Practical preparation for your hysterectomy – Irmagean’s story

Irmagean shares some practical preparation and knowledge of her hysterectomy earlier this year. In 2011 I was referred to an OB to discuss my heavy periods as a result of fibroids, at that time she suggested an IUD. While it was good having no periods with the IUD, I was having a period every day with light bleeding which required a light panty liner. I removed the IUD after a few months.

In 2013 I changed family doctor as my previous one moved. I was referred to another OB. He suggested Fibristal (Esmaya in the UK) to help shrink the fibroids. I agreed and took it for three months. It did help reduced the heavy periods. However, I was having the heavy bleeding again. At that time I was 48 years old and he suggested that I wait until I get into menopause to avoid having surgery. I agreed and waited. My situation was not getting better. In 2016 I had a heavy period which lasted more than 14 days. Surgery was recommended. On July 7, 2017 I had a Total Abdominal Hysterectomy and Bilateral Salpingo-Oophorectomy.

Preparation prior to surgery:

I informed my family and friends of the surgery date. I made purred vegetable soup and freeze it. I purchased a few comfortable loose nighties to wear at home.

After surgery:

The pain after surgery was not fun, nothing like when I had my two children via C-sections. I used my pain pump constantly to help with the pain. I got out of bed on day two after my bag was removed and started walking. I have not stopped walking. On day three my OB ordered the pain pump removed as I was vomiting. I was taking oral pain meds instead. In hospital it took me a while to pass the gas and have a bowel movement. I was given a laxative which didn’t do much. The pain and discomfort was unbearable. Having the urge to use the bathroom was extremely painful as I was constipated from all the pain meds.

On day four I finally passed gas once and was discharged home without having a bowel movement. My family transferred a bed on the first floor where the kitchen and power room is for easier access, this was very helpful in not having to do the stairs. In week four I was hit with menopause which was extremely difficult for me to deal with. I mentioned it to my OB at the follow up visit and he prescribed an oestrogen supplement. I was sceptical at first due to the side effects, however after a follow up post op visit with my family doctor; he encouraged me to take it as my body needed it.  I started taking it and have not seen a difference as it is day two.

My advice to anyone having the surgery:

I encourage you to inform your family and friends that you are having surgery, as they will be very helpful during your recovery, walk as soon as you can and don’t stop. When your body is going through the changes of menopause try your best to work around it and not let it take control of your emotions. Take a nap everyday.

If you have disability insurance on your mortgage or credit cards, contact the bank to see if you qualify for benefits while off work.

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  1. HI
    My name is Lorraine and I go in for my full abdominal op on 12th Feb, I am now getting myself prepared and really like the information on this site and your experiences have put my mind at rest. Will keep everyone updated once its done. Thank you everyone x

  2. Hi my name is Kelli. My total hysterectomy is this Wednesday. I too had a Lupron injection to shrink the fibroids and shut down my ovaries to stop the heavy bleeding. I am scared for this surgery but know I have to do it. Reading everyone’s stories has helped.
    Thank you

  3. Take heart, Suzanne, its not this bad for everyone. I had this op in late September at 62 because of a very large Ovarian cyst. I was in a private hospital and it did help to have my own space.

    Day one of the op – I don’t really remember because I was lasrgely out of it and had the opium pump.
    Day 2- no serious pain but discomfort and a feeling of having a bad period. No wind/gas at all, amazingly. Thank goodness for the catheter which meant I didn’t have to get out of bed to pee and the electric bed which propped me up without me needing to use stomach muscles.. The Physio came and took me for a short walk around the bed. I was given panadol and anti -inflamatories 3 times daily throughout.
    Day 3 – Still no pain or wind, just a sore feeling. the catheter came out (this doesn’t hurt) and I also lost my opium pump (which I hadn’t been using anyway). The Physio came and gave me a slightly longer walk. I was allowed a cup of tea with sugar! What a treat it was! I was even able to visit the bathroom myself and lower myself onto the loo. A nurse helped me wash and change into one of my own nighties. My dressing was changed and I could see that I had 20 metal staples in my C-section cut. By that evening I was having cystitis type soreness (but not pain peeing) which was far more uncomfortable than the actual op itself.
    Day 4 – At last allowed more than just toast and soup although I wasn’t hungry. First bowel movement. The Surgeon and Nurses explained that I did not actually have cystitis but a hysterectomy almost always bruises the bladder as they are so close to each other, and upsets it. Another day of feeling very sore as a result. The Physio started me on a short flight of stairs, which I managed with no trouble.
    Day 5 – Cystitis feeling has passed and I was by now doing alot of walking in the corridor and showering myself. Not hungry but eating small amounts of solid food. Obviously still sore inside but nothing too bad, especially if I rested alot.
    Day 6 – Dishcharged home, which felt wonderful. I walked around a bit once home then slowly did the stairs to bed for the rest of the day. Very tired today!

    Thereafter I got up late most days and then went back to bed for a rest in the afternoons before coming down for the evenings. The stiches came out on day 8 – you don’t feel anything as that whole area stays numb for months, so don’t worry about it. I took Arnica 30 twice daily for 2 weeks before the op and 2 weeks after. I’m sure it helped. I had very little bruising and the Surgeon mentioned that I lost far less blood than usual during the op. I went back to driving (an automatic) 5 weeks after the op. Its now almost 6 weeks since the op and I have only some very slight soreness and a few occasional twinges, which are getting less and less. I feel great and the whole experience was nothing like as bad as I had feared. Hope this helps others.

  4. Hi I am Sue 56 and my hysterectomy is booked in 5 Weeks after an injection to shrink my fibroid. I also have a prolapse and anaemia. I am daunted by what next few months will bring but at point of no return. Reading all the stories of others helps Thank you hyster sisters. Will keep you posted how I get on.