This week I underwent a gynaecological procedure called an endometrial ablation.
Without going into too much detail, it was because I had been having really heavy periods to the point that it was difficult to function and no medication made any difference to the pain or flow.
My gynaecologist advised that this procedure should help with this ( and with the endometriosis that causes the problems) and it was pretty much this or a hysterectomy. At the age of 44, and with only 1 ovary, I thought I should try it.
The procedure itself was straight forward and uncomplicated and you can read more about the procedure here.
I had done a lot of research about this on the internet and most forums seemed to have entries by “super women” who say that they have had the procedure done and been back to work and back to normal the next day. I didn’t think this was realistic but there was little other information from more average women so I have decided to blog about it as I want people to realise that everyone reacts in different ways to general anaesthetic and surgery and healing takes time.
When I went for my pre-op assessment, the nurse told me to take it really easy for the first week, not to lift or move anything heavier than a coffee cup and no standing in one place for a long time. No cooking , vacuuming, shopping, walking the dogs etc.
My surgeon said the procedure of the diagnostic hysteroscopy and the endometrial ablation were routine and uncomplicated but still signed me off work for 2 weeks with advice for a phased return.
To date, I have felt okay after the general anaesthetic, the pain has been mainly from the gas used to inflate my womb to inspect it and the main symptom has been tiredness. I know if I have spent more time up and walking or standing than I should as I get really shaky and have to sit down immediately and have a biscuit and drink to recover.
I wanted to put this out there for those women contemplating the procedure. You won’t all be “super women” who can have the procedure and be right as rain the day after. It is a serious intervention and you need to allow your body the time to heal and ensure that you look after yourself. This will not happen in 2 days.
I have had some pain from the operation and wasn’t sent home with any pain relief but I am managing the pain at home with hot water bottles and over the counter paracetamol and codeine and ibuprofen. The pain is no where near as bad as those bad period pain days and I am hoping that those days will no longer be in my future as this procedure should make any future periods light and manageable.
Good luck if you are looking to have this procedure done. It’s early days for me at the moment but so far so good in my recovery. Just remember that we all recover at different rates and listen to your body. Don’t try and do too much too soon.
10/05/2014 just a quick update. I am about five weeks post-op and now back to work full time. I cannot stress enough of the need to listen to your body. I still get tired more quickly than usual and last week I felt awful. My abdomen was tender and I felt off colour and had dreadful night sweats. I managed to get a GP appointment quickly. I had an infection despite do I g everything that I was told to for best recovery. A week of 2 lots of antibiotics and painkillers and I can honestly say I am actually feeling more like my old self.