This is my experience recovering from hysterectomy surgery. Your experience may differ. I share my story so other women can be informed. I strongly encourage each of you to get a regularly scheduled examination with your doctor. Early detection is key to diagnosis of most women’s diseases.
What started out as a dull ache on my right side rapidly changed to severe sharp pain whenever I rolled onto my right side. Initially I wasn’t concerned too much because I had experienced abdominal “pain” since the day I started my period at about age 13. I had been diagnosed with endometriosis since I was 17. A tumor was discovered on my right ovary at age 21 and I had subsequent surgery to remove the tumor . Thankfully it was benign. However, after my surgery at 21 I was told I may not be able to have children. My right ovary was not fully functional, but given my age the doctor didn’t want to remove it. After meeting my husband and getting married, we decided to try to conceive even though we were told our chances of getting pregnant were slim. I was blessed to get pregnant and give birth to a beautiful baby girl (who is now a healthy 20 year old!). After her birth I began having symptoms with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) and was finally FINALLY diagnosed with PCOS when I was 30. With PCOS came infertility and I was never able to have any more children.
Fast forward to age 46 and I was tired of the pain. My monthly menstrual cycle was increasingly painful and lasted 10 days at a time and often started again after a 10 day “break”.
I went to see my primary doctor who gladly sent me off to get an ultrasound. (I have been so blessed to have doctors who go the extra mile for me). When I went to my ultrasound appointment I knew from the look on the technician’s face that something was abnormal on the screen. They took many, many photos (I assumed due to the many clicks of her machine) and told me to follow up with my primary physician within three days. I was nervous, but not surprised. I knew something was wrong by how I was feeling. Sometimes our gut instinct is the most truthful way of knowing something is wrong with our bodies.
A few days after the ultrasound, I received a call from my doctor’s office requesting I come into the office as soon as possible. My doctor confirmed a tumor was found on my right side next to my right ovary and uterus. I was referred to a gynecologist surgeon to evaluate and find the location of the tumor. I was scheduled for exploratory laparoscopic surgery in May 2016.
Laparoscopic surgery is much easier on the body. According to my doctor:
Exploratory laparoscopy is surgery to look for causes of pain, abnormal growths, bleeding, or disease in your abdomen. During this surgery, small incisions are made in your abdomen. A small scope and tools are inserted through these incisions. A scope is a flexible tube with a light and camera on the end.
My recovery from the laparoscopic surgery was relatively easy. I had three small incisions in my abdomen with one of them through my belly button. My surgery was scheduled for 6:00am and I was released from the hospital the same day about 2:00pm. The surgery took about an hour and a half. I was able to resume regular activities within about two weeks. The incision through my belly button was the largest wound to recover.
I returned to my doctor’s office for my post-operative check up after two weeks. My doctor determined that my tumor was about the size of a tennis ball. He gave my my options and together we determined that a hysterectomy was the best course of action given my age, pain level and size of the tumor. I have a history of ovarian cancer in my family. This was a big factor for hysterectomy as well.
My second surgery was scheduled for August 5, 2016. I look forward to sharing with you that surgery. Until next time…Step In Faith!