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Having a Laparoscopy on Dec 1
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Having a Laparoscopy on Dec 1

Hi,
I just joined after finding this site through google. What a great place!

I'm 45 and have never had children. I've always had very regular periods, but had some spotting 2 weeks early back in August. I was also feeling ill and had a lot of mucous build up in my throat. These things are probably unrelated. It turns out I had a UTI but that didn't explain the spotting. My doctor sent me for a pelvic and transvaginal ultrasound to see if it was just menopause kicking in early. They found some small "normal" cysts on my right ovary, and a 5.5cm cystic mass on my left. Follow-up ultrasounds showed no change.

Last month I was referred to a gynocologist who has scheduled me for surgery Dec 1. She said this whole thing will likely be more of a nuisance than anything else for me, and the risks are less than 1% that it would be CA. I'm still really nervous because my mom died of colon cancer 10 years ago and I've read that makes me a higher risk for Ov Ca. She said she will remove the cystic structure and hopefully leave the ovary (but that may have to go as well), and it should all be able to be done with laprascopic surgery. They will biopsy while they're doing it.

I've never had any type of surgery before and I've been having panic attacks over this (which is very unusual for me). I'm scared about what they might find... but I'm also scared about how I'll feel afterwards. I should be home the same day (if everything is ok) but I keep thinking, what if I have to go back to the hospital? Our emergency room waits here (Toronto) are usually about 5+ hours (probably more these days with the H1N1). If I know exactly how I'll feel after, I won't panic and rush to the hospital... so I'm here trying to find out exactly what I might feel after this type of surgery, will there be bleeding, etc. ... what is normal? I also have lower back problems, so I'm worried about lying down afterwards and not being able to get back up, or not being able to rest. I have difficulty lying on my back for prolonged periods of time.

And yes... I'm a REALLY BIG WIMP!

Thanks :)
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi! I can understand your nervousness over the surgery. If it had not been for my history of previous surgeries dating back to my childhood, I would have been a basket case! I had my laparoscopic surgery to remove my ovary back in September. My surgery started around noon, I was home by 5. Looking back, it really wasn't bad. I'd say for me, the worst pain was right after surgery when I woke up. It felt like bad menstrual cramps. I told the nurse I was in pain, she asked me to rate it on a scale of 1 to 10. Well, in my state after the surgery, I had a really hard time coming up with a number. Looking back, I'd say about a 5 or 6. But they gave me some really strong motrin and that worked. I did have some bleeding after the surgery and the next day, but not bad. That night, I was a little sick from the anesthesia, but I've since learned they can give you something beforehand to prevent it. You just have to know to ask for it. I'd say the day after surgery and a little the next day, I was in enough pain where I took vicodin, but once I learned it caused constipation, I stopped taking it. I think advil would have been just as good. After that, the pain got less and less. It really only hurt the first couple of days when I walked, got up, and laughed. With this surgery, it is amazing how quickly you recover! I went out to lunch a week after surgery. As far as your back, maybe you can stay kinda propped up. I watch television a lot when I was recovering - propped up.

If you have problems after the surgery where you feel you may need to go back to the hospital, I would call the ambulance. That way you get to the front of the line.

Try not to worry too much, it will go so fast and you will be home before you know it. Just make sure to rest and treat yourself good. Stock the fridge ahead of time if you can, and you may want to ask your doctor for pain medication in advance if you don't want to have to stop off on the way home after surgery. Not sure how it's done in Canada - maybe they give you the meds in the hospital before you go home.
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Avatar_n_tn
MarieMichelle, one of the moderators on here, had posted this awhile ago. I had copied and saved it before my surgery. You will probably receive instructions from the hospital or you doctor before you go home from surgery. This should give you an idea of what is normal vs. what is not after your surgery.

"For the Patient Who Has Had Laparoscopic Abdominal Surgery
You have had abdominal surgery. The following information is intended to guide you in taking care of yourself when you get home. Included are instructions for your daily activities, what signs or symptoms you should watch for that could indicate a complication, as well as some general helpful hints.

First Week at Home  
•Your activity should be as tolerated, progressing toward your activity level before surgery. You may go outdoors on nice days as soon as you would like.
•You may shower and wash you hair during the first week at home; thereafter, a tub bath or shower is fine.
•So you don't get too tired, you should limit climbing a flight of stairs to two (2) times per day. Climbing stairs will not hurt you, but because you may feel weak, you could fall easily.
•You should not have intercourse, dou che, or use tampons until your doctor indicates that is okay, usually after your first check-up.
•You have 3 or 4 small incisions on your lower abdomen. You should remove the dressings on the second day after surgery.
•Constipation will occasionally be a minor problem, usually it can be corrected with the return to your diet and normal activity level. You can help prevent constipation by drinking several glasses of water daily and eating fresh fruits and vegetables. If necessary, a mild laxative such as milk of magnesia can be used.
•You should avoid heavy lifting (more than five (5) pounds) for at least two (2) weeks. Do not lift children.
•You may use Gas-X for gas pains as directed. This is available without a prescription.
•Do not be alarmed if you have difficulty sleeping at night for the first few weeks after you return home. Remember you are not getting your usual amount of exercise during the day. It should become easier for you to sleep as your activity level returns to its normal level.
•Hiccups are common after this type of surgery. Drinking water can help resolve them.

Second Week at Home  
•You should gradually increase your activities during your first two (2) weeks until you are almost at your usual level of activity.
•You may drive short distances when you are no longer taking medication for pain. (Examples: attend church, go to the grocery store, take your children to school.)
•Tiring easily is common after surgery; planned rest periods are beneficial.
•Wear clothing that is comfortable to you, but try to avoid extremely tight clothing. You may wear a comfortable girdle.
•Physical activity such as walking is good for you and will help you return to your usual level of activity. Avoid more vigorous activity such as aerobics, horseback riding, snow or water skiing, bicycle riding, and playing tennis. Dr.will let you know at your follow-up visits when you can return to your full normal activity level.
•You may use Tylenol or Motrin as directed for discomfort.

Call Your Doctor If:  
•You experience more redness, tenderness, or swelling of your incision than when you left the hospital. However, your incision will remain tender and sensitive for several weeks and this is not cause for concern.
•You have drainage from your incision.
•Your temperature is greater than 100.4 degrees.
•You have problems with constipation not relieved by taking a mild laxative such as milk of magnesia.
•You experience severe abdominal pain.
•You have persistent nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
•You have any problems with urinating such as hesitancy, frequency, pass small amounts, or burning.

Return Appointments  
•Please be sure to keep your return appointment with our office. If you are unable to come on the scheduled day, call the office as soon as possible and arrange for another appointment."
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Avatar_f_tn
Take heart!! The surgery is not too bad for a great majority of people. Think positively that you will be in that majority. Everyone is different, but the info above from outdoorsgirl is spot on!! Take it easy, pay attention to your body and you will most likely know what to limit and what might be concerning.

I took my temperature a few times a day to get an idea of normal. A consistent rise would be something to call your doctor on. I slept propped up in bed for a few days because of the gas pains, but it wasn't terrible. You will be sore, but should be able to get up (slowly). A heating pad helped me a lot, but check with your doctor on that. Any severe pain is certainly cause for a call, even if only to get reassurance. I was on Percocet for a couple of days and then didn't really need to take anything although I wasn't pain free. I rested a lot, but was going out for lunch, short shopping trips etc. My mom was in town and I didn't want to waste her time here. I had my son do the lifting, vacuuming etc for a long time. I might have played that card for a little longer than I should have though. Let the supermarket cart your groceries and accept help when offered. 6 weeks out I still have some soreness when I move a certain way or push on certain parts of my abdomen.

I would say definitely ask for anti-nausea drugs. The doctors can work wonders on that. I had NO nausea when I woke up. They asked my pain level and I was at a 1 or 2 when I woke up.

I did contract a staph bug in my belly button incision. Looking back, I should have caught it earlier and should have kept the area drier. Moisture is not good on the incisions and the belly button is a great little cave. Keep an eye out for inflammation and sticky drainage. Wash your hands a lot and don't touch the incisional areas unless you have to. I had to have a few weeks of antibiotics to kill off the bug, but it wasn't a big deal (for my case anyway).  

You might want to see if they can avoid using the very sticky tape on you also; I got a couple of blood blisters from the adhesive and I believe there are alternatives. The bruising was a surprise; I had a lot on my stomach, but it's normal. As are lumps and bumps; there are stitches under the skin that will inflame and cause some swelling. I called my doc's nurse a few times and was reassured each time. I felt bad calling but they understand and if it saves you a trip to the ER then terrific!!

I can't help you on the bleeding part. I had a D&C and ablation so I had something similar to a period for about a week after. I don't know what might be related to ovarian or cyst removal. I did have one and 2/3 of my ovaries removed though so my hormones went wacky for a while. But if you keep an ovary or part of one, it will most likely recover and you will go back to normal levels.

I hope this helps. Relax if you can. I had the panic attacks too and have never had them before!! Once I knew it was anxiety, I focused on calming down and it helped. Your chances of it all being benign are very, very good!

Jennyrose
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Avatar_n_tn
I had forgotten about the swelling. I had a lot of swelling in my abdomen area after. It looked like I had gained 10 pounds just in my abdomen. As far as the pain, the day after and the second day after, it was enough where if I had nothing to take for it, I could have taken it, but it was to the point where my attention was directed to the pain. So at that point, why not take something for it?

As far as the cancer connection - my mom passed from ovarian cancer two years ago, but the doctor told me then that the kind she had wasn't genetic. My grandmother died from uterine cancer. Again, not genetic, but I've got a family history of cancer. Yet, despite all that, my cyst was benign. From what I've read, ovarian cancer is pretty rare. Your chances go up as you age, my mom was 77 when she was diagnosed. I think you've got the stats and age on your side at this point, so please think of the probability that it's 99% likely that it's benign.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks SO much for all this info, outdoorsgirl and jennyrose. My gyno will probably tell me the basics of what to expect, but she's never experienced it herself so it's really helpful to hear it from you two.

I'm so glad you told me about the anti nausea meds because I have a terrible fear of throwing up... I probably haven't done it in 15 years.

My partner will be taking a week off, but I don't know if I need him for the full week (surgery is on a Tuesday and hopefully I'll be home the same day). I mean, other than getting downstairs when I wake up in the morning, is it likely that I'll need him around after a couple of days to walk around to the bathroom and kitchen to get a drink, use the microwave etc? I'm wondering if stairs will be very difficult... mine are quite steep. He's great when it comes to housework and stuff, and we have no kids or pets, so I won't have to worry about overdoing anything. Sounds like with all the gas, I might be wishing I had a dog to blame things on though :)

Is the incision actually "through" your bellybutton? I thought my gyno said it was below, but I've only spoken to her once. I thought I was just going to see her for a consultation and monitoring through more ultrasounds for a while, but 10 minutes in her office and I was signing release forms for surgery, so I probably missed a lot of info.

I'm also wondering when (on average) it's ok to have sex again after this kind of surgery. After the surgery, is the pain sort of constant, or just when you move, and is it like sharp pains or like muscular type pains? My gyno described it as feeling like someone has kicked you in the stomach.

Sorry for the all the questions. I guess the more prepared I am, the more I can calm down about this :)

In another post, there was a discussion about a post called 10 things I learned from my laparoscopy... or something like that, but I searched and can't find it. Does anyone know who wrote it or some other key words that were in it to search for?

Thanks again!!!  :) :) :)

Fizzy

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Avatar_n_tn
I was home alone for the recovery and got through it okay. If you can have someone there after surgery and maybe the next day or two, that would be helpful. But try to get up and walk even though you have someone there because it helps healing. I think you will have trouble with those stairs the first day or so. Can you sleep downstairs or is the bathroom just upstairs?

The doctor will tell you when it is okay for sex. Believe me, you won't want anyone near you the first two weeks.  The pain was more like muscular pain, a dull constant pain the first day or two. Sharp when I got up or laughed. Maybe the best way to describe it is a combination of sharp and muscular pain. But, it really isn't bad and you will have pain meds. To be honest, I could have gotten by without them.

I did not have the gas pains everyone talks about. I think my doctor was good at getting the gas out of my body. I did have a sore throat the first day from the tube they put down your throat. I don't remember them doing that.

The incision was through my belly button and it was very tiny. It was bleeding a bit at the hospital. I had to ask the nurse's aide for a bandage for it. I had 3 other incisions, two tiny ones at the side and one big 4 1/2 inch one near my pubic bone. I think this differs from most people's surgery. Most incisions are much smaller. I had trouble finding a new bandage for it after I showered the first time. You may want to have good sized bandages on hand, but if you have someone there and need some, you can always get them to go out and get some for you.

I was doing things for myself when I came home from surgery and the days after. You can get up and go to the bathroom, kitchen, etc. You'll just walk like an old lady the first day or two.

I remember that post... very good. If I find it, I will bump it up.

Will you be going to the hospital for a pre-op? They will give you more information there. Also be prepared to not drive for at least a week to two weeks.


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Avatar_f_tn
I have heard of incisions both through the belly button and just under. I would prefer just under compared to what I had to deal with this time. My poor belly button is all twisted up with scar tissue now (not visible unless you really look). Please don't go by my case; I had a prior lap for gall bladder surgery and there was already scar tissue to contend with. The doctor had to go where she could. The 2 tiny cuts on my hips were not really a problem at all. The gas pains went away on the 2nd or 3rd day. I just couldn't lie flat because of the way it was hitting my ribs the first night or 2. It did travel to my shoulders also. Walking helps. I was up walking the halls at 2am in the hospital and the nurses told me to go to bed! Get some cough drops or hard candy for the rough throat. They take the tube out before you wake up but you will feel the aftereffects for a day or so.

I only spent the night in the hospital because I was the last surgery of the day and was not awake until 8:30 pm or so and my mom had already left to take care of my son. I would say that it is good to have someone around for a few days until you are more steady and know that dizziness is not a factor. Try to avoid too much of the stairs. And don't watch funny movies. I forgot that part. I was trying to cheer myself up with laughter and oh man it hurt.... Hold a pillow to your tummy for coughing and laughing etc. It helps.

Ask the doctor about sex. You probably won't be anxious to get jiggy until she releases you anyway. My restriction was longer--4 weeks because of the ablation, not because of the laparoscopy. I didn't try until one week after that and (I'll be discreet), either take the "top bunk" or be sure your partner has good upper body strength. Weight on my stomach still hurt a bit, but not enough to discourage me. :-) In fact, it was good psychological medicine for me...

Jennyrose

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Avatar_f_tn
I am 42 and just had a cyst removed from my left ovary laproscopically. I was amazed at the lack of information I received beforehand. I should also mention that this is my third surgery this year (lapband and then skin cancer). I usually spend hours surfing the net to find out the nitty-gritty details.

I didn't have to stay. I checked in at 5:20am and was out at a little after 1pm. Surgery was at 7 am. I can tell you not to panic, but even after having had surgery before, I find I have a panic attack and then I am fine. When you get there, they will be happy to answer any questions you have throughout the whole time. If you are in pain, they will give you something for it, just let them know.

My cyst at last measurement was 3.2 cm and driving me nuts with back and side pain. I couldn't sleep on my side at all, very uncomfortable. I've been flat on my back for months, which just results in spasms, trying out birth control pills to shrink it.

They give you something to relax you before surgery. I have three x shaped cuts. One directly below my navel, one right above my pubic area and a third to the left side right above my thigh. They are all very small. I have scar tissue, since I had a total abdominal hysterectomy among other things, he had to dig around a bit. I have to say, of all the operations I've had, this one is the least painful. Two days later I am only on ibuprofen and other than needing some sleep, I am feeling really good.

I don't know if they will make you do bowel prep, but I had to. Yuck. I lost four pounds in one day.  I gained all that back plus three more, which I am sure is just fluid. I am just annoyed by seeing it on the scale. It is also unlikely that you will have to run to the emergency room, just make sure you do what you are supposed to and you should be fine.
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First, thanks for sharing your experiences!

I can probably sleep on the couch (there's a washroom on the main floor too) so I think I will plan that. I've been having terrible problems with my knees lately and it's a struggle to get up and down stairs now. I can't imagine what it will be like after surgery! Not sure what's up with my knees tho... I'm not in too bad shape (maybe 15 lbs overweight) and until all this started, I used to walk a lot. I stopped doing that once the panic attacks started.

Thanks for the getting jiggy info LOL... I just thought I'd ask for my partner's benefit :) I've got a few nights booked at the Niagara Falls Casino for December 27-30. I wonder if I'll be ok for something like that? It's a 1.5 hour drive... which brings me to my next question! Our vehicle is an SUV (Nissan XTerra). I wonder if I'll be able to get up into it after the surgery, or if we should take a cab instead? I'm only 5'2", so I usually need to pull myself up into the seat now.

I'm hoping there's no bowel prep. I remember that from my last colonoscopy YUCK is right! I'll get more info on Friday when I go for pre-op. I just came back from an ultrasound now. My gyno wanted me to have another just in case the cysts disappear or shrink considerably. The technicians aren't allowed to tell you anything, but I told her that's why I was there. WHen I was leaving she said "good luck with your surgery", which makes me think that there was no change or they've grown :(  I wasn't putting too much hope into them going away, but thought just maybe!

It surprises me that ibuprofen is enough for the pain for some of you. I take it occasionally for shoulder/neck or back pain and it doesnt do a heck of a lot. I try not to take pain meds for these things because I dont want it to be a daily habit, but I'm surprised they're strong enough for this kind of pain.

I haven't really had any pain with the cysts, except for two times when I'm still not sure if it was the cysts or not. Back in June and July I woke up and could hardly move because I thought I had a really bad stomach ache on my left side or really bad gas that wouldnt move. I struggled to get out of bed etc. and it subsided but it was extremely painful. In hindsight, I'm guessing it was the cysts because I'd never felt like that before.

My biggest problem right now is the panic. I feel I could get through this a lot easier if I could stop this feeling. I dont feel like I'm getting panic attacks... I feel more like I'm in a neverending one (short of breath a lot of the time) and I'm still not convinced it's a panic attack. I'm going to search this place for a forum about them and see if my symptoms match. I seem to get the symptoms for no reason, and almost always when I eat or wear something tighter like jeans, as opposed to yoga pants. My doctor says that sounds like panic attacks to her, but I just don't know!

Oops, I drifted away from the topic for a minute there!  I really appreciate all of your advice! And thanks for the heads up about laughing. I'll try and stay away from the comedies! :)

Also, thanks for bumping the "10 things" post, outdoorsgirl! :)

Fizzy
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I don't think you will have a problem getting into the SUV. You will have help. I am a good 80lbs overweight and have bad knees, but I live upstairs an had no problems. Once I am up here, I don't have to go downstairs except to get food.

My cyst bugged me from my hips to my chest. I had my stomach checked out and it was fine, went to my GP and he didn't recognize the symptoms and finally went to my proctologist thinking something was wrong with my digestive track. He ordered a CT scan which found the cysts. Three doctors who didn't recognize the symptoms. So, your odd symptoms may be related. I have GERD and it was affecting that and some heart "pounding" or palpitations. The heart thing is stressful and can freak you out. Hopefully that will go away afterwords.

If all you have is a laprascopic surgery, you should be just fine a month later. I am feeling pretty good only three days later after this one. The ibuprofen is prescribed at 800mg, four times the normal dose.
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Wow, I didn't realize you just had yours done 3 days ago. I hope I do as well as you. If I can sit at the PC after 3 days, I'll be happy!

I'm stressed over this because it came out of the blue. I didn't expect them to find anything with the ultrasound. My doctor said she sent me to see if the irregular spotting was just (if I remember correctly) my uterus shedding, which would mean perimenopause and some meds to regulate my hormones. Then I saw another doctor when I started to panic (my doctor was on holiday). He said I was panicing over nothing and based on the ultrasound results, his opinion was that I wouldnt need surgery but would be monitored every few months for a while. While I trust my doctor and have trusted her for the last 30 years, and I know she's not a specialist, but a general practitioner who did the right thing by sending me for tests and to a gyno, I guess it's just been discouraging that their assumptions were wrong. I just hope the gyno's assumptions are correct and it's just going to be an easy laparoscopy.

I feel a lot better reading through this forum and hearing everyone's experiences, but still can't get my head around this and can't seem to stop the anxiety! :-/

Fizzy
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I wouldn't expect you to not be anxious. Like I said, this is my third major surgery and I still got worked up. This is, seriously, the easiest surgery I have had. I have a good job where, if it's too much, I can always go home. This is the shortest time I have had off. I tire easily, but other than that I haven't even needed drugs today. I will take some ibuprofen as I have to go out today.

The other thing to think about too is to wear very loose stretchy clothing when you go in. You will be sore and it will be easier to dress.

Your doctor did the right thing. Mine just said it didn't sound like anything, so wait and see. I had to make the next step on my own. It was something, so never just accept being placated when you know something isn't right.
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm glad to hear you're recovering so well and quickly! I'm fortunate to work at home... although I have told my clients that I wont be working for at least a week (maybe 2).

I hope that my recovery goes as well as yours is going! I've got my pre-op assessment on Friday, if I can make it there without an anxiety attack!

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I just got the results of another transvaginal ultrasound and my cystic structure has grown a bit. Here I was hoping it had shrunk or disappeared :(

The last ultrasound was done in September and the structure was about 6.4cm x 5.5cm x 4.4. The ultrasound I had last week shows 7.1 x 6.2 x 4.8. To me, it doesn't seem like it's grown too much I guess in the last 1.5 months. What do you think? My surgery is Dec 1 and I'm really in panic mode as the date gets closer.

Thanks :)
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Wow, aren't those scans fun? I had a CT scan first to find the what was wrong and then a month later a trans-vaginal ultrasound. The cyst got bigger. I think the hormone pills feed it. Mine was only 3.2 cm and was intolerable. They didn't give me the three dimensional measurements. I go in tomorrow afternoon for my post-op and stitch removal. I will also get to see my pictures. I have them take pictures so I can see what went on. I also get an op report. I am a bit of a control freak that way. I don't want to be conscious for any part of it, but I want to know what happened while I was out.

I know you want to freak out at the thought of the unknown, but try to think about what exactly how the cysts are affecting you and don't make or break on the fear. For me, I have spent the last several months sleeping flat on my back because I couldn't lay on either side. I would have pains in my side, back, hips and abdomen. I would have back spasms from sleeping on my back, which would wake me up at night, so I wasn't getting enough sleep. After visiting the doctor and being palpated, my side would just HURT for a couple days. I could barely carry anything. Forget working out. When he told me the cyst didn't shrink and that we needed to go in and cut it out. I told him no and that I'd like to try the pills for another month to see what happened. The next morning I could hardly walk into work I hurt so much and made the call. The night I had surgery I slept on my side and was fine. As I said, it just amazes me how much something so small would cause such annoyance.

Are you having any symptoms? What problems are you having? Even if you aren't having much, if the cyst bursts, then you are in for days of massive pain, nausea and cramping. The whole cyst thing seems to be a no win situation. I've googled for everything cyst and really haven't found anything. That is unless you want to buy a book that tells you to eat no meat, drink lots of water and green tea and the cysts will disappear like magic.
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Hi! Yup those scans are so much fun :(  When I had my first one, the woman asked my age and I said 45. Then she asked if I was a virgin (they can't do the internal scan here if you are). I thought geez, do I look that bad today?!?! LOL  I guess it's not so much the size of the cyst as the location, if you were in so much pain! Are you feeling a lot better now? I mean is all the pain you were feeling before all gone?

I don't think I've had any real symptoms from the cysts. I had the first scan just so the doc could see if my uterus was shedding (in case I was in early menopause so she could get me some hormone pills). She wasn't even going to bother,... I had one irregular period and that was it, but I was feeling ill (turned out to be a UTI). I do remember one night in June and one in July when I was in agony, grabbing my stomach around the area where my cysts are (before I knew they were there), but I thought it was just something I ate (a HUGE spinach salad) or really really bad gas! It went away so I never thought about it again. Now I guess I can have spinach again! :)

Now I'm having symptoms that are likely anxiety I guess. I can feel a little discomfort where the cysts are (not pain though), but that's it. Other than that, I'm having breathing problems (anxiety?) nausea (anxiety?) knee pain (probably unrelated). I've had lower back problems for 20 years due to a car accident, so that's probably not related, and it hasn't been to bad lately. One thing that has changed is (sorry) bowel movements. For the last 10 years I've probably had 2 normal BMs a year (usually very liquidy) (sorry again). Had a colonoscopy. Everything was fine and they said I probably had IBS. The last 2 weeks I've been normal! I don't know if it's because of the cysts or if it's because I've stopped drinking coffee. Coffee seems to affect my breathing (anxiety again?).

The biggest way the cysts are affecting me is they are making me freak out and panic. I'm afraid to leave the house in case I have a panic attack. I wish the surgery was tomorrow!!! Only 1.5 weeks to go!

Eat no meat? Noooooooooo... I need my burgers! I guess I'll stick with the surgery lol  

When I'm honest with myself, I know I'm just panicing over all this for nothing, but I guess part of it is because of what I went through with my mom. 10 years ago she had colon cancer which they thought radiation would get rid of. Instead she was rushed to the hospital with peritonitis after her last treatment and passed away there a month later. I have this fear of going into the hospital and never coming home. I know it's silly, but I can't seem to shake the fear.

I think it's cool that you get the see the pictures! Are you posting them online? lol... it sure would liven up facebook a bit :)

Good luck with the post-op and getting your stitches out tomorrow! :)

Fizzy
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I'm back with a question...

I've been feeling nauseous and more tired than usual, and I'm not sure if this is a symptom of the cysts or anxiety. Can my complex cysts cause nausea? I'm hoping so because then I can feel normal again after they're removed. I don't see nausea in the symptom list though. I feel worse after eating and have to eat slowly or my breathing gets difficult (which my GP says is anxiety). I dont have pain... my cysts are sort of telling me they're there, but it's not painful. I'm having upper back pain but figure this is anxiety. Arggghhh I wish I knew which symptoms belonged to which condition! :)
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Yep, I guess they can cause heartburn too, which is bad, since I all ready have GERD. I also found after my hysterectomy that my diarrhea pretty much went away. I have other GI issues. I've inherited every single problem I could from my mom's side of the family. Probiotics work well for me in helping reduce symptoms. Any twisting or movement or being poked could set off pain from the cysts.

Not that I am an expert, and hopefully after this I will have no more issues. They can cause no end of symptoms. The symptoms are quite diverse. Basically you won't know for sure what symptoms the cysts are causing until they are gone.

I got my stitches out. That was unpleasant, kind of stung. It was a whiny thing over in a couple minutes. They didn't have my pictures. They promised they would get them for me. I will call back in a week or so to remind them. It's better if the doctor can point out what you are looking at, so maybe he will make notes.

I guess I had adhesions. I had a total abdominal hysterectomy four years ago and a lapband put in this summer. So, my right side healed really well and my left side not so much. The cyst formed probably because the ovary was stuck and it couldn't pop. They cleaned up all they could without starting a bunch of internal bleeding. Right after surgery I felt so much better.

Really with all the scans and tests, they still can't tell what's really going on until they go in and look. Try to not think of this as the same as your mom. You are going in for something that should be simple and improve your life. As surgeries go, it's not bad at all. If you are having panic attacks, you might think about getting something from the doctor to take in the short term. I had to wait a month for my surgery date. I wish I had done it earlier for all the relief I've gotten. I just so wanted those pills to work. This will be good for you in the end. The stress of waiting is much worse than the recovery part. Just remember don't be afraid to ask questions or repeat questions.
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Paracelsus is exactly right. You will not know which symptoms will disappear until you go through the procedure. I have suffered with IBS symptoms for about 10 years. I was really hoping that would all go away. Well, nope, guess I really have IBS... ;-). But I have not taken any kind of over the counter pain killer for headache, cramps, cyst pain, etc since the surgery and that is kind of amazing. I have to say that there is improvement on my overall health. Oh, and the morning lower back pain that I attributed to getting old is also gone.

I also had some episodes of pain that I attibuted to something else. My son remembered some more than I did. I had some "stop in your tracks and breathe" kind of pain sometimes and others where I figured it was just IBS and would try to rest. That pain is all gone and it feels great!!

With regard to your anxiety. I will share this. The same week I was diagnosed with a cyst, I started to have to breathe differently, like taking a deep breathe every few minutes to get oxygen. Because I was aware of it, it got worse and I started wondering if I had heart trouble, etc. One night, it was so bad, I felt like I was gasping for air and actually considered going to the the ER. But I called my mom (she's terrific) and she said it is anxiety and to focus on relaxing. I looked up my symptoms and bingo--anxiety popped up all over the place. As soon as I read that, the symptoms eased. I had also seen my regular doctor right after my surgery was scheduled and she said the same thing--anxiety. But until I read all those symptoms as related to it, I thought something was terribly wrong. Mine improved considerably once I had the procedure. I know it's scary. I didn't "feel" scared, but apparently, my body was feeling it!! If you want to message me about the symptoms, feel free. I really did have a problem with it.

Jennyrose
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Thanks again for your replies! I've been still faced with a lot of anxiety over this (if this IS anxiety!). I had the pre-op assessment which calmed me down a bit. I've only really visited the ER in the last 10 years and havent seen other parts of the hospital where the nurses are calm and friendly and don't rush you.

I think the anxiety is worrying me more than the surgery. I know it's routine surgery now, from reading through the forums here and reading your posts, and I would tell anyone else on this board that it's routine if they were worried, but I'm having such trouble breathing normally that I'm worried I will feel like this right after the surgery and won't be able to go home.

Jennyrose, I'm going to take you up on your offer to message you about this.

Thanks again you guys!

Fizzy
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So, how did the surgery go? Are you doing ok?
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Hi paracelsus51... thanks for asking! I've meant to come back and post but whenever I've been at the pc for more than 10 mins, my partner gives me "the look" and tells me to rest LOL. I was also going to wait till my doc gave me some info before posting, but I probably wont hear from her till next week.

The surgery Tuesday went really well. It really was a breeze! Surgery was at 8:30 am, I was in the recovery room around 11 or 11:30, in a room at 12:15 and left the hospital at 1pm. We stopped on the way back to fill my prescription for Tylenol #3 plus codeine and some stool softeners lol.

I'll go into detail so it might help someone else who is going to have laproscopic surgery.

I was ok before the surgery until I got into the room and started having an anxiety attack, but the nurse put a nice warm blanket on me and gave me something in an oxygen mask which calmed me down immediately. My doc came in and told me my last CA125 test came back negative (6) and that's the last thing I remember!

After surgery, when I was wheeled into the room with my partner, the nurse came and asked what my pain level was. I said ZERO. I also didn't feel ANY nausea at all. She gave me some water and apple juice, explained a few things which were in a brochure she gave me and said I could go home.

Getting in and out of the SUV wasn't too difficult. When we got home, I headed straight for the couch because I was really tired. I needed help walking, probably because of the anaesthetic, but didnt feel dizzy or sick. My tummy ached a little, but nothing like I expected. I'd say it was a 2/10 in pain, so I took a Tylenol and went to sleep. I woke up a few hours later and had some soup and went back to sleep shortly after. The first night I had trouble sleeping because whenever I'd change positions or move slightly, I'd get the urge to pee... and pee... and pee! I definitely needed help getting up off the couch and chair, but mostly just my partner's arm to hoist myself up. I did a lot of walking around the house so that I wouldn't stiffen up (I have lower back problems usually - but the Tylenol took care of that too) and so that the gas would move around.

The only thing I'm still unsure about is exactly what I've had removed/done. I havent spoken to my doctor yet, but hopefully will on Monday. I was told she would make two incisions: one directly under my bellybutton and one over the left ovary, but I've got 4 incisions!!! The other ones are over my right ovary and above my pelvic bone, where the line is (the fat fold lol). I'm really curious about why I've got the extra 2 incisions and it's driving me a bit crazy not knowing, but I'm sure if there was anything bad she would have called me by now.

The gas pains weren't TOO bad, but they were annoying so I took people's advice on here and took Gas-X which really worked great. My doc said not to use a heating pad  because it might start the incisions bleeding again.

On Wednesday I was moving around a bit better and was taking one Tylenol every 4 hours (I didnt feel that I needed two). I slept a lot off and on and ate soup again as I didnt have much of an appetite. Wednesday night I attempted the stairs so I could sleep upstairs and was fine, but again had the same problem of needing to get up to pee quite often.

Thursday I had a shower which felt great, and was moving around even better! I had a hamburger but it didn't sit very well. I think I ate it too fast, but I was ok. On Friday I FINALLY went to the bathroom :)  My partner went back to work on Friday and I was able to move around the house just fine on my own with very LITTLE pain at all!

Basically from Thursday till today I can sit, stand, walk without feeling any pain. The only time I feel slight discomfort is when I'm trying to get into a good seated or lying-down position, but that goes away very quickly. I've had a little vaginal bleeding, but not much and I think it has stopped now. I just wonder if my period will still show up on Tuesday as scheduled?

Another thing I find odd is I weighed myself before surgery and was 139.5 lbs. After surgery I was (and still am) 144.5 lbs. I can't image 5 lbs of gas in there, so I wonder where the extra weight has come from? I hope my doc isn't missing any instruments or her iPhone LOL

All in all, this experience was 100x better than I thought it would be. I was soooooooo scared and nervous about it, all for nothing! I work in my home office at a PC so I'll probably start working again on Monday, taking a break to walk around/relax every hour or so. If I worked outside of the home, I think I'd probably take another week off.

I am really grateful for all the advice and kindness I've found from you and others here. It made everything so much easier knowing what to expect! And another thing I've learned is that scheduled surgery is relaxing and calm and they take time to talk to you and smile and answer your questions and make you feel comfortable. They don't rush you around like in the ER.

Fizzy
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Fizzy, I'm glad you are doing so well! You definitely have me beat in terms of the pain and nausea. Right after surgery, I had really bad pain and had to pee as well so you can imagine how I felt. The nurse asked my pain level and I had a hard time coming up with a number I felt so bad. I have to say mine was about a 6.

I had 4 incisions as well. Two near my ovaries, one through my belly button and one long 4 1/2 inch one near my pubic bone. So you are not alone in the number of incisions. My doctor told me after the surgery what he did, but I was in such a twilight state then. Hopefully, you will get all the details when you see your doctor. I do not understand why some doctors are so stingy with information.

I am glad to hear you didn't have a reaction to the anesthesia as I did. After reading your account of your day of surgery, you are really a brave person! You were really fearful, but you went through it anyway! Now it's all downhill from here. You will be amazed at how soon you will be back to your old self.
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Thanks outdoorsgirl! After the surgery I asked the nurse if I could speak to the doctor but she said the doctor never speaks to the patient after surgery (unless its something important) because of that twilight state. I only remember half of what the nurse told me, so she's right. Did you ever find out the reason for 4 incisions later?

I was lucky re the anesthesia but I did ask for something for the nausea and told them about my fear of throwing up. I ate very plain food the night before too.

I'm not really a brave person at all though. I had the surgery because of the fear of having the cyst twist (as other people have said) and land me in the ER, or to have it grow so big that I'd need open surgery. It was fear and fear of the unknown that made me get the surgery, and I wanted to get rid of the anxiety attacks! LOL

I weighed myself again just now and 4 of the 5 extra lbs have gone, so I guess it really was just swelling/gas etc. I'm not attempting real clothes for a while though. I bought 4 pairs of large black drawstring sleep pants at Walmart (which look enough like Yoga pants to go outside in) before the surgery and extra large undies (or maybe I should call them uglies!)  that go wayyyyyyyyy up past my waist lol  I look like Steve Erkle but I'm comfortable :)

Fizzy
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One more thing I forgot to mention! After the surgery, I found my front tooth is slightly chipped :( I'm assuming this is from them being a bit rough with the breathing tube? It's the last thing I expected to find, but if that's the worst thing that happened, I'm pretty happy with it!
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Well, I am glad to hear everything went great. The doctor crushed my lip and really scraped my throat when he tubed me. My lip was swollen for days and I lost my voice for a bit. They really need to watch that. Next time I will make it a point to tell them to watch it. Chipping a tooth is just carelessness on their part.

You could have had up to five incisions. I only ended up with three. My doctor explained the whole thing at my appointment a week later to take the stitches out. He talked to my mom the day of surgery. I wouldn't have remembered. The main one on your belly button is to put the main scope and pump in the gas. The others are for various tools they use. Depending on where they need to go and how much they need to do, they add more tools and holes.

I am still waiting for my pictures. I think they forgot, so I called them on Friday.

They also pump you full of fluid and you retain some more until your body gets back in line. I went up 7 pounds. It came off a couple days later.

I am still having pains at random, mostly at night. Probably because of my side sleeping. This was indeed the easiest surgery I've had. Not that I ever want it again. Just remember not to overdo it. I did a couple of times and regretted it. I also started working out again today. I really needed it.
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Just wanted to say thanks for your postings. I am going to have a laparoscopy in 2 weeks to remove a dermoid cyst and I am scared out of my mind. Reading your account is quite comforting, although I am still jittery. Also I know in your original post you were worried about losing the ovary. I may have missed your update on that part further down the page, but what happened there? Was your doc able to save the ovary?
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Thanks Para... that's good to know re the number of incisions as I STILL havent spoken to my doc yet!

The fluid makes sense now. I was peeing like crazy. I'm back to my normal weight again, tho I've been eating lots of comfort food so I have a feeling I'll be putting on a pound or two lol

I'm able to sleep on my side ok now, but changing positions in my sleep wakes me up slightly. Last night I lay on my left side and put two huge, heavy pillows behind my bum and upper back so that I couldnt roll, and I got a really good sleep.

My partner took me shopping yesterday just for an hour, but I think it was too much. I didnt carry anything, but there was a lot of walking involved. I felt a little sore in the evening, but seem ok again today. I find that if I change positions throughout the day, I have less discomfort (e.g. sit in one chair for 30-60 mins, lie down for 30-60 mins, another chair for 30-60 mins, with a walk around the house in between).

Working out! I hope you're not overdoing it. I was going to Curves, but stopped in August. Curves workouts can be really intense around the abs area, so I got them to put me on medical hold till April. I'll hopefully get on the treadmill after Xmas though.
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HI sandie,

I'm glad my postings have helped a little. I think everyone on here can tell you not to worry, and your family and friends can tell you not to worry, and you'll probably agree with them that you shouldn't worry, but you're still going to worry somewhat.

The surgery really was a breeze. The hospital I went to does 2-3 of the same operation every day, so it's good to know it's very common.

I still don't know about the ovary because my doc hasn't phoned me yet. I'm going to call her office first thing this morning and tell them I really really want to know what parts I have left!

One thing I'd suggest is, when you get home after surgery take some pain meds and don't forget to drink water or juice. I got tired of getting up to pee and got a little dehydrated (and I still had to keep peeing anyway!) I also read in someone's post on here that Vitamin C helps speed up internal healing.

You might not need the meds, but I figured it was better not to find out that day. They helped me sleep for a few hours, which I think was the best thing to do. I ended up only needing one pill instead of two, and am still taking two a day (one in the morning and one before bed). I think I'll try not taking any today though, just to get my bowels back to normal lol

I'll post back once I hear some info from my doc.
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I just heard from my doctor (finally!) She said she removed one 7cm cyst from my left ovary which had a lot of adhesions, but she was able to save the ovary :)  She also got the pathology back and said its BENIGN! :) :) :)  I would do a happy dance but I think it might hurt a little!

NOW I can truly relax and heal! :)

Fizzy <--- doing a happy dance in her head
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