Uterine ablation

  1. Just wondering: has anyone out there ever had this done, and what was it like for you? Did it work as well as you'd hoped? How much pain was involved, and how long did it take you to recover? Would you recommend it, or do you wish you'd had a hysterectomy instead?

    Here's the deal: I have fibroids, which have probably grown since they were diagnosed 5 yrs. ago. Periods are irregular, but very frequent, lengthy (27 days straight in Dec.) and sometimes I'll go through 2 super-plus tampons, an incontinence pad AND a diaper in a matter of an hour or two. In addition, I often feel like I have a lead weight down there, which at times makes even standing up terribly painful. At 44, I'm long done with childbearing, and frankly don't have a problem with the concept of being without a uterus. Still, I wouldn't mind a shorter recovery time and lighter periods, if that's what comes of having the ablation done.

    Please let me know what you think. Thanx!
  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   NurseWeasel
    Can't respond to the ablation but I can vouch for a hysterectomy. Have you been to http://www.hystersisters.com? GREAT site. Lots of question-answering and hand-holding to get you through regardless of your treatment choice (or not).

    I'm about a year and a half post hysterectomy and I LOVE IT. Wish I 'd had it done 8 years before when I asked the first time and the big dummies said I was too young. I was done having kids then but I guess they didn't believe me. Anyway it was THE best thing I've ever done for myself. I had recurrent ovarian cysts, but lemme tell ya. If I'd had signs & symptoms like you're describing, those parts would be GONE YESTERDAY. No need to put up with that in my opinion.

    Blessings to you in whatever decision you make.
  4. by   cpgrn
    Why are you hesitating? If I were suffering like that the choice would be made. Life is too short to be this miserable. I know all the arguments and pros and cons but this is ridiculous. Talk to your gyn.
  5. by   NurseDennie
    I've never met ANYONE who has regretted having her hysterectomy. I have met quite a few whose only regret was that they didn't do it years sooner.

    I have had the uterine ablation. I've had endometriosis, and also with the HUGE periods, lots of cramping, BIG clots, surprise "Ooops!" breakthrough bleeding that was horrible. I also passed uterine casts, which is an interesting process. I'd never tell this but to another nurse, but when that stupid cast passes, it closes off your cervix whilst it's going through... when the first part of it goes through, it often causes projectile menstruation. Ewwwwwww

    I'd been fighting having the hysterectomy for almost 20 years now. I'm just very stubborn and I didn't want the surgery and I didn't want to have to take that much time off work. I'm the main breadwinner in my family. Yes, a LOT of pain, and yes, a LOT of sanitary pads, maxi and super-maxi tampons and a few adult diapers for heavy days. I was always the one who was the supply for people with one of those "ooops" moments - I had them in my pocket, I had them in every desk I ever went near, in my purse and a HUGE supply in my locker. LOL

    I had the ablation on Halloween. I imagine it's a very unpleasant procedure to be involved in (burning tissue and all...) but I had no problems what-so-ever. A little "I don't care juice" in the holding, it took ahold just as I transferred over to the Op table. Woke up in recovery, just *this* much nausea - got some ice chips and did the deep breathing through the nausea. As soon as I was awake, I took my clothes into the bathroom, because I was determined to pee before I left that room, and they let me go home as soon as I peed!

    Couple of weeks of cramps - NOTHING compared to endometriosis, and the first day passed some black-tinged fluid. Then it was clear for 2 weeks, and then it was tinged with blood. I still have some discharge, and I've had 2 teeny tiny periods that I wouldn't have even considered a "spot" before this procedure.

    I would actually think it would be a good thing to do before you go for the big H.

    When I was deciding whether or not to have it, I read that approx 85% of the women who have it NEVER have another period! You can't beat that combination, can you?

    It might solve your problems, and save you all that post-op pain. It might not, of course, and you'd still have to have the H, but at least you would know you've tried it, first.

    Let us know how you do!


  6. by   LasVegasRN
    Glad to find a thread about this. I've been considering the ablation also. Actually found myself in the bathroom at the new job having to get a bad stain out of my clothes before going back on the floor. It's getting really bad each month with more and more break through bleeding. Ugh.

    And before you say I'm too young, I can honestly say my babybirthing days are over - dating days are long over.
  7. by   dianah
    So your choices are ablation VS hysterectomy? Does your interventional Radiologist do Uterine Fibroid Embolizations? It may help the symptoms, with greatly reduced off-work time. Check it out. Good luck. -- D
  8. by   VivaLasViejas
    I don't think we have anything like that here in my area (small city of maybe 40,000). My doc is very up-to-date, and I think she would've said something about that if it were available here. I've heard of the procedure, but when I asked my old GYN a couple of years ago, he said I'd have to go to Portland or Eugene (OR) to have it done. So no, that's not one of my options...

    I did check out HysterSisters, and I've bookmarked it, since I go to that site pretty often (thanks to the suggestions of several allnurses folks---great site!!).

    I really am leaning toward hysterectomy, if for no other reason than I want to be done with ALL menstrual stuff. I've been having periods since I was 11, and I've never had it easy---periods have always been long and heavy, and the past five years have been hellacious. I've been anemic most of my adult life. Now it's affecting every area of my life---how can I work when I feel lousy most of the time and am always afraid I'm going to stand up and flood my drawers? (I've done that too many times to count---now I never go anywhere without tampons, pads, Attends, AND a change of clothing.)

    On the other hand, it would be nice to hang on to all the original equipment I came with and to go through menopause naturally. I started that process about a year ago, and it seems that if God meant for women to be without their uteri, He would have designed us to lose them like baby teeth once they're no longer useful.

    The ultimate decision will probably come down to the results of the endometrial biopsy I had today and the pelvic ultrasound that's scheduled for next Tuesday. If the fibroids have grown as I suspect they have over the past few years (my uterus was the size of a 3 1/2 month pregnancy back in '98), there won't be any need to decide---a TAH would be the only sensible solution. We'll see. Anyway, thanks to all who've posted so far, and please keep the information coming!
  9. by   dianah
    Good luck with whatever you decide! Hope the course is smooth, and you're MUCH better for having something done. -- D
  10. by   renerian
    Almost the entire uterus was fibroid. Two periods a month. Same thing, two tampons and a pad. Lots of pain. Tried birth control pills twice a day to stop bleeding. Nothing worked. I had the hysterectomy. Do you want the procedure or is the doc or insurance company pushing you that way? I feel great since my surgery and no more anemia.