Three weeks post op today. Over the weekend, I received my operative and pathology reports from the CEC. It helped a lot to clarify what had been done, and the extent of disease. I knew some things from our immediate talk with Dr. Sinervo after the surgery, but I like to know all the details.
My operative report indicated post operative diagnoses of: endometriosis, adhesions, adenomyosis and retroperitoneal fibrosis. I was curious about the last one, but kept reading the report. Procedures done were excision of endometriosis, lysis of adhesions, ovariolysis, ureterolysis, laparoscopic supracervical hysterectomy and left salpingo-oophorectomy.
The first thing noted on my report was that the uterus was 8 week size. Pre-op, Dr. Sinervo said on exam that it was enlarged, but his description from the op report put it at the size of an 8 week pregnancy. Had my uterus been left, this would only continue to have grown and increased in pain. He described the uterus as “boggy” and “globular”, both terms I’d read which describe adenomyosis. As I again looked at the photo of my uterus and compared it to the photo from my first surgery a year and a half ago, the difference in the shape was amazing and very clear to me that adenomyosis was a problem and I was glad to be rid of it.
He staged my endometriosis at Stage II, which is classified as mild. It’s amazing how a “mild” case can cause so much pain, which was anything but! The amount of endometriosis does not always correlate to the level of pain or other symptoms one experiences. Any stage of endo, from I to IV, can either cause no pain or symptoms or a lot of pain or symptoms. I hope that someday endo can either be cured or else prevented. In spite of being mild, my operative report indicated that I had extensive endometriosis along the left pelvic sidewall and uterosacral ligaments, as well as an area on my right pelvic sidewall, and the sigmoid mesentery (bowel). All of the endometriosis was identified and excised.
In addition, my left ovary and tube was densely adhered to the pelvic wall. It was freed up, and removed, as I indicated earlier, to prevent a recurrence of the adhesions or any further pain. I read in the pathology report that the left ovary contained a hemorrhagic cyst. I’m wondering if every time I was ovulating on the left side, the functional cysts would bleed and cause pain. This was the third instance of a bleeding cyst (or, in the case of my previous surgery, an endometrioma)…so I was more than happy to be rid of that ovary if it was going to continue to cause pain. I hadn’t had such problems with the right ovary and the operative report indicated it was normal.
The next section of the operative report indicated dense retroperitoneal fibrosis surrounding my left ureter. I looked it up and it is a dense, fibrous “woody” tissue that grows in the retroperitoneal space, usually affecting the ureters. I found that it is a rare disease, and was more surprised to find it usually affects more men than women – and men who are older. I didn’t fit into the disease profile, but that was just my luck. I was pretty upset about this as I read about retroperitoneal fibrosis, thinking I had yet another problem which would not go away, but plague me and continue to worsen. I was pretty upset and found it difficult to stay calm. I put a call in to Dr. Sinervo’s office, but he was away until next week. I’d have to calm down, be patient and wait. I tried not to let this upset me, but it was difficult. I kept reminding myself that Dr. Sinervo said I have a 95% chance of no further problems.
Thank goodness, my bowel pain is subsiding now. It hurts a lot less, so I know I’m on the better side of healing. As far as post-op spotting, today is the first day it lightened up, in color and in heaviness.
Today I am going to go back to work part time, and work the rest of the time from home. I am very fortunate to have a wonderful employer which allows me this flexibility. I got to work and my desk was decorated with streamers, balloons, confetti and candy with a big sign welcoming me back, signed by many of my co-workers. At 9:00, I got paged to go downstairs (which never happens, so I was curious why I was needed to hobble down the stairs), and to my surprise there was a welcome back reception for me, with pastry, juice and coffee – I was very surprised and flattered. I was told by everyone, including the partners, to take it easy and only come in as I felt comfortable. I really was pleased with everything, and felt relieved, because at three weeks post-op, I was only OK to be sitting at my desk for half a day. I brought my desk chair from home because the back reclined, and I used pillows to soften the seat, and kept my feet raised. I still tire easily, so at home I’m resting a lot when I get home.