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madsmom1030's avatar

Has anyone had a hysterectomy me? If so- what was recovery like and what were some of the challenges?

Asked by madsmom1030 (1023 points ) November 5th, 2008

I am 32 yrs old. Lost one ovary to a burst ovarian cyst 3 yrs ago. now there is one on the left side that isn’t going away. I am considering a hysterectomy since my one successful pregnancy was horrific and filled with complications that almost cost my life and the life of my child. My body doesn’t like hormone changes and I am worried about that aspect.

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12 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

I would try every avenue possible (including a second opinion and laparoscopic surgery – thru the belly button) before having a hysterectomy. Far too many are being done, I understand.

You will go into instant menopause, lose all your estrogen and libido without Hormone Replacement Therapy. That has side effects and attendant serious long-term risks. You are messing with Mother Nature; why not have your SO get his tubes tied?

I had the laparoscopy over 15 years ago to check- it turned out to be a small fibroid rather than ovarian cyst. The fibroid disappeared after menopause.

If you are with someone for the long haul and don’t have to worry about STD’s, use the trusy old diaphragm for birth control.

madsmom1030's avatar

this isn’t a matter of birth control- it has to do with a growing cystic mass that is enlarging. I just had a large cystic mass removed from my liver. We would be doing this so i don’t end up with another life threatening situation.

gailcalled's avatar

Oh, dear. Of course I have no advice but to wish you good luck.

susanc's avatar

I had a hysterectomy at the age of 57 after about 12 years of increasing trouble with fibroids, treated initially with naturopathic and Chinese herbal medicines and a series of three different acupuncturists – all very slightly helpful. I refused surgery once, then five years later went to a female OB/GYN who told me that if a man were bleeding the way I was bleeding, he’d have been in the ER years earlier. That afternoon I had the surgery.

After a week of delicious pain meds and a lot of soup, I could take walks, go out for dinner, drive, and go back to work (lighter load than usual for a month or so). I had an estrogen patch for a few months, but at that age it was reasonable for me to begin living without it. Off estrogen for eight years and feel fine. At your age, you’d need your doctor you get along with will for adjusting hormonal therapy (can be tricky).
All surgery is disorienting to the body and mind. “Giving up” a part of your body, maybe some potential, might seem sorrowful (I’m guessing). You’d have to be ready to let this go.
On a practical level, this kind of surgery doesn’t take a long time to get over.
Keep thinking, keep learning. Good luck.

augustlan's avatar

I had one at a young age (37 I think) due to excessive bleeding (every day for 2 years straight) and ovarian cysts. That said, I kept my ovaries so I didn’t have to deal with the hormone side. Recovery from the actual surgery was a piece of cake, though I had complications in my throat due to trouble inserting a breathing tube.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

My situation is exactly like augustian, except I didn’t the breathing tube problems. I went through menopause normally, because I kept my ovaries. I would explore other options, if possible. Hormone replacement starting at age 32 would be a real pain in the fanny.

Judi's avatar

If you do end up getting the hysterectomy, get bio-identical hormones. The doctor’s don’t usually perscribe them unless you ask for them, because they’re natural and the pharmacudical companies can’t make any money off of them. They are so much better and so much safer than the horse urine hormones! (Premarin)

Jeruba's avatar

I had one at 48, along with an anterior and posterior bladder repair. I was not in great physical condition beforehand, and I was down for about 12 weeks. For the first four I was pretty much flat out. I didn’t even have the energy to watch TV. It takes a lot of energy just to be the passive recipient of sensory input, especially noise—a thing I never realized before and that I promised myself never to forget. It made me much more empathetic toward old folks who avoid a lot of stimulation.

I hear about some folks going back to work after 3 weeks, but I think they are foolish. You need recovery time. Rest is the main thing. It was probably a good six months before I felt my strength fully restored.

Never for a moment have I wished I were back where I’d been before the surgery.

mamabeverley's avatar

I had one 2 years ago and it was the best thing I ever did. Much like you with the bleeding forever, bad pregnancy,etc. I don’t take any hormones. I have 1/2 of an ovary left. They don’t have to take the whole ovary. I had a laproscopic/vaginal procerure. My uterus was so full of tumors, they had to quarter it and deliver it. Be sure they take your cervix too. You don’t need it. Be sure to rest, I got up too soon and it took longer to heal. Be sure they look for endomitriosis, it is often a problem that goes with your problems. Most of the time, they find it when they go in. I feel better then ever! and not worring about getting preggers is awesome. Just be comfortable with you decision. They have meds now for cysts. I think my hubby is happier now too. Be sure to talk to him, if you are married. Just be sure of your decision, don’t ever thing you are “less of a woman” and all that crap. having sex whenever, where ever is great!

mamabeverley's avatar

@madsmom1030 By the way, I was 36 when I had mine. I had been to a million Dr’s by then and got the standard “oh honey, it’s not that bad, you could have a D&C…” Did that, it was horrible. So I managed for another 5 years having 21 day periods with 7 days off. No wonder I was such a bitch. I always felt like crap. I didn’t know how not to be in pain…all the time. I always new that I would have one. At the age of 36 I was the oldest woman in my family to still have all of her organs! Genetics are a bitch!

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

I had one at 42. It was vaginal, so I didn’t have to deal with recovery from an abdominal incision. I had about two weeks where I was really tired and uncomfortable, but the remaining 4 weeks of recovery were pretty much taking it easy and staying off my feet. It was the best decision I could have made.

SmashTheState's avatar

My mother had several partial hysterectomies, followed by a complete hysterectomy. The repeated surgeries left the muscles unable to heal, and she spent the rest of her life with a sagging pot-belly as a result.

After the hysterectomy, they gave her replacement hormones, which caused side effects like hot flashes and mood swings. Then they gave her more drugs to control the side effects. The drugs which treated the side effects made her anxious, so they gave her depressants so she could sleep. The depressants made her groggy, so they gave her stimulants to keep her going during the day. The interactions from all these drugs caused even more side effects, which also needed to be treated with drugs. Eventually she was a crazed, anxious, depressed lunatic with wild mood swings, hot flashes, cold flashes, insomnia, and jitters.

At that point my father flushed all her pills down the toilet and said, “I can live with the moustache.”

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