Vertical laparotomy in 2 weeks!

Posted , 9 users are following.

Hi ladies smile 

i have two ovarian cysts, one measuring 16cm and the other measuring 6cm, in my ovaries but behind my womb. They are being removed in two weeks. The doctor originally wanted to do a full hysterectomy because of the cancer risk, but I'm only 22 so I stood my ground about needing the option with my fertility. So he is now going to just try to remove the cysts and only the one ovary if he absolutely has to. 

Om on a little bit freaked out about the surgery and have been told that I need at least 12 weeks off if work. I was just wondering if anyone has had this surgery and could give me some idea of the amount of time spent in hospital, recovery time and how limited I will be with how mobile I will be. 

Thank you xxx

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15 Replies

  • Posted

    All the best sorry I am unable to give you any advise on ths but  have faith and trust the Lord, and pray for a quick recovery. Good Luck
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  • Posted

    Absolutely insist that they only take what is necessary.  You are very young, and will probably want a family.   Recovery depends on what they need to do - if you have ovary removed you will probably have an couple of nights in hospital then six weeks recovery - hysterectomy will take longer, maybe twelve weeks.
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  • Posted

    Hiya Megg!

    I've been through this. You'll be OK. It is now 12 weeks since my vertical laparotomy (9inches!) to remove a 7lb cyst. They told me 6-8weeks recovery at least and I was a bit sceptical it would take that long but boy I was wrong. Recovery has been FINE, but it does take a long time so I've just had to take it easy on myself and not push it too much.

    I had one week  (6 nights) in hospital, and when I left I could stand (pulling or pushing on the bed), walk 50 yards (clutching a pillow into my tummy), get up and down stairs, wash and dress myself. I could not fill the kettle with more than 2 cups water or pick up a 2L milk jug or pick things up off the floor or lift pans or put trays in and out the oven. My abs just felt way too vulnerable. 

    Weeks 2-5 were frustratingly slow. I felt much stronger each week overall, but individual days I just had to see how I felt. I could walk around the block and prepare dinner but I was still very dependent on strong painkillers. This meant (weeks 2 & 3 especially) that I couldn't really sit at a computer or even concentrate on decent TV. Trash TV and friends visiting for an hour exhausted me still. 

    By week 6 I could walk a mile upright (no pillow), drain a small saucepan, do laundry, sit up for a meal in a restaurant (sitting up unassisted is a bit sore at first), and do a few hours of work at my home computer if I timed my painkillers right. I could also come off my painkillers for an evening to have a glass of wine, as long as I didn't plan on going much further than the sofa. smile

    Week 8. Off the stronger painkillers now altogether. Woo. Just Paracetamol and Ibuprofen again. I went for a short jog and it was OK. Tried a half sit-up and it was agony so nope, not doing that! Successfully got the bus into town and had a meal with friends, but ran out of energy at the end and had to get a taxi home.

    Week 9 spoke to doctor and insurance company and I am OK to drive again. Woo! Drove for 1 hour no problem but did "work out" my muscles sitting in car for that long.

    Week 10 jogged a mile. (I used to run before I got sick). Felt like a hero. Had friends come visit and managed a few half days of sight seeing and 2 whole days. Still found this exhausting, and had to take my max Para and Ibu doses to get through it, but I did manage. 

    Week 11. Went away for a whole weekend and managed to stay out and about without painkillers much. Held and bounced a friends 9 month old baby. Went to a swimming pool and did a little breast stroke (front crawl still feels like a no). Managed a few sit ups and press ups and squats. I think I'm back. 

    Week 12. Tried swinging a baseball bat and could hit the ball without it hurting too much. Can do 10-20 sit ups but it does ache a bit. Will maybe not do too many more of those until my (1 time only) group physiotherapy appt which I've been given for next week. I'm not QUITE back to normal, but I am independent again and I can do everything most normal poeple like to do. I just like to be very active. I think my rock climbing might still be a few weeks away! I could return to work full time this week if I had an employer. (I'm self employed). So 12 weeks really is about right. 

    I hope this helps you, and doesn't scare you! Honestly it is quite major surgery, but our bodies are good at healing (I'm 31) and in 4 months (or less if you're young and healthy) you should be 100% back to your normal life, promise. smile 

    Best of luck! Keep us posted, and let me know if you have any other questions. I'd be happy to share scar pics or sex life details or whatever if that will help too. smile

    Pam

     

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for your reply! It has helped a lot! I'm a supervisor at a supermarket so I am on my feet for long hours, so I'm guessing 12 weeks off then my phased return for a month will be about right!

      I was just wondering, a lot of posts have said about staples instead of stitches to close the wound, what did you have? The idea of staples terrifies me! (I'm a bit of a wuss!)

      Also, with your cyst removal, did they have to remove the ovary/Fallopian tubes or anything? My fertility is the thing that's making me stress about this as I definitely want a family.

      Thank you again for all your advice and sharing your experience xx

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    • Posted

      So they made a clean, neat vertical cut from the top of my knickers to halfway up my chest. Let's say 5.5 inches below my belly buttom and 2.5 inches above. No staples, they used plastic-looking internal stiches which will apparently dissolve on their own over months. They cut a straight line apart from a little semi circle around my belly button. My belly button does look a bit different to before but all in all the scar is fine. It will fade in time, too. In terms of the wound straight after surgery, they put a thin dressing on it and I needed a bit of "steri-strip" (like butterfly stiching, if you know what that is), just to help hold a particularly vulnerable part of the wound. By the time I left hospital though i didn't even need a dressing on it. I could wash and dry as normal. I looked bruised and swollen still, and am still actually wearing a vest top tucked into trousers under my normal t-shirts, because the scar area is sensitive. But all in all I'm actually quite delighted with how quickly it;s healed and how normal it looks. 

       

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    • Posted

      In terms of fertility, you have made your wishes known to the surgeon so I'm sure they will do everything they can to save your ovary. I am 31 and have no kids yet, so I wanted to keep my fertility too. The cyst was just 1 massive cyst on my right ovary though, and I discussed with the surgeon that she expected the ovary would be damaged. I agreed with her that they (I had 2 surgeons) would plan to remove the cyst, my right ovary and right tube. To make it a clean job and be sure of it not happening again. I think they would/could have tried to separate the cyst from my ovary if it had been my last ovary, but I was OK with them taking 1 and leaving me one. The surgeon was very kind, but very straight forward with me. She said she would take a look at my other ovary and uterus while she was "in there" (ewww!) but that she wouldn't remove anything more than that unless my life was genuinely in danger. I gave her verbal permission to basically give me a hysterectomy if she unexpectedly found me riddled with cancer (?!) but in any other circumstances she would leave any other problems so we could discuss future fertility options etc. She actually was confident that I would be fine and sure enough after the surgery she said she had checked my other bits and they should be fine to conceive in future if I want. I am not even planning a family (not yet anyway) but I fully understand it is a horrible thing to think the option might be taken away. Hopefully they can save your second ovary if the cyst is only small. 

       

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    • Posted

      I know this is easy for other people to say, but fertility really is less important than your health. I'd suggest you wish for the best, but ultimately trust that the surgeon will do what is best for you and your body. Hopefully it will all be fine. Focus on the positive, getting those darn cysts out and getting back on with your life! 
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  • Posted

    I am six weeks post op after having both ovaries and tubes removed ,had csection cut which was glued. Stayed in hospital 1 night, painful to walk for a few days but after three days walked slowly up the road.Hubby done most things for 4 weeks, after that I was more or less back to normal apart from lifting. Still feel a bit of uncomfortable when I go to loo but hardly noticeable. Off for a long weekend away tomorrow for my sisters 60th so looking forward to that,I am 66 so youhave youth on your side,good luck and hope all goes well.Brenda
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  • Posted

    Hi guys think this forum has been great , I have this op on Monday 18th my story started on 20 jan , at 41 and with a daughter and son 13 and 9 I wanted better quality of life , after 20 years of back pain terrible heavy periods with clots the size of raw liver ( sorry )decided to have coil fitted though during checks the found large cyst that covers both ovaries and suspicious , well after going to hell and back cancer scare been lowered and biopsy will hopefully be clear on cyst , I'll keep you posted ladies thank you again for great honest experiences xx
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  • Posted

    Hi op went well spent three nights in hospital did have a transfusion but all ok more relaxing at home both cysts removed awaiting results , not much pain thankfully had a bowel movement today whoop whoop not started taking HRT yet speak to gp this week lets hope start of new me gentle steps
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  • Posted

    This has been really helpful thanks ladies.

    I'm having surgery Tuesday and am terrified both of the surgery and other possible results.

    I have a 22cm cyst on my right ovary. Although I think it's actually grown a lot bigger now, I feel like a whale. I've been advised it is suspicious by doctors and they are removing the ovary and tube. It's giving me sleepless nights at the moment.

    I'm 30 and have no children so I understand exactly how you feel about that. Here's hoping he can save an ovary.

    I was told by the nurse it's 3 months full recovery but typically most are feeling a lot better after a month. Probably depends on what they do and the individual person as to recovery time.

    Good luck I will let you know how I get on

    Sue xx

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    • Posted

      Hi sue, 

      What ended up happening? Did an oncologist remove your cyst? Was it benign? What about it was suspicious.  I'm going through the same thing and just need a little support.   Thank you.   

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    • Posted

      Hi Grace,

      Yes it was removed.  From whatever they could see on my scans they suspected it may have been cancerous and were treating it as so.  It turned out to be borderline in the end.  I just go for regular 6 month scans to make sure nothing has returned but require no further treatment. Hope this helps, let me know if you want to know anything else x

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  • Posted

    Hi Meg! Sorry I am a bit late on replying, you're probably done with surgery by now!

    Anyway, I'm Vee and I had a horizontal laparotomy 4 weeks and 2 days ago for cyst removal (which turned into removal of one ovary because the cyst engulfed my right one).

    Prior to surgery, I was also very concerned with fertility and keeping all my reproductive organs. Like you, the fertility issues were what kept me up at nights, and made me cry rivers. I have always been in love with kids -- even when I was a kid myself. I always envisioned myself as a mother. However, things didn't turn out the way I wanted to and I lost one. But, you know what? I felt great after the surgery (well, a week after surgery -- primarily because the first week was a bit bleh). I don't know if it was because of feeling "lighter" (due to the cyst being taken out) or if it was because my hormones are normalizing in a way (after a very long time of having the cyst messing me up). I still feel worried about being pregnant and all, but I figured I shouldn't worry much about it right now and just bask in the idea that I am "cyst-less"!

    I spent 5 days in the hospital. The first day (Monday) was when I came in, so no major thingiemajig happened. The second day (Tuesday) was operation day, and I spent 2 hours and 30 mins in the OR. I had an epidural anesthesia, and was put to sleep. I was woken up after the operation and was wheeled into my room. I don't know why, but I really didn't sleep after the operation. All I did was talk and talk and talk, and went on social media, and watched YT vids. (Crazy). But all that went down the drain when the side effects of the pain meds (morphine) came in, and I was having difficulty of breathing and extreme nausea. I was on 02 for a day and a half. My surgeon and anesthesiologist thought I was recuperating very well, and gave me an approval to go home by Thursday, but I refused to do so because I was too scared to leave the hospital (lol) and be without the direct care of nurses and doctors. I pled to stay one day more, and yes, I did go home by Friday.

    Honestly, I can say that I really haven't experienced an intense kind of pain as most of the women had. Patient-controlled pain relief is not available where I am, so I had to call for a nurse if the pain comes unbearable. But I never did. They only had me on a cycle of Tramadol every 6 hours. I don't know if it was because I have a high pain tolerance, or the meds just fit me fine.

    What I hated the most immediate post-op was the limited mobility -- especially in sitting up. It was really stressful, because you just become really dependent to whoever was caring for you. And I also hated not being able to be on my either side when sleeping, I felt out of breath when I lie on back. Thankfully, I figured out a way to get in and out of bed a week after the operation. It was a bit painful to do so, but it got easier the more I did it.

    And walking. Oh boy, I easily caught myself out of breath just by going to the bathroom. It doesn't take a lot to make me catch my breath. But you do have to gradually increase your mobility (but not too much) to make increase your resistance as well. I walk around my room for 5-10 mins an hour a little less than 2 weeks after the surgery, while watching TV or something.

    My room is on the second floor of the house, so I spent practically the first week not seeing the ground floor. I only went down (with assistance) the first time during my birthday, and spent another 5-6 days going down and up (with assistance) until I finally worked up the courage to try it myself.

    All in all, I must say that expect total dependence for the first week post-op. Second week, you can have a little independence. And by the third week onwards, you can do the basic things by yourself (but don't overdo it though, you'll feel the consequences of your actions and it's not pretty). And one advice? NEVER put yourself in front of a fan (or anything windy). It sent me straight back to the hospital 3 weeks post-op for muscle pain. I don't know why, but my doctors said it must've been the wind/air that got into my system.

    Right now, I really feel great. My incision is healing quite nicely. My bowel movements have returned to normal, and I can wear some of my pre-op shorts (although I'm really careful not to wear them for long, because my lower belly is still swollen and I don't want to irritate things down there). I can now go shop for myself (groceries and all), but makes sure that I get to rest every 30-40 mins or so. I still have bouts of dizziness, especially if I suddenly change positions, but nothing too major.

    It really takes time to go back to the things as they were pre-op, but just trust your body to do what it needs to do to recuperate. After all, being sliced open is never an easy ordeal for our bodies to recuperate from.

    Just be positive! I hope everything goes smooth and well for you! Please do an update as well, I'd love to hear how you are doing! :D

    Yours,

    Vee

     

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