Successful and welcoming hysterectomy – Joanna’s story

I had a total abdominal hysterectomy just after my 43rd birthday due to 2 very large fibroids making my uterus the equivalent of a 16 week pregnancy. It was the second time the fibroids had re-occurred having already had a myomectomy 9 years ago.

From having the initial scan to the surgery (3 months) the fibroids had grown another 3cm making them 10 cm each, it was decided not to give me the drug treatment to try to shrink the fibroids as it was unsuccessful previously.

Due to the position and size I had no option but an abdominal hysterectomy. The surgery went well despite adhesions from the previous surgery and there were no complications, my consultant was brilliant, from the day I met him I felt he really cared about his patients and took time to answer both mine and my husband’s questions about retaining my ovaries (due to family history of Breast and ovarian cancer he also took the time to ask advice from an oncology gynaecologist the best option was, and it was decided that the pro’s to keep them out weighed the risks of leaving them. He did remove my tubes though as this is were most ovarian cancers can start).

I was discharged after 2 nights in hospital and have gone from strength to strength. Walking twice a day from the 3rd day slowly increasing the distance each day definitely help the speed of my recovery. By the time I had my review appointment 5 weeks after surgery, apart still getting very tired and a little bit of discomfort if I over do it I am well recovered and the consultant was very pleased. I have been given the go ahead to start running and cycling again (introducing them slowly).

My histology came aback as abnormal as the fibroids were stromal tumours of unknown malignant potential, they are low grade and there is a low chance that they could grow back at the top of my vagina where my uterus was and I will be monitored yearly for 3 years. All the symptoms and pain that I had with the tumours have now gone and I feel like a different person back to how I was without the limitations the tumours were giving me.

Having a hysterectomy was the best thing I could have done and would recommend it over a myomectomy if you do not want to have children/any more children or are past child bearing age.

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