Does anyone have a hysterectomy experience to share?

This is a decision that a number of my visitors are facing so I’m looking for hysterectomy experiences. The topic will be broad for now. Once comments are posted, I’ll create new questions when necessary (e.g. post-op recovery for specific surgeries). I’ll include a couple of links with more information and then open the floor.

According to womenshealth.gov (The National Women’s Health Information Center):

A hysterectomy is the second most common surgery among women in the United States. (The most common is cesarean section delivery.) Each year, more than 600,000 are done. One in three women in the United States has had a hysterectomy by age 60.

More hysterectomies are done because of fibroids than any other problem of the uterus.

Sites with more information:

Medline Plus – Hysterectomy (provides links to additional resources)

MayoClinic.com – Uterine Fibroid Decision Guide (includes extent of hysterectomy surgery, what to expect, common concerns, and pros and cons)

The Journal of the American Medical Association Patient Page on Hysterectomy

Uterine Fibroids and Hysterectomy (Thanks for the link fibroid free!)

Surgical Video:

da Vinci® Minimally Invasive Robotic Hysterectomy

Laparoscopic Supracervical Hysterectomy

Please leave a comment if you have a hysterectomy experience to share (does not have to be fibroid-related) or thoughts, questions, or concerns.

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Related Posts:
How are you feeling after your Abdominal Hysterectomy?
How are you feeling after your Laparoscopic Hysterectomy?
OR-Live brings fibroid surgery video to your computer via medical webcasts
How are you preparing for your fibroid treatment?
What should I carry with me to the hospital before my fibroid surgery?
Muffin top after abdominal surgery? What’s a muffin top and how do I just make it go away?
Are you healing your spirit and mind as well as your body after your fibroid procedure?

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150 Responses to “Does anyone have a hysterectomy experience to share?”

  1. Manda Says:

    Hiya!

    I really wish I would have come across this site before my hysty. I had to have a complete LAVH due to re-occuring dermoid cysts. In 2003 I had to have emergency surgery to remove the first one in my right ovary (10cm) because it had twisted and was cutting off circulation, causing massive pain and i was hardly able to move. I had an abdominal incision so that they may save the ovary, which they did cuz i was only 23 then. So a year later i started to have pain again with periods, went to the doc and they had spotted another cyst but just monitored it, and it did shrink and eventually disappear.

    I met my now husband in 2005 and at the time was told it would be extremely difficult for me to be pregnant, and tho my hubby wanted a child he was fine with it being just the two of us(i mean, he still married me after all). Not to get too TMI, but we did have a very active sex life and did nothing in the form of birth control. I actually got pregnant in 2007, and my baby girl was born in april 2008. I had to have a c-section tho due to the previous operation. About 2 months later, i tell him i’m hurtin a bit in my right side again. He says it’s from scar tissue from the op and that he noticed i had a lot of adhesions, so he writes me a scrip and tells me to take it easy.

    2 months after that in august, i went back to him because the constant pain was making me miserable. They do an ultrasound see nothing on the right side, but a 12cm dermoid cyst on the left. It overstretched my ovary so it had to be removed laparscopicly. After my birthday (also in april) i was having pain AGAIN!! not to mention i was becoming not such a nice person, tho i tried to keep myself under control i was still a nightmare. Back to the doc, another ultrasound and …WALLA!… another friggin’ cyst in the right side and it was already almost 8cm.

    And here we are. I had the hysterectomy because i was so sick of constantly being in pain and my uterus, tubes, intestines and so on had lots of adhesions. I had to be referred to an gyn-oncologist and my reg doc would assist, because of all the technical issues he wanted to make sure it was preformed by somone with a lot of knowledge on the subject just in case of anything else crazy. I went in 8am monday morning (oh, btw the prep for my surgery was ridiculous and i hate that more than actual surgery) and i was knocked out by 9 and back up around 11:30. in total i was there 36 hours, so was my hubby. I was getting up by the end of the night and wasn’t too bad off, i didnt have to use the drip very much. by the next day felt better and by friday i was feeling super! i was laughing and happy, making jokes and blowing kisses….I almost saw myself again. Saturday night however, i was in such excruciating pain that i went to the e.r. they shot me with dilaudid and was sure i was gonna have to be re-opened cuz of how much pain i was in. they took x-rays and bloodwork and know what they found???>>>> NOTHING!! they said i could get admitted but i just wanted to sleep, so new scrip and home i went. I feel like my stomach is soo heavy, peeing kinda hurts like its releasing pressure, and worst of all i am back to miserable and want to just cry, but that hurts. So i called my original doc and they told me call the surgeon, i called them and they made me an appointment for wednesday. well now i’m nauseus and can not eat anything and worried. i can’t be too close to my baby cuz she might accidently hit my tummy……overall just sux and i miss friday. so i aqm going to the surgeons office tomorrow because i dont think i should wait.

    sorry this is so long, i just wanted to share and hopefully something i said may help someone else. I will update as soon as i know anything. hopefully it gets fixed in office and no hospital, and then no mo dr for a while!

    thanks
    manda

  2. Aja Says:

    Hi Manda,

    I hope they figure out why you are having problems during your recovery ASAP and that you feel great soon!

  3. Claudia Says:

    Question: Is there anyone out there who had IBS, and had it before their hysterectomy?

    Have you noticed a difference in your IBS since your surgery?

    I’m 52 and have had IBS my whole life. I also have multi & large honkin fibroids, (Diagnosed in my 20’s). Latest MRI a few weeks ago shows my uterus is the size of a 5 month pregnancy.

    One big one is sitting near the colon. They say those fibroids can cause constipation. This was NOT a problem with *my* IBS. Actually the opposite- frequent and sometime urgent bathroom needs.

    I’m hoping this might change after the fibroids are dealt with.

    Within say the past 6 years I noticed the IBS was getting worse. Doctors (Gynos as well as gastro-enterologist) have no definitive answer on the connection between IBS and hormonal changes as a woman approaches menopause.

    I never really had any problems from the fibroids until this past November when my period went on for 6 weeks. I had a D&C/ endometrial biposy which removed a benign uterine polyp. Ever since then I am aware of my belly every day (bloating, pain, pressure) and one menstrual period in 5 months- a two hour flood (ick)

    For years I was told hang in there, the fibroids will shrink up when you hit menopause. So, here I am (age 52) on the verge of, and I am now being urged to have abdominal hysto, because of the fibroids.

    I am getting 2nd & 3rd opinions for alternative treatments to a hysto.

    In an effort to gather as much info as possible before deciding, I was hoping to hear from women whose IBS was changed/worsened/improved after their fibroids/girlie parts were taken out.

    Thanks in advance.

    • margaret Says:

      I was 24 when i lost ever thing.I stared with IBS after.
      My sister was 35 IBS i really think it’s in the gene’s.We
      suffer every day of our lives.You just have to live with it and not let it get you.God Bless .Margaret

  4. mmorbid mistress Says:

    ok, i have responded twice and both still wont show up. so, trying again.

    real quick, the fever was caused by some medication used by this particular hospital to put me under. my thyroid apparently doesn’t like it. they never found out why i was in pain.

    anyway, i am doin so much better now. no fever, hardley any pain, the incesions are just about healed and bending over to pick things up is no problem at all. i can’t wait to see how i feel as time goes on!

  5. dianne Says:

    Hello Everyone,
    Whoever said mid life was going to be easy, had to be joking. From the age of 40, (I’m now 50) I have been having endless problems with my periods…prolonged and heavy, not to mention periods of tiredness that left me bereft on the sofa, backaches etc etc…..anyways – a total hysterectomy was the verdict! Out with the ovaries, fallopian tubes, cervix and uterus and of course my buddy the countless Fibroids!

    Vaginally Assisted Laparscopic Surgery was on the 29th June..a 3.5 hour long celebration of the dismissal of my vital life giving organs! And then the joys of pains. I must say I have been fortunate to only suffer gas pains….agonising gas pains and the reason why I decided to write this blog.

    Stupidly I came home and decided it was time to eat…my normal meals in order to put back what they took out…oohh la la..mistake number one! Eat, but eat wisely please…let your stomach take its own time in delivering to the bowels that which it is capable of disgesting without loading up your system with whatever. Eat small portions of food, which is easy to digest and stop eating early in the evening…drink lots of liquid and eat a healthy balanced diet…gas will be a thing of the past.

    It’s been day number 9 for me and though tiring easy I am resting up with no pain or complications. After so many years of agony and living just half a life, I am really looking forward to better times.

    Good luck to all of you who are going to have a total hysterectomy or who have had one already and in the same boat as I am.

    Cheers to womanhood and the strength we have to endure!
    Dianne

  6. Kim 25 june 09 Says:

    Hi everyone. I am so glad I found this site. Wish I had found it before I had my TAH. I was really nervous about what happens after the op, in hospital, so I have written a fair bit about that in case others are interested.

    I am 40 yo married mother of 2. I had a total abdominal hysterectomy 2 weeks ago on 25 June. I have enjoyed reading everyones entries and thought I would share my hysterectomy experience too.

    I have always had heavy, painful periods, however in the past year they became much worse. I had to plan car trips so that I would be able to stop at a toilet after 45 mins. I carried spare pants with me. I had to get out of bed up to 5 times a night to change pads and tampons. Even then, I still soaked pjs and bed linen. The bathroom looked like the aftermath of a massacre.

    I had mentioned all this to my Dr 6 months ago during a regular pap test. She suggested I try ponstan, a period pain med. She didn’t even palpate my abdomen. The period meds were useless, so I just lived with the discomfort, relying on ibuprofen for pain and scheduled 45 min toilet visits.

    A couple of months ago I was admitted to hospital overnight for an inner ear viral infection which had me totally incapacitated with vomiting, vertigo and nystagmus (eyes moving involuntarily which had the room really spinning). A routine blood test showed a low iron count. They asked me about my diet and whether I had heavy periods. Since my diet is normal, they suggested I see a gyno about the period problem. An ultrasound showed an enlarged uterus with a fibroid about the size of a tennis ball plus a 4cm cyst on an ovary.

    The fibroid explained the extra symptoms I had been experiencing since my totally unrelated hospital visit. I was feeling ‘strange’ while running. I felt like my abdomen was ‘full’. I was starting to have trouble getting enough air or breathing deeply, while bent over cycling. I needed to go to the loo to wee more often. I could see my bladder bulging above my stomach when lying in bed. My period lasted longer and the pain lasted longer. I called the gyno and explained the problem and the ultrasound findings to the receptionist. She slotted me in just a few days later.

    At they gyno, she had me lie on the bed, where she palpated my stomach. She said it was enlarged and about the size of a 12 wk pregnancy. She read the ultrasound report, and asked me my family situation. She asked whether I had finished having kids. My husband had a vasectomy about 8 years ago. As I expected, she recommended I have a hysterectomy; TAH since it was too big to extract via the vagina or keyhole. She would leave the ovaries if possible, remove the uterus, cyst and cervix. I wasn’t upset about the loss of the uterus. I am still not sure whether the cervix should have been removed. However I was looking forward to no more bloody periods.

    4 weeks later I turned up at the hospital for the operation. The fibroid had grown at a lot. Cycling to/from work was really difficult, in the weeks before the op. I had to have regular stops to get my breath back, and made sure to have pain meds an hour before the ride home since I was in constant pain for the past 3 wks.

    I was nervous about the operation, but had the support of my husband and oldest daughter. The operation experience was fine.

    Post op in hospital
    The first thing I remember was waking up lying on my side in recovery with the oxygen mask over my mouth and nose. They removed the mask fairly quickly and replaced with an oxygen tube which sat over my nostrils. I was wheeled in my bed back to my private hospital room, where my husband and daughter L were waiting for me. Boy was I pleased to see them. I had a sleep and an hour or so later, I felt quite good chatting to my parents, hubby and L. I was on a morphine drip, and was told to push the button whenever I needed more of a boost. To tell the truth the extra boosts of morphine didn’t give the instant relief I was hoping for! My husband told me the morphine was on a 10 min cycle and would count down for me, so that I could push as soon as 10 mins were up.

    The nurse put compression stockings on my legs up to the knees. She also put sequential stockings over these, which were connected to an air pump, which regularly pumped air through tubes up my legs. These massaged the legs and kept blood from pooling. I think they did a good job, because the next day when I got out of bed I didn’t feel the least bit wobbly.

    The first evening I was hungry so I begged for food. I had already eaten a couple of small chocolate bars and wanted something savoury. I was allowed sandwiches and soup. As soon as they arrived, I struggled into a more upright position and promptly felt faint and nauseas. I gave up on the idea of food until breakfast. I was able to drink just fine though, form my cycling water bottle.

    I didn’t even notice I had a catheter until late evening. It was great not having to worry about going to the toilet. My mum had a hysterectomy about 25 yrs ago and she had to beg them to put in a catheter after the op, because the bladder fullness was causing such pain and she couldn’t manage to ‘go’.

    Post op in hospital next day
    The catheter was removed first thing in the morning and I was encouraged to get up and try to go to the loo as soon as I wanted to. 2 hours later I needed to go, so a nurse, unhooked me from the sequential stockings and helped me get to the loo. I was still in a hospital gown, was bottomless, in a fair amount of pain and hooked up to the IV/morphine drip. I was relieved to find that I produced wee with ease, tho it felt really strange. I didn’t bother waiting for the nurse, and got myself back to bed OK.

    Breakfast in bed was easy for me, because my husband popped in before work to help me. I found rolling over in bed relatively easy, and preferred lying on my side with a pillow stuffed behind my back for support. Eating food off the tray was impossible in this position, so my hubby was a great help. I was starving and really enjoyed the meal.
    By lunch time I found I could sit up in bed easier and found this meal a lot easier by myself. I always included fruit or fruit juice at every meal. Otherwise, I ate whatever I felt like. I have had a few gas pains but it was never much of a problem.

    In the afternoon, the IV was removed, the sequential stockings were removed and I was freed from bed. I started walking around and spent most of the afternoon sitting up in the comfy chair, chatting to visitors.

    My surgeon told me that they op had gone well and that the fibroid had grown at about the rate of a normal pregnancy. The uterus was enlarged to a 16 wk pregnancy size. Before the op, my tummy had a nice, rounded appearance that I would have been very proud of, had I been pregnant! After the op, my surgeon happily informed me that I had a lovely flat stomach now.

    As indicated by my surgeon while lying down, my stomach is indeed nice and flat, however it’s a different story as soon as I stand up. I didn’t discover this until 5 days post op and I removed the dressing and stood in front of a mirror. Read more in the ‘muffin top’ thread on this site if you want to know more. My experience is much the same as many others who have entered a comment.

    2nd day post op
    I was pretty much ready to go home by now. I was weeing, and had a first BM that morning which was a relief! I had a lovely shower and washed my hair. I was walking around the hospital in my pjs. I found the chair more comfortable than bed. I watched all the news on the demise of Michael Jackson. After my afternoon visitors left, I had an hour lie down to rest before the family arrived after dinner.
    There seemed to be much confusion over whether I should expect to see my surgeon again before discharge, which was written up as being the following day. She didn’t turn up and she didn’t show on the following day either, so they let me go since I was healing well and meeting all their criteria.

    3rd day post op – going home!
    I was actually quite enjoying my hospital stay now that I was able to get around and didn’t have to wait for nurses to do stuff for me. It was like a motel room with lovely 3 course meals all day. The nurses didn’t blink an eye at my husband and kids bringing in take away dinners for themselves or at their unconventional visiting hours. However, I was keen to get home to my family and to family stuff, and to my two lovely golden retrievers who were missing me very much.

    On the drive home I held a soft pillow over my stomach for protection and tummy comfort. I held this over my tummy when we got in the house too, since our dogs were very excited at seeing me and I didn’t want one of them causing me injury.

    I sat myself in the lounge in my pjs with a blanket and pillow. The dogs arranged themselves at my feet. My husband and kids sprawled on the couches. I was home 

    4th day post op
    My husband had arranged to stay home from work on my first day home. We slept in and had a lazy day at home. I stayed in my pjs all day, and was waited on for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

    From the following day, my daughter (it was school hols) and I made a daily walk to the milkbar (corner store) to buy a paper. On the first day I walked upright but very slowly! Since then, I am now in less pain and am now able to walk past the corner store and on to the park. I am even able to walk the gentler of our two dogs. I feel great and am not as tired as I expected. I don’t need a sleep during the day, but I do get a bit sore and need a sit down for a while. I am enjoying cooking new dishes. I cooked chocolate soufflé yesterday; which turned out beautifully. I will have to watch the calories tho!

    2 weeks post op and I am on the anti-inflammatory meds partly due to pain (which is much improved now) but mainly due to the swelling in my muffin top (which my surgeon doesn’t understand to my bafflement). Thank goodness you guys understand me.

    I am thinking about going back to work at least part time next week. I know I shouldn’t rush things but my job is sedentary (I am a desk bound engineer), and I have run out of sick pay. I will let you know how I go.

    Best of luck with your experience.

  7. Cyndi Says:

    Claudia,
    My situation is similar to yours and we are about the same age as well. I lived with the firoid situation for way too many years. Not wanting to get a hysterectomy!!(big mistake). As the fibrods grew they were puting pressure on my bladder and comprimising my bowel. Dr said it soon would have been blocked whcj could of killed me. Hence I also thought I had IBS due to the fibods. My uterus wa almost the size of a 6 mo pregnancy. Anyawy, I had a lap hyst and my bowels are already more regu;ar . I’m 3 weks post op. Get the hysterectomy and don’t waste any more years in discomfort. They don’t shrink despite what you here not when they ar so large. And if you don’t get rid of them it will compronise your other organs! My best wishes and prayers for you!!

  8. Paula Musick Says:

    I had a hysterectomy about 6 years ago, in August 2003 after I had my son, I was only 25. I was told I would have later on had to have this because of my family sisters mother and grandmother on both sides of my family. My tubal was first and then the doctors talked me into it. I have since then gained 80 lbs and can’t seem to loose it at all.I am now weighing in at 235 I go down a lb or 2 and gain it back. I am in such a mess I am more stressed over my weight, diets dont seem to help and my life is more depressing. I love my kids more than life itself and I am tired all the time. I cant seem to catch up with them activitites are hard to keep up with. I JUST WANT TO LOOSE THIS weight and make myself more healthy. HELP someone talk to me polease!

    • Suze Says:

      Hi Paula,
      I understand your dilemma. Weight problem is what would get you depressed and tired… if you really love those 2 children you need to focus on yourself and your eating habits… eating healthy is not difficult but it can be expensive… if you pray and ask God’s guidance and eat less, I mean smaller portions and healthy snacks …. while thinking positive… u can include some pool exercises if you can’t swim and you will lose the weight …. but include God and He will Help you… you can email me if you are depressed or need to chat

  9. Amy Says:

    Hi all,

    I’m posting this because this blog isn’t working very well anymore. My apologies if you’ve already received this, but I’m trying to find support for getting this blog to fully function again!

    (For those of you new to this site, welcome, it has provided a great forum for those of us suffering from fibroids to find out more about fibroids and support each other. Unfortunately, it hasn’t be been functioning very well (a lot of the links are down to the other threads on this blog, among other things) and it has been getting very little traffic over the last few months. But, I’m working to see what we can do, even though we didn’t start this blog, because we haven’t heard from the founder since early 2007. If you too, find this blog helpful and want more info about our efforts or want to help, read on.)

    I just wrote a long letter to wordpress.com support asking what we can do to get this blog working again… I also said I and others would be willing to pay to keep it going. I would even be willing to maintain the site if they would allow it.

    If anyone else knows anything, has any ideas, or would be willing to contribute to keep it going, please let us know here.

    If I get the go-ahead I’ll post back and let you know.

    It really pains me to see that most of the links are broken and to see that most all the the personal histories on this site have disappeared, and that this site may not be around to provide the forum for so many of us to support each other.

    When I posted on the wordpress forum, other users said it would be out of our control because the site essentially belongs to Eclectic Geek to do with as she pleases… unfortunately, if say, she died…. it seems that we should be able to do something…..

    Maybe, if enough people log on to: http://support.wordpress.com/contact/
    to express their concern, maybe, they would be more likely to do something.

    Thanks all!

  10. Amy Says:

    YAY – WordPress tell’s me it has been fixed!!! (so don’t deluge WordPress with requests to fix it!!)

  11. Leah Says:

    Paula,

    Check out the book Women, Weight and Hormones by Dr. Elizabeth Vliet. She addresses the problem of weight gain in a way us ladies can understand – stubborn pounds you just can’t seem to chisel off. It isn’t always just about will power and exercise. Dr. Vliet advocates getting all the hormones checked. My guess is something is out of whack. Could be thyroid or cortisol or estrogen or something else. Even if you still have your ovaries, they could be going south on you. You’ll need to get a good doctor who can monitor what could be causing the problem. If you can get your blood levels in range, those pounds might finally start to fall off.

    Best of luck to you.

  12. Chris Says:

    Hello Readers/Contributors,

    My mother will be having a hysterectomy in a few days. I was looking around for pre/post op information when I ran into this forum. Just wanted to thank geekwithfibroids.com and all contributors for sharing your knowledge and experience.

    Take care all.

  13. Lissy Says:

    Hello all,
    Been reading up on the hysterectomy thing. I have always wanted kids, but decided I loved my husband enough to marry him, vasectomy and all, even though I don’t have children. I have his 2 step-children. Despite this being the case, the prospect of losing the baby-makers is a bit overwhelming! I have had 2 miscarriages, probably because of endometriosis. I had a surgery in 2001 to trim it all out, but it’s obviously back. Pain, heavy periods, and a small fibroid now taboot. They are thinking there may be some up around my pancreas, because I keep having a mild pancreatitis. Everyone is saying I will feel so much better, and that I have no choice. My hubby is wonderful, but I don’t think he understands my ambivalence. He’s convinced that all my health problems will be solved by the operation. Well, maybe some of them that are hormone-related… I’m pretty sure I’m making the right decision. Afterall, even if we could have kids, and I had one today, by the time the kid was 20 I’d be 61! Any thoughts anyone?

  14. Amy Says:

    Hi Lissy, have you had any second opinions…? Did the endo surgery take all your symptoms away? Could the problems you have not be the result of the fibroid alone? Can you have them remove the fibroid and trim the endo one more time? Good luck figuring this out.

  15. Lissy Says:

    I have asked my family doc, the doc who treated me in the hospital for pancreatitis, and the ob-gyn. They all seem to concur that while it’s less likely to be endo up as high as my pancreas, it’s quite possible with my history. I need to do more research on fibroids. I don’t know as much about them as I should. Obgyn said it was a small one, whatever qualifies as “small”. The first endo surg. took all the pain away for about 7 years, but I still had the migraines. The doc says the hormone swings may be contributing to those, too. I just spoke to my sis tonight who had a hysterectomy a couple months ago for ovarian cysts that were fruit sized. She said after her recovery was complete, she felt 10 years younger. Said that while not having kids was kinda sad, feeling better was so worth it. She has a stepson. I also feel a bit better on that score too, having talked to my stepson and stepdaughter tonight. Knowing I have their support and love means the world to me. I think I just need to focus on the “what is” rather than the “what if’s”. Overall, I am a very blessed woman. I love, and am loved, and that’s what’s important in life. Thanks for responding! Just being able to talk about these things with someone who understands helps SO much!

  16. Amy Says:

    Hi all, I was just reading up on a local doctor someone recommended and read an interesting article written by him which I though would be good to post here.
    (it came from the following site:
    https://mylifestages.org/MyLifeStages/Home.page?
    ——————————————————————
    Keep Your Ovaries at the Time of Hysterectomy!
    Posted on 06/10/2009 by Andrew Brill M.D.

    Women Should Keep Their Ovaries at The Time of Hysterectomy!

    Affecting more than 300,000 women annually, physicians commonly recommend removal of the ovaries along with hysterectomy for benign disease in order to decrease the risk of ovarian cancer. In a recently published study questioning the validity of this recommendation, William Parker MD and colleagues clearly demonstrated that women younger than 65 years of age clearly benefit from ovarian conservation, and at no age is there a clear benefit from removing the ovaries.

    For women younger than 65 at the time of surgery, removing the ovaries increases the risk of dying from coronary heart disease. After age 65, increased mortality is primarily from hip fracture. Importantly, at no age is there higher mortality for those choosing to conserve their ovaries, because the risk of dying from ovarian cancer is overshadowed by the risks from cardiovascular disease and hip fracture. Removal of the ovaries increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, the major cause of death for women. In fact, it has been determined that removing the ovaries between ages 40 and 44 years doubles the risk of heart attack compared with women with intact ovaries. Moreover, removing the ovaries before menopause causes an immediate and significant loss of ovarian hormones. Still misunderstood, postmenopausal ovaries continue to make small amounts of estrogen for years as well as significant levels of androgens (male hormones) which are converted in the body to estrogen. Since estrogens and androgens inhibit bone resorption and androgens increase bone formation, women who are postmenopausal at the time of removing their ovaries have 54% more bone fractures from osteoporosis than women with intact ovaries. And, removal before menopause leads to the sudden onset of hot flushes and mood disturbances including a decline in a sense of wellbeing, higher brain function, sleep quality, mood, and sexual desire.

    Bottom line – when facing the decision to undergo hysterectomy for a benign reason before age 65, engage your physician in active discussion to insure that your are able to keep your ovaries unless their removal is otherwise indicated by a particular condition.

    For women undergoing hysterectomy for benign reasons, removal of the ovaries should not be performed under the age of 65.

  17. Amy Says:

    Here’s one more:

    “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it!” Should the cervix be removed during hysterectomy?
    Posted on 08/19/2009 by Andrew Brill M.D.

    Since the cervix does not cause most gynecologic conditions leading to conventional or laparoscopic hysterectomy, a growing number of physicians now recommend that it can be spared. Possible advantages of cervical preservation include better sexuality, less uterine prolapse and urinary incontinence, and reduced surgical complications.

    When both the cervix and fundus are removed, the operation is called a total hysterectomy. When the cervix is spared, it is called sub-total or supracervical hysterectomy. Removing the uterus through the vagina, called vaginal hysterectomy, does not provide the option for sparing the cervix.

    So why do most gynecologists still routinely remove the entire uterus during hysterectomy? For these physicians, the decision to perform a total hysterectomy is commonly based on personal custom and their residency training. The recommendation that removing the cervix removes the risk of cervical cancer is outdated, as modern screening and treatment methods for HPV and abnormal Pap smears have evolved.

    Several recent studies conducted here and abroad have shed some light on the role of the cervix after hysterectomy:

    Comparing women after total or sub-total hysterectomy:

    There is no difference in sexual arousal including orgasm

    There is no difference in urinary complaints or incontinence

    Some women continue to have spotting after sub-total hysterectomy

    There is too little information to comment on complications

    Follow-up is insufficient to comment on uterine prolapse

    In my practice, hysterectomy is routinely performed as an outpatient using advanced laparoscopic techniques – without the use of a robot. Many of my patients undergo laparoscopic supracervical hysterectomy with preservation of both ovaries and tubes. This combination treats all benign uterine conditions while permitting the choice to retain what is normal and potentially vital for personal and physical well-being. Moreover, since the vagina is not opened during supracervical hysterectomy, return to normal sexual activity is very fast. And, I strongly believe that the potential complications associated with hysterectomy are significantly less when the cervix is not removed.

    If you have been recommended to undergo a hysterectomy, make sure to discuss with your doctor the pros and cons about whether you can preserve your cervix!

  18. Lissy Says:

    Doc says keeping the ovaries would make the endometriosis certain to come back, because of the estrogen production. As for keeping the cervix, probably not because of getting rid of everything else. Whatever he suggests I’ll probably go with. I’m feeling better about the decision, just ready to get this thing over and done with. Got til the 25th…

  19. Leah Says:

    Lissy,

    I think taking your ovaries out is a good idea. Often ovaries become sporatic producers of hormones within a few months of a partial hysterectomy because some of their blood supply must be tied off when the uterus is removed. This can cause bad pms in some women due to unpredictably fluctuating hormone levels. It is the beginning of menopause and can happen even several years earlier than it would have if the surgery had not been necessary. I took mine out and haven’t looked back since. Best thing I ever did.

    The above article arguing for leaving the ovaries is accurate except that there is no mention of replacing the estrogen and testosterone if the ovaries do come out. I disagree that ovaries mostly should be left intact for the reason the author stated because their function can simply be taken over by another source. It is vital to provide the hormones the ovaries were producing to remain “even” in mood and prevent heart and bone problems. I am surprised the article didn’t even give hormone replacement a nod. Shame on the author. There is a lot of scaremongering out there so all of us have to read intelligently and do what is best for our own bodies.

    Drugs like Premarin have gotten a bad reputation and rightly so because they contain horse estrogen which is not native to the human body. Drugs like Vivelle Dot and Estrogel have been painted with the same negative brush and don’t deserve it. They are bio-idential and are created to exactly mimic the human form of estrogen. Not in the same league at all as the horse derived kind. I am on Vivelle Dot and love it. Some women have trouble with Vivelle’s delivery method and are on various other forms of bio-identical estrogen. Luckily there are several to choose from so you can experiment and find what works best for your body.

    The endometiosis makes adding estrogen tricky. You may do ok without it, but if you find life becomes unbearable, you will need to explore your options. I have talked to many many women who just NEED estrogen for their brains and nervous systems to work right. Mood crashes are not healthy so if you start to have them, get some hormone replacement.

    My doctor has written several books on women and hormones and I recommend checking them out if you find you need some help. She treats women with endometiosis and PCOS and she puts them on estrogen after hysterectomy. Her books are reasonably priced and available from amazon. Look up Dr. Elizabeth Vliet.

  20. Theresa Says:

    I had a Lsh i have been having my blood pressure drop and been feeling tired alot is that normal?

  21. Wendi Heinzmann Says:

    You seem to know lots about this but did you know if there’s any side-effects or anything perilous i’d have to look out for doing a colon cleanse?

  22. Amy Says:

    Theresa, did you ever find out what was causing your blood pressure drop? I hope you’re okay.

  23. Vaginosis Says:

    Currently the routine screening of all pregnant women is not recommended.

  24. Simon Says:

    Found your blog on Ask and was so glad i did. That was a quick read. I have a small question.Is it OK if i send you an email???…

  25. Eda Walzer Says:

    A chum urged me to check out this site, nice post, fascinating read… keep up the nice work!

  26. Serenity Says:

    Hi!
    I stumbled upon this blog after a visit from my OB/GYN in December 2009. She had been my GYN for apprx 10 years! I put my trust into her ability to handle my medical needs. for years she monitored my HPV stats (human Papilloma Virus). I too am a medical provider (pediatrics).. I have to say TRUST YOUR GUT (literally).. After my pre op consultation with her, i left with so many unanswered questions and many of my concerns not met. She was about to sccedule me for a Myomectomy with “possible HYSTORECTOMY”. Normal consent you say …huh? Well it doesnt have to be. I left her office in shock. Im 34 years old and she could not tell me 100% if I would come out of surgery an intact women.. Despite our years of previous conversation for my ‘back up plan”(sperm donor). Her response was ‘ I wont know for sure until I open you up”
    We discussed the shape of the fibriod (on a pendullum or stalk), she would clamp the stalk to cut off the blood supply. We discussed donating my blood prior to surgey because the uterus is very vascualr and bleeding is likely. she couldnt confirm the # of fibriods. “I wont know till I open you up”. Uhh…dont you have and MRI? I questined why she didnt ask for my films. She also could not confirm that she would use sugical glue instead of staples.. She told me a women of my size typically won’t do well with sugical glue. Althought this was my most superficial question, i think she forgot that I too was a practitioner I have adult patients that are post op, GYN , twice my size ( Im 200lbs) and return to thier bed with surgical glue. Her answers didnt sit right with me. She cant take my uterus! So I found this blog while searching for answers. I read the term “RE”. Not until the blog i heard about REPRODUCTIVE ENDOCRINOLOGISTS. These are GYN”S or OB/GYN’s that specialize in procedures to maintain your fertility. REMINDER Iam a NURSE PRACTITIONER with a masters degree. i have never came across this specialty. Through Divine intervintion (long story) I found Dr. Stanley West . He removed my Fibroid 1 big ole honey dew melon size fibroid. made several cuts to my uterus (fibroid too big for the typical incision) removed the fibroid and reconstucted my uterus. According the Dr West if i was ready i can have children in 4 months! Did I tell you he is a “microsurgeon” . I cry because of this divine intervention. The fibriod shape was nothing like my GYN described. I dont know what MRI report she read. Dr West read my MRI report whle drawing pictures. I donated no blood . he said that will cause me to be anemic and cause othe problems for surgery. At St vincents hospital they use a cell saver. My blood loss during sugery is collected and i guess cleaned, and put right back in my IV. I saw it upon awakening from anesthesia. it wasnt alot either. Oh yeah Im home healing sore not really pain. dont get me wrong Im exhausted! But… I got my GLUE to a bikini line cut you cant even see! My sugical opening is closed in 5 layers! Nothing is gonna break free! In this case the glue is cosmetic. His final stitch is right under the skin. This is not the typical closure of GYN thats why they prefer staples its Quick! They go back to thier office or go delivery another baby.. Iwas the only obligation on his work schedule. He had all the time he needed to reconstruct and stitch it back. Please go to a RE!!!!!!!! My sugical consent read “MYOMECTOMY NO HYSTERECTOMY” brought me to tears!

    Reply

  27. higherpoweredh2o Says:

    16F could do it with some additional support.

  28. BRADHblackdragon Says:

    “great
    but i think there is a little emphatization in the middle frequency….”

  29. Owen Magoon Says:

    Somebody dropped a link to your website on Twitter and that is where I first found your site. Love the content I have seen so far and will definitely revisit to read more soon. By the way, are you on Twitter?

  30. Increase Chances Of Getting Pregnant Says:

    You’ve got a great site here guys, good content, good design. Keep up the good work. I’ll stay updated through your feed…Aloha

  31. neededahyst Says:

    You should go here for support. Great site, lots of support, tons fo forums and pre-op and post-op chats.

    http://www.hystersisters.com

  32. Krysten Hastie Says:

    Excellent post. Hope to see many more similar articles in the future.

  33. Weldon Lebel Says:

    Do you generally post information like this?

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  36. Camille Shawn Says:

    Hello!
    I am 41 years old. I was supposed to have total hysterectomy. But my cervix was too low to remove so it was left. I had the surgery through my abdomin. I am two weeks from the day of my surgery and am healing well. The only issue I have been having is with my bowels. I either don’t go at all or have horrible cramping due to diarrhea. My doctor states this is par for the course as long as I am feeling fine overall. The only aftermath I am concerned about is menopause. I am on blood thinning medication due to hereditary blood clotting disorder. Due to this I will not be able to take any hormone replacement as I go through menopause. Has anyone else gone through this process the “natural” way!

  37. Martial Arts Guidebook Says:

    Just what I was waiting for! I was researching articles for our website when I came across your post (on Does anyone have a hysterectomy experience to share? inquisitive geek with fibroid tumors â„¢ blog) which I noticed on Yahoo. We would love you to write for us, if interested. I’ve bookmarked this post for future reference. Nice comments here as well – Cheers from Martial Arts Guidebook

  38. San Says:

    I myself had a Complete Laparoscopic Assist Vaginal Hysterectomy 2 weeks ago. (LAVH) I have 3 children, 2 of them c-section, and the surgeon was afraid she might have to do an abdominal hysterectomy due to excessive scar tissue, so I was warned ahead of time that I might be looking at a lengthy recovery. The surgery went great however, and she was able to remove it vaginally with only 3 tiny incisions in my abdomen from the scope. That very evening I was on my feet of my own accord and, though weak, was able to walk to the bathroom and wash my face and brush my teeth. (I enjoyed that tremendously as the general antisthetic made my mouth soooo dry.) There was very little pain (only had one percocet during the entire post op experience), and some mild pressure and discomfort in the vaginal region.
    The next day my catheter was removed and I was home by early afternoon. There was a slight pink discharge for about a week, and there was some discomfort when urinating and during bowel movements, but I attributed that to all those inside organs being moved through, poked and prodded, when the scope moved around. 2 weeks later, I am now on hormones (as everything was removed including ovaries) and feeling pretty well. I have a bit of constipation as I havent been moving around much, but other than that I have absolutely no complaints, and Im hoping a good salad will do the trick. I havent had to take more than ibuprofen for pain since Ive been home, and havent even had any of that for about 10 days.
    My LAVH was performed due to excessive bleeding, a 4mm cyst, and Adenomyosis.

  39. pay per install Says:

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  40. Jenny Says:

    I am 53 yo and for 3 yrs I was suffering from a prolapse uterus, where at the end, my uterus was practically hanging out of my vagina. Even though I was scared, I was ready. I anticipated for it to be much worse but it wasn’t that bad, yes there was cramping but nothing unbearable. Next day, catheter and packaging was removed painlessly and I urinated with no problem..actually my urine flow seemed easy. Been home, I get rest but i also get bored so i get around a little to run errands, no problems,however, during some part of the day I am experiencing sharp pain in my lower abdomen that spreads to my lower back and seems to be all throughout my intestines. I am very gassy and when I have to pass gas the pain is excruchiating as if it were pressing up against my wound and its depressing and scary. Has anyone else experienced this and any advice to make these pains go away. How do I know if its gas or PI?

  41. Christie Says:

    I had a total laparoscopic hysterectomy (including removal of my ovaries and tubes) on 1/31/2013. It was absolutely the best thing I could have done for myself as I had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, fibroids, a very small amount of endometriosis which was burned off in my last surgery 2 years ago to remove a softball sized fibroid, and PMDD which is a severe form of PMS. I’m only 36 and don’t have children which is why I didn’t get the hysterectomy 2 years ago. But the pelvic pain, nausea, extreme exhaustion, hormonal cystic acne that I never had until I was 30, hot flashes, severe night sweats, and the PMDD lunatic-like behavior was ever-present for 2 and 1/2 weeks out of every month and I finally realized that I didn’t want to live like that anymore. Surgery went smoothly, and as soon as I ate and peed in the recovery room they let me leave. I had no pain other than soreness at the incision sites, and a feeling like I had done too many sit ups. I didn’t need to take the prescribed Percocet, just ibuprofen. I had surgery on a Thursday and went back to work on the following Tuesday…keep in mind though that I have a really high pain tolerance…I think most women stay home for about a week or two. I wear an estrogen patch called the Vivelle Dot now and will for the rest of my life. It hurts a little to pee still but that’s because it’s mandatory for the surgeon to do a cystoscopy after removing the cervix to make sure the bladder is functioning correctly. And I think the anesthesia gas is still working its way out of my system as having a bowel movement is still a little uncomfortable and my left shoulder is still pretty sore but that will go away soon. All in all, it just may have been the best decision I have ever made on my life. I feel normal again 🙂

    • Christie Says:

      Oh, by the way…I had the surgery done at Cedars~Sinai in Los Angeles and my surgeon was Dr. Jonothan Solnik. He is amazing! Not only is he kind, personable, and funny, he is the best of the best in gynecological surgery. I am so lucky to have been referred to him. If you are in L.A., he is definitely the Doc to see. He works with Dr. Julia Alexander who is a reproductive endocrinologist and also wonderful if your situation requires it. Just as an example, when I went to Dr. Solnik 2 years ago for the fibroid removal, I told him how scared I was about having surgery as I had had a laparoscopic surgery when I was 26 to see if I had endometriosis and it was traumatizing…The nurse who put my IV in was 100 years old and painfully missed my vein so many times that I grabbed it out of her hand and did it myself! My doc at the time was pregnant and had been put in the hospital the morning of my surgery because of some complications with her pregnancy. Her colleague was now doing the surgery. As I was being wheeled into the OR I heard everyone asking where my Doc was. How did they not know! I has to pull my oxygen mask off and tell them myself that my doc was in the hospital and that her colleague was doing the surgery! Needless to say, and as you can imagine, I was very stressed before I went under and emerged from that surgery with an all over skin rash that probably stress related. It was an overall horrible experience. Anyway I told Dr. Solnik all of this upon my first visit with him, and weeks later in the OR, he personally held my hand until I went under! I couldn’t have felt more safe or taken care of and was totally relaxed and had a great recovery. Bedside manner doesn’t get much better than that…he is just a gem!

      • Amy Says:

        A good doctor can make all the difference! I had a horrible nurse afterwards that didn’t manage my back pain at all and I was in agony until she went off her shift – which fortunately wasn’t very long
        ! I seem to metabolize morphine or whatever it was, very quickly. At any rate, so glad it worked out for you! Let me know if you figure out a good way to get the vivelle dot adhesive off!! 🙂 Just be careful you don’t use too high a dosage – if you don’t want your breasts to get larger!

  42. idalia doyle Says:

    I had laparoscopic hysterectomy on Jan 5. All but my ovaries were removed. Over all very good experience. Make sure u walk as soon as possible for better recovery.


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