I have Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease, Sjogren's Syndrome and Hypothydoiditis. I also have a hiatal hernia, sludge in my gallbladder and an ovarian cyst. I am having surgery on the 25th, at which time they will repair the hiatal hernia, remove my gallbladder and remove both ovaries. I know this is going to be extremely unpleasant, even disregarding the auto-immune issues, and I want to find out how I can expect they surgical trauma to affect my auto-immune disease(s). I am already dealing with additional pain because I had to stop taking naproxen because of the gastritis and esophagitis and hiatal hernia. I guess I just need to know if this is likely to kick the auto-immune stuff into high gear.
I'll be praying for you. I hope someone who doesn't have ovaries ways in. I wouldn't be the one. But I know stress can really affect autoimmune disorders. So my advice would be to try to NOT stress as much as you can.
I had a hysterectomy several years back and did very well, although I still have the precious ovaries. But my sister had a hysterectomy and said she did really well with the surgery So I told myself I would too. I remember thinking that very thought as I was going under the anesthesia.
I believe with God's help you too will feel so much better, especally w/o that sluggish gallbladder. (in which I wonder if Autoimmunes cause GB problems)
I don't know how dry your eyes are but you may mention the sjogren's to the anesthesiologist in case he needs to make sure to keep your eyes moist.
I am allergic to NSAID's and they gave me different meds for the hysterectomy. I had everything taken out but this was before I got the dx of sjogren's and I also have undifferentiated connective tissue disease.
Six weeks later, after the hysterectomy, I had the thyroid taken out as it had a huge goiter and tons of nodules and they weren't positive I might not have cancer. (I didn't!)
It did take a bit to get the estrogen and thyroid where they needed to be.
I am assuming that I had the sjs all during the whole time but it hadn't been discovered yet.
I do tend to heal slower than most and that could be the sjs.
My doc had the obgyn docs to immediately put an estogren patch on me after surgery. You should find out from your obgyn what is being are planed as I believe since you are only having the ovaries out you may need progesterone if you decide to go the hrt route.
I cannot really say if the surgeries kicked the auto immune disorder into high as after I recovered from the first two surgeries I had to find someone to deal with my back as I ended up with a spinal fusion from a had a collapsed disk and arthritis in the facets that were pushing on my nerves.
I think you need to talk with your sjogren's doc about how he/she thinks the multiple surgeries will affect you and perhaps get him/her to talk with your surgeon, if your surgeon is not familiar with sjogren's.
You really need all your doctor's to be working together on this since your hormone levels will be affected and the hormones will problably affect your thyroid levels.
I am hoping all goes smoothly for you and I really would recommend talking with your doctors before the surgery so you can know what to expect.
The stress of the surgery could cause a flare so be prepared. Do talk to your rheumatologist. If your connective disease is leaning more to Lupus he may not want you doing the hormone replacement route as that can cause worse symptoms. I so hope you can make it through this tough time without too many auto-immune issues. Please come back and let us know how it goes.
I appreciate all the input. As to not stressing... TOO LATE, lol. I will call my rheumy and let them know what is going on. This is going to be bad enough without a flare. I am post-menopausal, so I'm not sure about the hormone thing. He did tell me I'd lose my sex drive. I told him that's been gone for years. So now I can't get pregnant. Married, so the risk of STDs is gone, and I still can't enjoy sex, lol. I have given up sex and alcohol so now they want me to give up food as well. This is not good!
Spoke to rheumy yesterday. She doesn't seem concerned. Just told me to stop the Naproxen 5 days before and after surgery. I was taken off the Naproxen when I went to the emergency room. So I guess I am as prepared as I am going to be.
Update - In case anyone wants to know whether I would recommend the hiatal hernia procedure I had done - the answer is a resounding NO!!!! It has been almost 7 weeks and I am still having problems eating. Since the surgery I have lost 26 pounds and I have no energy or stamina. I saw someplace that lap-band surgery is not for people with auto-immune disease and since both surgeries deal with the stomach, I am wondering whether this is why I am having such a hard time.
Another update. As it turns out, my nausea was probably a result of being off my meds for too long. Once I forced myself to swallow them, I started getting better pretty quickly. Surgeon was getting ready to panic as I was unable to eat without being really nauseous. Of course there are few things more unpleasant than needing to throw up and you CAN'T. The surgery makes it physically impossible to do so. I no longer have heartburn, but have to continue with the acid reducers as they are worried about ulcers. I have spoken with a couple of folks who've had the surgery and they didn't do as badly as did I.
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