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Scared of surgery, never had surgery before and scared of anesthesia. H...
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Scared of surgery, never had surgery before and scared of anesthesia. HELP

Hi again,

I am a 31 year old female who is going to be having surgery in January for removal of a 6.9 cm cyst located in the back of my uterus and may be attached to my right ovary, they aren't really sure until they get in. I had a low CA-125, but of course it has that false negative reputation, so I know it doesn't really mean much until they get in there and see..

The thing is I am really scared of the surgery for several reasons, I probably sound like a baby, but here goes:

1. I never had surgery before, and I am scared. They say they will try laprascopic but may have to go to the laparotomy b/c of size, can anyone offer any advice/experience on this surgery? Was it really bad?

2.I am afraid they will have to do a hysterectomy, even though I said I don't want one.

3. I am afarid of it being cancer.

4. I am afraid of anesthesia, as I never went under before, is it really bad?

By the way, if the surgery is laparatomy how long is the hospital stay and recovery time?

I would SO LOVE to hear any of advice, guidance, experiences on this....I haven't told anyone how I am feeling, I am trying to act brave, but inside I am so scared....thank goodness for the internet. lol.

Anyway, thanks for reading this and HAPPY HOLIDAYS to you all,

Marie
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18 Comments
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All your fears you need to place in the hands of our loving God hun.  You will go to sleep very gently and wake up and it will be all over. I was a surgery nurse for many years. Do not be afraid. With the scope you will be up and about in no time although you will have to take it easy. If they do find out anything wrong, it will have to be fixed. You are very young and have a long life to live, but this is something that must be done now, so that you can move on. It will take 4 to 6 weeks before you are ready to take on the world again. Don't hold this in to your self, let the loved ones around you know how you are feeling, they will support you. The chances of it being cancer is very small.
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THANK YOU SO MUCH for your kind words, they mean more than you know!

Take care,

Marie
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Hi Marie - I had my first surgery under anesthesia this past May at the age of 50.  I was like you, scared about a lot of things like the anethesia among other things.  Well, I was scaring myself for nothing.  It's like you fall asleep and then next thing you know you wake up in the recovery room.  I was so nervous ahead of time that I asked for some relaxing medicine which they gave in my IV and it helped a lot.  You will do fine.  Let us know how it goes.  I had a laprscopy for cysts on my ovaries, some endometriosis and a fibroid.  Here is someone who has had periods like clockwork for years and cramps maybe once.  So I was shocked when they told me I had those things.  But anyway, everything went fine.  You will want to sleep alot right after the surgery.  If you get a hysterectomy there will be probably 6 weeks of recovery time, a couple of relatives of mine had that done in their mid 30s.  Good luck.  Becky
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I'm sending you a BIG hug to try to help calm your fears.  Please put your faith and trust in your physicians and nurses - they are trained and will take great care of you!  I've had several surgeries in the past 3 years and I am nervous before each of them - that is perfectly normal.  On December 13, I had a laparotomy for a 9+cm dermoid cyst (and fibroids) and also had a total hysterectomy including both ovaries. I had a vertical incision and stayed in the hospital for 2 days.  I had more "discomfort" than pain from the incision and each day is easier.  I will be off for 4-6 weeks.  When you're in preop, let your anesthesiologist know that this is your first surgery and he/she can give you something in your iv to help you relax.  You won't have any problems going to sleep and will wake up in recovery.  I'm not sure what your history is and desires for children and can understand your desire to not have a hysterectomy.  I have 3 beautiful children and decided to have "everything" out for many reasons.  Talk to your surgeon and if you're not comfortable with what will happen, get a 2nd opinion.  Best wishes for a happy holiday season and I hope you experience a calming soon - it's amazing what happens when we decide to accept what we can't change and go on.
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Hi Marie,
I'm still waiting for the surgery on my complex cyst to be scheduled, probably sometime in January. However, I have had surgery before- had my gall bladder removed , but the "traditional" way, not via laparoscope, and also had a couple of other procedures done under general anesthesia. PLease don't worry about going under anesthesia. It always amazes me that you're awake and talking to the doctor one second in the OR, then the next thing you know you're waking up and it's all over!I honestly don't recall even having dreamed at all while "out"; it was as if I was in suspended animation, where there's no awareness at all. Each time I've awoken, I was surprised to learn the surgery was over- you truly have no awareness or recollection, or any sense of time passing.  And other than some very mild nausea one time when I first woke up, which passed quickly, I haven't had any problems at all with the anesthesia. So, don't get yourself worked up over the anesthesia. The thought of "giving up control" like that is scary, I know it was for me, but it isn't "bad" at all.

Hopefully your surgery will be able to be done via laparoscope. But either way, as anyone on here will tell you, the odds are very much in your favor that it's not cancer.

Karen
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Hi Marie,
Well you sound just like me the week before surgery.Ask anyone here-they'll all tell you! I hade a laproscopy done on 11/28 for a 6.5cm cyst that they called complex.All the exact same fears as you (never had surgery,scared of anestesia etc..). I was terrified. Well,let me tell you it was not so bad! It's exactly like everyone says..yougo to sleep and wake up a bit --I would describe it as feeling a little buzzed.You are aware of where you are but kind of spacey.I had surgery at 12 and was on my way home at 5;30 would have been earlier but I was kind of dizzy.It was much better than i thought.I was in some pain for the first few days (they gave me codeine and anti-inflammatorys).I think I should have had something stronger.Anyway I imagined much worse..and the best best best part is it was benign!!So my wish is that your outcome is like mine..and trust me I waited 6mths for surgery so I know the agony of waiting...Good LUck
Mary(we even have the same name!)
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Avatar_n_tn
I just had a huge ovarian cyst (10cm and 8cm) removed laparoscopically, under general anaesthetic.

No problem whatsoever, great procedure.
  You get your injection, and go to deepest sleep very easily and quickly. I fell asleep in 3 seconds flat, and the next thing I knew, I woke up in the recovery room, with the cyst out. Had no recolection about the surgery, anything, it was great, as if the surgery didn't happen.
I was out of hospital the next day (could have been the same day, but the surgery was late in the afternoon, so they kept me in hospital overnight).
You will be a bit groggy a few hours after the surgery, but mentally completely aware (I was, at least). And you will be a bit nauseous, so don't eat straight away, but a couple of hours later, and eat and drink slowly, light and bland food (rice, fruit, no acidic juicic etc.).
I am now a week after the surgery, and feeling great. Was tired for few days after the surgery, but by the second day was slowly walking around the house. You should take it easy for around a week (this is laparoscopic), but I found that after 3 days I could do light housework, walk to the shops, and be generally mildly active.
Honestly, there is nothing to worry about. This was also my first surgery, but my anaesthetist was great, told me that in these modern times anaestesia is so routine and advanced thing, that complications are extremely rare, almost non-existent. It is not like it used to be, it is very sophisticated these days.
He (or she) will be with you all the time during the surgery giving you anaesthetic as needed, so they don't give you one huge shot straight away, but are administering it throughout the surgery. You absolutely don't feel anything, and have no awareness whatsoever about the surgery. You just wake up all clean and cocooned in bed.
  There really is NOTHING to worry about, and if you can have your surgery laparoscopically, it is great, as it is quite amazing how quick the post recovery is.
Just one advice : take to the hospital with you some loose, comfortable tracksuit or yoga pants, something with soft waistband, as you don't want anything rubbing and pressing your fresh sutures. So, no jeans or tight belts. Please don't worry, as there is nothing to worry about!!!!Good luck!!!!
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Sorry, I forgot to add

You are young, and I am sure it is not cancer. I even had increased CA 125 + huge cyst removed, but it was not cancerous.
CA levels were increased due to this cyst bursting pre-operation, and also due to some old infection inside.
Please don't worry, it would be extremely unusual for it to be cancer at your age.
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I'm 31 too and shared your same fears.  I had an endometrioma in my left ovary, fibroids, and scar tissue.  I was so afraid the doctor was going to have to remove everything.  I explained to my doctor that I still wanted to have kids so I made him promise he would do everything he could to save my fertility and he did.  He did have to remove my left ovary and fallopian tube but I still have the right, which gives me hope.  

The anesthesia was fine as a matter of fact drip ... drip and I was out.  It was the best nap I'd taken in a long time. :)  It really isn't that bad.  They are trained professionals that do it everyday, so you will be fine.  

I had a laparoctomy on 11/21, I stayed in the hospital for three days, I was really sore for about a week and then afterwards slowly but surely I started feeling better.  Walking really helps after the first week I started walking ten minutes in the morning and ten minutes in the afternoon, and slowly it increased. I was able to drive two weeks later but only short distances.  I'm four weeks post op now.  I think I'm doing better now, I tire easier and if I'm not too long somethings I'll get sore.  But all in all I think I'm recovering well.  

This is a wonderful forum, I found it before my surgery and it really helped me calm my nerves being able to post here.  Good luck with everything your a CYSTER now and soon you'll be on the recovery side.  Merry Christmas
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I have had more surgeries than I can count, both general (going to sleep) and spinals) awake with some sedation.  I have not had any problems, in fact over the years they have gotten much better with preventing post operative nausea.  
My sister had a Laparoscopic removal of uterus and ovaries and was discharged in 24 hours without problems.  She had some adhesions (scaring internally) so there was a complication and she went home with a catheter.  Because your cyst is on the back of your uterus, they feel they may need the better visualization the open laparotomy will give them.  Laparascopic recovery I believe is 2 to 3 weeks, open laparotomy is 5 to 6 weeks.

I had the open laparatomy and debulking for ovarian cancer - was it bad - the surgery was not as bad as I thought it would be.  I always expect the worst and when it falls short, I can handle it much better.  I had my patient controled analgesia so I was in control of my pain - pushed a button when I needed it.  The catheter was the worst, but that was out in 1 day.  If you get up and walk you do great, I was out of the hospital in 2 and 1/2 days.  

Cancer is always a fear.  I went in having been told it was cancer, so I just wanted it out.  I would hope that if they felt there was a chance of it being cancer they would have addressed that with you.  The majority, as you can tell from reading this site are benign, however if it is cancer you do find the strength deal.  I think I was fortunate, because once again I expected everything to be worse than it ended up being.  I had a 75 year old aunt with breast cancer who received chemo and would be on the golf course course the next day.

Good luck to you, may you join the 99 percenters.



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Hi,

I just want to say a HUGE THANK YOU TO EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU. All of your support and messages/experiences are INVALUABLE to me and I just am blown away by how wonderful you all are and how you all took such time to answer me!

I haven't had many supportive people in my life lately, so it just restores my faith how there are really nice, caring people out there like yourselves.

I will write more tomorrow, but I got in late and just wanted to post a small message of THANK YOU's!

HAPPY BLESSED HOLIDAYS AND A HEALTHY HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE!

Marie
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Marie,I have been reading the wonderful responses you have gotton. Its a great support group. I have found this to be so valuable! I just had surgery on the 5th of Dec. I have had other surgeries. However, knowing what I know now, I remember the first is the most frightening. but everyone I had a since of fear (its normal) I will offer something to you that was offered to me along time ago when I was facing a surgery. Write your fears down, give it to God, make peace with everyone you love and have someone close by to be with you take as little into surgery as you can. Just before you go to sleep before your operation just think of something that brings  you the most pleasing thoughts and keep saying that over and over. Once the happy juice starts you wont know a thing. But it is important to have mental and spiritual peace.....Marie peace be to you and I will pray for you to have a calming peace, a peace like a river.......shirl in North Carolina
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Hi StarAngel,

You are very welcome. Everyone here went through similar worries and difficult uncertain times, so we understand.

I really want to emphasise that you try to relax, think about nice things, as it (I mean the operation and anaestesia) really is much worse in our heads then the actual thing, especially if you happen to have laparoscopy.

I agree with the poster above about walking, I was actually advised by my nurse to start walking after the fist day, little by little, and then increasing every day. Now is the 8th day post operation, and I feel great, going away to the country over Christmas and am ready for some nice country walks!!! I even feel like going to the gym, but I know that this is pushing it a bit, and I will wait for it another week.
I really am almost sure that yours is not cancer, cysts are very common, and large ones just need to be taken care of, they are better out tnen in. So, best of luck, and of course, let us know how your op went.
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When I had my first surgery to remove my complex cyst I too was worried about the anesthesia.  what if I said something stupid, what if I got sick from it and what if I didn't wake up at all.  Well, my family dr. helped ease my fears.  He also told me that the anesthesialogist would meet with me before surgery and to make sure to let him know my fears.  He was great, told me not to worry that his job is to watch out for me during surgery and he would take good care of me.  Well, it worked out fine. I came out of surgery - was told I didn't say anything silly (thank God!) and I had a little nausea after surgery but make sure and tell them and they can give you something right away.  The toughest part is waiting for the surgery.  
Take care and let us know how you make out.

Debbie
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,
I am 17 years old and am having surgery in a couple of days time to remove a 12cm cyst. I just typed in on the search engine how to calm nerves before surgery and this website came up- couldn't believe it was the same surgery I am having.
I am really worried about if it ruins my fertility as when I am older I would like to have children.
I am so scared of being put to sleep too, and worry about being sick after- I have a phobia of being sick. I don't like the thought of what happens while you are under the anesthetic either. I'm worried about the pain too and how long will it be before I can get back to college.
The posts above have made me feel a little more relaxed though- so thank you!
Keep posting!
xXx
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Avatar_n_tn
I had a large cyst removed via laparotomy in September and I was also very nervous since I had never had surgery.  I am like you---can't stand being sick so I was especially fearful that I'd be sick after surgery from the anesthesia.  Well, guess what---I was fine.  As soon as I woke up in the recovery room I asked the nurse if they could give me something for nausea.  I didn't actually feel sick, more just sleepy, but I didn't want to take any chances.  They hooked something up to my IV and that was it.  I was sipping water a few hours later and never experienced any nausea.  By the next day I was having ices, clear broth, juice, etc. (they won't let you eat until you pass gas) and the following day I was eating regular food.

Regarding the pain, again---not a big deal at all.  I was hooked up to a morphine pump immediately after surgery where I was able to administer a dose to myself when/if I needed it.  They actually removed the pump after 36 hours because for the last 12 I didn't even use it.  The most difficult part is getting in and out of bed.  And, even then, it was more of a soreness than real pain.  Keep in mind that everyone is different, but if you listen to your body you'll be just fine.  Make sure you get up and walk as soon as they let you as that helps you recover faster.  You'll find that you will tire out easily so expect to be taking some naps during the day in the first couple of weeks.  That's just your body's way of making itself better.

Please let us know how your surgery went when you're back home and feeling better.  Good luck and you'll be fine!
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi! Thank you for your post.
It has been two days since my surgery and Im feeling better touch wood (I don't want to speak too soon!). I had laproscopic surgery to remove my 12cm cyst. I had pain the next day in my shoulder and chest (from the CO2 they pump to blow up the stomach in surgery) but that has just about gone now.
I expirenced nausea when I tried to eat after the surgery but was not sick thank goodness.
Thanks again for the post
x
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