My hysterectomy story

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Hi everyone

I had my hysterectomy on Monday 28th April and it was a full abdominal with sideways incision.

It all began for me when my periods went wappy, first I didn't bleed at all for about six months, then I started to bleed really heavy for weeks at a time. I got alarmed when I started passing hand size clots, and my gp gave me some tablets to try and regulate them. It didn't really work however and when I started having abdominal and pain in my back I was sent for an ultrasound. That picked up three cysts, one grapefruit size on my right ovary and two Orange size on my left ovary. I was referred to a gynacologist and when he said they had to be removed, it was decided a hysterectomy was the best option.

I went to a pre assessment where I had blood tests, an ecg and general height weight and urine checks. I was also given sterisept lotion to wash in for two days before the op and nose cream to help prevent mrsa. Two weeks later I went in for my op, I had some attractive stocking to wear, and was taken down to theatre. My op took three hours and they removed both ovaries, uterus, cervix, and of course the cysts. I woke up in the recovery room with a morphine drip, oxygen mask, and catheter. I was taken up to the ward and was nil by mouth till the doctor came to see me the next morning.

The doctor told me that the cysts had grown, one the size of a football and the other two the size of grapefruits. I had a sideways incision with 21 staples, which I have a photograph of if anyone wants to see. I stayed on oxygen and morphine till Tuesday evening, then they took the catheter out and I was able to have a walk. Be aware the first time getting up is the worst and it does hurt, but once you are up it doesn't feel to bad. Coughing hurts too and I'd helps to press a cushion on your abdomen when you cough. Also I was and still am constipated, and I had to visit my gp to get some lactose, and he also gave me hrt. I was released from hospital Wednesday night, seatbelts hurt so I put a cushion under it. You can do stairs just take them slowly. My hubby had also set up a table next to where I sit with tissues, facewipes, lip balm, bottle of water, and space my teacup lol!

I have also had to go on iron tablets as my blood count was only 8.8 and should be around 11.5. It is difficult getting in and out of bed, and is easier if you roll on your side then get up. I have extra pillows which I am using to help me get comfy. A week later I can now lay on my side which is great. You will feel tired so have afternoon naps, also keep an eye on your wound for weeping or redness, and get some hand sanitizer.

For hospital I took nighties, underwear, slippers, cotton nightgown, tissues, wipes, toiletries, towels, sanitary pads, magazines, lip balm, underwear and baggy pj bottoms. I also took a pair of stretchy trousers and a baggy top to wear home. On the day of my op I just took my slippers, nightgown and magazines, and my hubby brought the rest in later. The first day you will mostly sleep, but I was glad of my magazines the rest of the time. Also if you tie your hair back you will need hair bands with no metal on to wear in the theatre. Button up nighties are quite helpful as you don't have to stretch, matalan sells them cheap. They encourage you to shower in the hospital, which feels lovely, and that first cuppa you drink is liquid heaven.

Can't think of anything else off the top of my head, but my email is _____ if anyone wants to chat.

Dawny x

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    Well done Dawn, I'm sure this will be very helpful for people with the same symptoms as you. This web site is so good as there really is no groups or any people you can go to for reassurance after your operation, as I'm sure there are lots of people that went through what you and I have and have lots of questions. All the best. Debs x
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  • Posted

    Wow thank you for all the cool info. I have waited since Sept to have my hystercomy. I have fibroids all of my uterus but to date no one has said how big they are. Im due to have my op on Jun 6th, 2014. I had the zoladex implant at the end of Feb which thankful took away all the crazy bleeding and severe cramps. I can say I was so worried about have the implant but true to my consultant it did stop the pain. I haven't had any of the side affects, no hot flushes or other stuff. I have had one thing though my tummy is senitive and I can have the runs for two days and not be able to eat. This has caused me to lose a stone and half since I started the implant. I welcome the operation. He will only be removing my uterus as agreed unless when he gets me open the ovaries aren't in good shape. Please give another update each week. My son is getting married July 25th and am a little worried I won't be well by then and I go on holiday Aug 31 to Spain a treat from my hubby you said it will be nice since how different we both hope I'll be. I wish you speedy recovery.
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    • Posted

      Hi there

      I couldnt have the implant as I had previously had one and I didnt stop bleeding for 8 months! I also got to the point where I couldnt use tampons or have sex, as one of the cysts was pressing on the inside. My ultrasound took ages, but I was lucky, after that I had to wait less than 6 months for my op. I suppose it depends where in the country you are.

      Ok, its been 2 weeks yesterday since my operation. I have been able to do stairs from day one, but can do do them a little quicker. I can now lay on my side without pillows comfortably, and have managed to walk to my Mums in 15 minutes, which usually takes 5. I can also sit on the sofa with my legs up now. I am still constipated, but the cocodomal can make this worse. I was on 8 aday but am now taking four (1 tablet 4 times a day) which is controlling the discomfort, its not really that painful now. Im also still on the iron for anemia, and am taking the lactulose when needed for the constipation. Now allowed to lift anything heavier than a kettle until week 6, and also cant drive, hoover, change sheets, etc etc till then either. Bending is easier but still cant get to the floor. Also no pushing supermarket trolleys!

      My wound has sprung a leak, which the gp has checked out and said its wound fluid, so Im having to keep that little bit dressed for now till it stops. You just have to keep an eye on your wound, if it gets really red, starts leaking pus, or smells it could be infected and you need to get it checked out.

      Still getting tired quickly, and some afternoons I do have a nap lol! Also my appetite is a bit hit and miss, it feels uncomfortable if I eat a large meal, so Im having toast, sandwiches, soup, cereal, pasta, rice etc instead of 3 big meals, but everyone is different.

      Cant think of anything else for now, but as requested will update every week or so.

      Dawny xxx

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  • Posted

    Thank you for responding. Your better then the book I bought. LOL. So glad your making progress. I have written all your tips in my diary. Keep up the good work. I live in South Wales in Ystalyfera its outside Swansea. Have a good week and thank you again for your post
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  • Posted

    Hi again

    Well its been 4 weeks this week since my operation and I am feeling so much better. My wound has stopped leaking and is all healed now which is great. It still feels tender getting up and sitting down, cant throw myself at the sofa yet lol! Can walk alot further without getting tired now, managed to walk all the way to town this week which is about a mile. Household chores wise I am washing up, drying up, dusting, cant do changing bed or loading washer/dryer as bending is still tender, and cant hoover, lift anything, drive for another two weeks. I am doing really well on the hrt though, had no flushes mood swings or other ill effects. I can also have a bath now, but I am kneeling so I dont have to lift myself. All in all not doing bad at all. Hope you are all well.

    Dawny x

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  • Posted

    That's great Dawn, well done. I've been on HRT since November and feel great even sleeping well, which I never did before operation. It's such a worrying time before the op and it's so reassuring to hear from people like us who have been through this and are now so much better. All the best Debs x
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  • Posted

    Hello,

    I read your post and thank you for your advice and for sharing your experience.  I am on the waiting list for total hysterectomy to treat adenomyosis and 2 growing fibroids. My uterus is a little bigger than it should be and although I no longer have heavy bleeds (I had a thermal ablasion two years ago for fibroids and menorrhagia; it didn't do anything to the fibroids unfortunately, they remained) I still get painful periods and experience pain during sex and sometimes orgasm can be painful, which is quite depressing.  These problems led to the break-up of a relationship; sadly, sex became the elephant in the room for us and caused a huge rift between us. I got my diagnosis after we split; prior to that, he would say things like 'it's just your period, get over it' and other such things. Men.  I have done some research and since I have the adenomyosis in the uterus, it causes pain.  Pain is depressing me and makes me anxious, tired, irritable.  People get mixed up with endometriosis and adenomyosis. They are similar but not the same. I have a lot of problems with my bowels, I have had IBS all my life and have been following a lactose free diet for years now, as well as experimenting with other diets with the help of a dietitian.  I had piles, and went through the worst op in the world last November, that hurt!!! I am still having some problems with constipation though; always when I have my period.  It is affecting my life; mood, stress, of course pain, bloating (look pregnant). So I have opted to have the big operation.

    I am worried, because I am a single mum. I have friends who will come and visit, and I expect a nurse will come out to me. My 8 year old son will have to stay with his dad and this is the biggest concern. The ex will try to push my recovery.  Every time I have needed his help, it ends the same! 

    I would like to have a better idea of what to expect physically, following the op. For example, will I be able to get into my bath in order to take a shower? If not, I guess it's washing at the sink for a while! My biggest fear is that the hospital will make me constipated by only offering me food that causes my troubles, for example sandwiches are not great for me! Also, what painkillers? if it's codeine, I'm in trouble cos they bung me up immediately.  Because of the operation I had last November, my difficulties going to the loo are a big deal.  I am unable to take lactulose solution and I suspect that is what the hospital will give me, despite the fact I'm lactose intolerant. If I take the stuff, my stomach will fill with gas, and I will be in even more pain due to trapped wind.

    Also, when the leaflet talks about 'gentle exercise', what do they mean? Does it depend on how fit you were before surgery?  I have back trouble (always comes on at my time of the month - guess what - related to adenomyosis!) but I am hopeful that many of my symptoms will disappear once my uterus is gone! 

    Any advice will be very welcome and also some encouragement to go through with it. I have been and still am wrestling with the whole thing and swing from 'just put up with things a bit longer' to 'just go for it and get it over with.'

    I am 43 in a few days time. I have finished having my children. 

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    • Posted

      Hi Amanda,  Not sure if you've gone ahead with having the surgery.  I live in Perth WA and I have just got home from hospital.  I have had all the same symptoms as yourself and also struggled with making the decision when I was your age, I pushed on and put up for years and wish I had done this when I was 40 and not 52.  I had keyhole surgery and the op was suppose to last 2-3 hours.   It took 2 x gyno over 5 hours and no-one has explained what went wrong other than saying it was complicated and my ovaries were stuck down.  I woke up feeling very sick and had a 5 night stay in hospital.  My body looked like it had been hit by a truck, all bruised down one side so I've no idea what went on in that operating theatre.  My friends who have had the same surgery, have all recovered in less than 24 hours.  I am not somoene who sits around feeling sorry for myself.  I'm an up and go type of person and know that something went seriously wrong.  So much for having private health cover and getting the best doctors.  I wish I had gone thru the public system and I wish I had done it when I was your age.  Drink lots of fluids weeks prior to your operation.  Stay as healthy as you can and invite all your friends to help you to do housework or any other chore.  You'll be there for them if they need you.  I have a great sister and a couple of good friends who have helped me with cleaning and walking my dog.  All the best. 
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  • Posted

    I dont know how but this message is for Amanda31789 I am so sorry to hear about the problems your having. Support at home is key I think. Getting into a bath is possible depending on how your feeling but you shouldnt do unless your with someone. The food in hospital (Singleton, Swansea) wasn't any good for me. I can't have dairy and need low fat foods as I have iBS as well. The food choice was poor you would think a hospital would have a better selection. Salad was offered but it cause me gas which if I han't just had surgery I would have risk. I am just not in enough pain to take my codiene so I have paracetamol but for me I have a bad back and do take them but I drink so much water normally but since surgery have doubled it. Bowels are working ok but then I'm not eating alot. I am taking a senna tablet every night and that seems to be helping. But I have been planning for this op since Sept. I lost weight changed the way I ate and took up exercise more. Walking after the op as soon as you are able is the best exercise you can do after op. I am lucky as my husband is disabled and our house has a stairlift and walk in shower and raised toliet. Stress leave it behind and for me having the op was the best thing. My son is getting married in July and we are off on holiday in Sept so for me I have goals that I must make sure Im ok for. My children are all grown up and I will be 47 this year. We do have help but with my hubby being disabled I am finding we need more as he is having trouble.

    Sorry Dawny I don't know how to message Amanda directly. Everyone is so different I am finding. Best of luck to you

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  • Posted

    Hi Dawn, thank you and thank you to all the lovely ladies who have shared their experience.  I am due to have a full hysterectomy on June 8th 2016. I have found your account of events very helpfull. There will always be doubts befor such an op. I am having a hard time with nerves right now. All this for a cyst, its hard to beleive.I hope you have been restored to full health. Best wishes. Marie.
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