General chatter - The removal of "mommy parts"....(Gary and the other men may wanna sit this one out)..

05-18-2009, 03:36 PM
HI y'all...I found out that I will be having a hysterectomy in another month. Unfortunately, the doctor says I am not a candidate to have it laporoscopic/vaginal (too narrow, apparently!), so I will have to have it through an incision at the bikini line. That wouldnt be so bad, except that my roll of fat will hang over the incision....not looking forward to that....

I'd love to hear from other chicks about their hysterectomies and how they've coped.

05-18-2009, 06:30 PM
I had a whole slew of fibroids - uterus too big - so I had mine abdominally too. I did insist they leave my ovaries. I'm glad I did. After having terrible period pains and feeling like I had a bowling ball in by pelvis, I have to say I'm very happy I did it. I enjoyed 6 weeks off from work (had mine out in the summertime) and didn't have any complications from it. I was 45 when I had my hysterectomy. I'm now 52. If I had waited for menopause to ease my symptoms it would have been 5-6 more years of problems. So, yes, I am glad I had the surgery. Good luck to you. Oh, I did ask for an epidural for post-op pain relief, so I was very comfortable afterwards. If you can opt for that, I would definitely recommend it.

05-18-2009, 07:07 PM
I had a hysterectomy when I was in my mid 30's due to uncontrollable periods. Nowdays they would probably try to control that another way, but at the time that wasn't an option that was offered to me. I also had bad endometriosis.

Mine was abdominal. The recovery time wasn't really that bad at all; I went back to work earlier than I should have (since I had a desk job) but I probably wouldn't do that again. The scar is in my bikini line; at least that's what I assume, because I can no longer see it at all. It's been 13 years. I was able to keep one ovary and I'm really glad because I have not had to take any hormones whatsoever.

Best of luck to you! I had a killer headache from the anesthesia that was worse than the pain of the actual surgery. After the first couple of days, I didn't feel too bad at all.

05-19-2009, 09:37 AM
I had mine last September. I'd had c-sections so we used the same scar. I kept the one ovary that had no cysts.

My tips? Do exactly what the doctor tells you for the first six weeks.
Walk as soon and as often as you can.
Breath deeply.
Keep your incision dry and open to air when you can.
Keep your bowels moving!!!! I didn't do a very good job of this and ... um ... suffered ;)
There is no gold star for going without pain pills. You need to be comfortable enough to move. Take them! I switched to ibuprofen after a few days and did just fine.

05-20-2009, 12:17 AM
I would also recommend using one of those little pillows filled with cherry pits, rice or whatever after you get home. You just warm them up in the microwave and apply to sore, achy spots. I carried this around with me for my sore tummy the first week after I was discharged from the hospital. It was my little friend and helped my pain as much as any medicine.

05-20-2009, 09:28 AM
I had a c-section 5 years ago. My incision isn't under the 'fat roll' most of us have. It's actually down on the flat part of my body, under my pubic hair. My mom, who had a hysterectomy, said my scar is much lower than hers. Maybe you can request that? Mom said that her incision itched and stayed irritated because it was under that fat roll.

Best of luck to you! :)

05-21-2009, 03:11 PM
Thanks for the stories!

Susan and Chelby: That is what I am most worried about--keeping my incision dry. I have a big belly roll, and it stays moist under there as a rule anyway. Any tips on how to help it heal fast?

05-21-2009, 04:45 PM
Jen, I'm a nurse on an OB-GYN floor and see this all the time with c-sections and hysts. You can ask your nurse for some Telfa pads to place over the incision to keep it dry. With the little belly fold there it usually stays right in place without tape, especially with your underwear on. Make sure to wash and dry the incision thoroughly each day. Wash your hands before touching your incision. A hairdryer works nicely after your shower for drying the area. If you can't see the incision yourself after you go home, have someone look at it daily & check for redness, drainage, swelling. Notify your Dr. if you note any problems. You can also try inserting a clean washcloth in the fold at home. It works as well as the Telfa pad. Good luck!

05-21-2009, 05:12 PM
Yup, what Anne said. Cotton underwear! And since you're going to be resting and/or napping anyway, leave it open to air a few times a day.

05-22-2009, 09:57 AM
<----adding Telfa pads to list of questions/requests for hospital

Murphmitch, what's the best way to clean the incision? I know I can't get it wet directly, but not sure if I use a certain kind of soap and washcloth or what....

And Susan, you bet I will be airing it out every chance I get!

05-22-2009, 07:44 PM
Of course you can get it wet directly. How else would you clean it? Our patients are in the shower on their first post-op day with the dressings off. Plain old soap and water is great. Ask for the Telfa after your shower. Some people don't have a problem with moisture in the fold and don't need it.

05-26-2009, 03:50 PM
Unfortunately, that fold is moist for me all the time! Guess I'm gonna have to dry it with a dryer....

Anne, do your patients use abdominal binders? Is it worthwhile to get one?

05-26-2009, 08:29 PM
Yes, some do, but they are rather awkward if you asked me. They require someone to place it on you and you have to keep your underwear on the outside of it or every time you go to the bathroom, you have to replace it. Most patients do not ask for one, but I would ask your doctor to order one, if you want to try it.

05-27-2009, 03:48 PM
Thanks for your help, Anne! 21 days until the big day!