery were the worst (sorry to scare anyone) your energy levels are next to nothing and that’s coming from an energetic person, it’s so painful to go to the toilet, no feeling in the bikini line area due to the nerves being cut through during surgery, you basically feel like rubbish. Support is definitely required during this time. After the second week you are encouraged to go for walks to strengthen your body, I could only walk for a maximum of 7-8 mins before feeling like I had just completed a marathon and being forced to return home, I just couldn’t do it but in my mind I felt I was ok to get around judging by the fact that I’m generally very active. I became very emotional as I felt like I was going to permanently be this way, my mind and my body were doing two different things but in this case I had to listen to my body and not my mind. It’s a must that you get plenty of rest, fluids and eat well. Week 4-5 I was able to walk a little further but I still took time and it wasn’t and still isn’t at a pace that I would normally walk, things looked a little more positive during week 5, I felt a litte normal again, all the medications I had been on were out of my system, I had much more of an appetite, I wanted to walk more instead of having to force myself and generally felt like my body was on the mend. I had an appointment with the surgeon last week who went through a few do’s and dont’s, he had a look at my scar, had a feel of the internal tissue from the outside and scanned my stomach to see how I was healing internally, he confirmed it all seemed fine and I seemed to be healing nice and quickly, he did say that the inside will take much longer as its internal.
I am still sore as previously mentioned which is normal as there was a lot of chopping done internally due to where my tumors were situated. I am now on week 6 and am stronger than before, walking more (still at a slow pace), eating healthy, doing light house work but still cautious.
My advice to anybody going through any Gynecological procedures is to be strong, easy to say but if you don't it will only become hard during your recovery, think positive about the situation, tell yourself everything will be ok, make sure you have some type of support, I chose to go to the hospital alone, I wanted to face this on my own. I knew god would see me through as he always does.
It hasn't been an easy journey and I still cry when I talk about it but I know and have faith that things will only get better 💕
Thanks for reading 😙
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