One week after emergency ovarian cyst removal - still in excruciating pain

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Hello everyone,

This is my first time posting in any kind of forum. I'm doing so now because I was reading through other posts and got quite personally concerned.

I'm 25. Just came from emergency surgery 7 days ago. I'd gone into emerg in the morning after 7 days of non-menstrual bleeding (I was SUPPOSED to be ovulating...) and increasing weakness and pain in my abdomen. The night before going to Emerg - last Tuesday - I felt a large mass in my abdomen, about the size of a grapefruit, that had not been obvious the day before. My mother took me to Emerg on Wed morning, and, 4 hours later, I was lipping off to the doctor that removed the speculum covered in thick, dark blood, and had shoved on the mass, and told me "everything looks normal down there", and was awaiting further tests. 2 hours later, I was in for an ultrasound. I'd had an ultrasound done not even 5 days before this with nothing coming up odd. In this one, the doctor nearly jumped over my chair running to the door to call for emergency surgery after a solid hour of deep investigating of my abdomen. 2 hours later, I was told that I had had an 8cm ovarian cyst on my right side, that was filling with blood, and had already expanded. Paper work was done and precautions were discussed and, 30 mins later. I was put under and cut open.

The operation was about 3 hours long - I was told - and had a couple complications - as the cyst was still filling with blood at the time (went from 8.4cm to 10.2cm just through all the preamble), and they had concerns about appendicitis. They managed to save my ovary, and there was no torsion. All seemed fine. The anesthetic wore off about 3 hours later - I remember because, at 3am, I woke up screaming in the hospital. I have a very high pain tolerance - 6 years ago, a co-worker accidentally shattered the top half of my finger in a metal door, and I just lashed out at him and started cursing while my finger was all mangled. I've also had my organs start to dissolve with high blood sugars before a diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes was made. I'm no stranger to agonizing pain. But this was unimagineable. 

I was in hospital for 2 days after that - they were worried because my white cell count went up the 1st morning after and I wasn't rsponding to the pain meds. 48 hours later, I was home with pain meds and papers to keep me out of my very strenuous job for 2 weeks.

It's been a bit rough - the first 3 days were as I expected: awful and exhausting and painful and I've never felt so pitiful and incapable in my life.

But it's been 7 days now - almost to the hour - and I'm still in pain. I have 2 incisions on my right side, and the belly button. Both incisions are nicely closed and no infection, the belly button is finally not so bruised, the massive swelling has gone down, and I'm back to my normal weight. I'm on the top doses of Voltaren pills (Diclofenac) - same as they gave me in hospital - and top doses of Tylenol 1 with Codeine - as well as sneaking in Advil and Midol when the pain is unbearable. No fevers, no heightened blood sugars signalling a problem, no swelling or signs of infection. Outwardly, everything seems fine.

But the pain... Standing for more than 10 minutes, or sitting in a chair for more than 20 causes pain that feels like the first morning - scale of 0-10, we're talking a 6-7 - even with all the meds, no pushing my limits on movement, plenty of rest, etc. No matter how many naps I have, or how many times I lay flat on my bed during the day, by the time 5pm rolls around, the pain under my belly button is pushing an 8-9 out of 10. Yesterday was fine, strangely, and I can't figure out why, but today, I'm at my limit. I'm going to the hospital tomorrow to get looked at again,

But, mainly, what I want to know is: have any of you had/heard of anything like this? I've done everything I'm supposed to, I have a high pain tolerance, and heal fast. There's no outward sign of problems, and the usual method for telling if there is (high blood sugars) have been fine. Why aren't the pain meds working at all? Are they going to have to open me up again?? I don't think I can do that again...

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7 Replies

  • Posted

    I am post menopause and had partial hysterectomy 14 yrs ago. 7 days ago I had my ovaries removed because of multiple cysts on both. In surgery dr found a whole lot of scar tissue covering the ovaries and around my bowels.  Surgery took about 3 hours. Came home same day and did not need any narcotics even though he had given me a script for them. It was a surprise not to have the pain. I really think it's all on the doctor. You should insist on an MRI to find out if dr messed up. No reason you should be in so much pain, 

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  • Posted

    I don't really have anything helpful to add, Paula, except to say that you should absolutely insist on getting to the bottom of the problem. There is no reason you should be experiencing that level of pain at this stage of your recovery. It may be as simple as an ultrasound or an MRI. 

    It may seem totally unrelated and a bit of a personal question, but how have you been with gas and bowel movements? I was completely astounded by the kind of pain gas could cause - right up into my shoulder blades - such that I could barely move. It was definitely not an 8/9 on the scale, but it was extreme. If you're bloated inside after they undoubtedly expanded your belly with air, this may be contributing to your overall discomfort. Although it sounds to me like further investigation needs to happen. 

    Please let us know how you go at the hospital tomorrow! I'm so sorry you're going through this. I'm thinking of you! (I am 5 days post unilateral oophorectomy, open surgery - I can't imagine how terrifying your ordeal must have been given the emergency status!) 


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  • Posted

    You poor girl! You really are going through it!

    25 years ago I was really going through it with endometriosis. It had gone on for quite a while. 2-3 days agony each month. One month it got so bad I ended up in A&E. It was on my gut and I can well remember 2 surgeons standing at the foot of the bed arguing as to whose 'department' I belonged on.mad

    My advice is see someone ASAP. Don't wait until tomorrow. All the meds you are (understandibly) taking are not doing you any good in the long run. Especially if you are on diabetic meds.

    Thinking of you.

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    • Posted

      With you there, bobbysgirl. I hope Paula gets sorted out real quick. Can't imagine hearing my surgeons argue over me during such a stressful time! Goodness, our health is everything. 

      Positive energy to you, Paula.

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  • Posted

    Hello everyone,

    I'm sorry for the late reply; I got out of the hospital yesterday and was so drugged up on pain meds that I couldn't even stand up! Also this site doesn't seem to want to load on my phone...

    They discovered that the pain I've been feeling is due to an issue with some of the deepest stitching - stitches got crossed after surgery and then severed a couple mornings ago.

    While waiting for the ultrasound and bloodwork and other tests, they were very concerned with my pain level, so they shot me full of Dilaudid (substitute for morphine. I'm reeeeally not good with morphine) and toradol. Those worked really well until I was finished the ultrasound, and slipped on the slippery fabric of the chair while standing up. The ultrasound guy immediately lay me down again, re-checked me, and confirmed the stitching issue - so it was only found thanks to that darned slippery material.

    Unfortunately, there's not much they can do about it - in fact, it's good that the 2 stitches DID separate or I could have healed very badly. But it does explain all the added pain and why it seemed like the pain meds stopped working and everything. But after the slip, the pain doubled – this was after only 1 hour from being injected with the other stuff. When I got back to the wait room, the nurses checked my vitals and got worried and tried to get me to talk but I was in so much pain that I couldn’t breathe. They ended up double-dosing me to get me through the night and gave me a new prescription to get today. So far, the new stuff is working very well, and being numbed to everything last night seems to have done wonders for me not straining the healing.


    I always knew that pulling stitches could be downright awful, but I really didn’t expect THIS much trouble from it. I suppose having them crossed over like that while in their most damaged state, and then having them ripped apart – and all of it happening right down where all the action was – really can do a number  on someone L But, here’s to finally being on the right track to mending!

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    • Posted

      Thanks for getting back to us Paula. I was wondering how you had gone on.

      At least you know the cause now - even if it doesn't help with the pain right now.

      I remember an occasion over 20 years ago, when I was going through it with endometriosis. At one point I was in hospital on pethadine (think that's how it's spelt) and begging the night staff for another dose as the pain was back after only an hour's relief. I never want to go through THAT again.sad

      Hope you start to feel better VERY soon. XX

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