LAVH for Fibroids and finally I can start living again! Sarah’s Story

I’m 46 years old, work full-time, have one daughter who is 20. I’m married to an Italian and live in Italy. I love sport. I am one of those people who is never ill! I’ve never taken one day sick in my life.

About 4 years ago I started having really bad menstrual problems, hemorrhages and if you’re on holiday it’s not funny. After becoming anaemic I finally decided to go to a gynaecologist who told me I had big fibroids and the best thing was a hysterectomy. I managed to convince them to implant a IUD that released progesterone and the bleeding reduced.

Unfortunately in the last year my lifestyle has been extremely limited. No sex for pain, constant spotting for months, inguinal pain, drop foot, abdominal swelling in the morning due to a large fibroid behind my bladder and in the last months I started hemorrhaging again.

Finally I decided to have a LVAH (Laparascopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy) for fibroids on 16/05/2013. 5 hours in operating theatre due to adhesions to the bladder and intestine due to endometriosis that I didn’t know I had, then a cystoscopy to control my ureters. Everything OK. no complications.

That evening I was practically drugged and vomited several times but the day after they removed my catheter and made me get up. I urinated normally almost immediately. Maybe the worst thing is the swollen abdomen because they fill you with CO2, but I didn’t want anymore painkillers because they just make you feel worse.

That day they made me walk and walk until I passed wind which happened at about 9.00pm. The next day at 8.00 they let me go home. First I went to the supermarket and then in the afternoon to the park about a 2km walk. The first night I had problems sleeping but after two days I was back to normal.

To avoid problems with bowel motions I drink at least 2 litres a day, including pear juice and eat dried prunes, pears, vegetables and yogurt. The abdominal swelling gradually went down and by day seven it was practically gone.

Now I’m at day 13 post op. I’m doing practically everything except picking up weights. I walk about 4 -5 km a day. I get a little tired so I just rest. I can’t wait to be able to start running and go to the gym and swimming and not have to worry about absorbents anymore AND have a normal sex life.


in my own words book coverNow available on our online store and all other online book store’s. In My Own Words: Women’s Experience of Hysterectomy is full of many other real-life stories from women the world over.

Other people’s stories help women feel less isolated. They show that they aren’t going mad, missing the point or stupid.

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  1. I am 3 weeks post op and recovering well. I had a fibroid the size of a small football. I had no problems before the op but was told by the doctor that my kidney was been crushed and that it was taking up all of my abdominal space. I have had no menopausal symptom’s but my skin is like a prune and soaks up vats of moisturiser. I am self employed and no work means no money so need to get back to work soon. They only problem I have is when I walk for more that 10 mins I start to bleed.

  2. I too am married to an Italian and live in Italy . I has a LVAH on Wednesday morning luckily I didn’t have any complications and I came home yesterday.
    While in hospital I talked to other women who had had the normal hysterectomy purely because they didn’t realise that there was an option so I really do think its important to look into the various options available and if the type of surgery is not offered at your local hospital then to look at a hospital where they do do it.
    I too am suffering with a swollen abdomen and I will definitely use your suggestions
    Thank you

  3. Now I’m 6 weeks postop and doing fine no problems!! Just a little spotting.. I’m going to The gym and swimming, absolutely no abdominal swelling or tiredness even though i do a full time job (started back 2 weeks post-op). My 6 week control went fine…The Last hurdle

  4. Your story has given me hope. I’m 48 and awaiting a date for my LVAH. I’m divorced and self employed so no work = no money. I’m trying to prepare both mentally and physically – vitamins, black molasses as well as reading up as much as I can – in order to give my body the best chance possible of recovering quickly, but I know that life can throw you a curve ball and that I’m looking at up to 6 weeks at home ( sitting still is not something I do well! ) Yours is the first story I’ve read where recovery has been steady and the fact you are supporting it with good diet choice is to be commended. I have been reading the 101 Hints and I am actually excited at the prospect of being rid of the discomfort and pain and devoting time to healing myself. I look forward to hearing how you fare – buona fortuna!

  5. I’m glad to hear that you’ve come through this ok; I didn’t have anything like the amount of symptoms you had but I ended up with a hysteroscopy, hysterectomy and then chemo and radiotherapy because of endometrial cancer. It’s a couple of years now since my last treatment and I’m so glad to have the chance of more years and a good lifestyle. Best wishes to you for continued good health. Margaret