Risk Reduction operation

Hi All, I was on a few months back explaining that I was scheduled to have the above. I now have my hospital date , the 30th May. My mam had breast Cancer when she was 62 and she had a breast removed, a small bit of radiam and she got all the all clear, then when she was 68 she got ovarian cancer , fought so hard for two years with it and sadly passed away in October 2012. Mam had a hysterectomy when she was 42 but back then they left the ovaries there and just removed her womb. After mam died I was always at the back of my mind a bit worried so last year I went to see a genetics doctor in the mater hospital in Dublin and to cut a long story short I was advised that I would need to act based on the history in my family, I was told that with or without the gene test I would need to do something for myself, so after consultations etc.. I am now having a full hysterectomy, I am 44 years old, I am blessed with two children and I don't want to gamble with may or may not happen. I will then after the operation have the gene test done to safeguard my children, I have a daughter aged 19 and a son aged 11. My question to anyone out there who may have had a full hysterectomy as removal of womb, ovaries, cervix and tubes, what is the aftermath like, how do I prepare for the menopause, can I buy cream or medication so that I can start preparing myself, I have heard horror stories etc, just need a bit of clarification to be honest, can anyone help. thanks so much kaz xx

19 Replies

  • Hi Alanadan,  You have have a tough time but I feel you are doing the right decision for you.  Post surgery and hrt I cant help with as was older when having my op.  However, I suggest you treat yourself to some nice nighties, and pj and slippers.  Bring hand cream and vaseline for your lips.   Ipod or personal cd player to listen to your favourite music if you are unable to concentrate on reading.     You will be moved back to your ward after 24 hours or shorter.   They will start to get you up and about and every day you will feel stronger.  When back at home, take it easy and do not lift anything heavier than a cuppa.  If you can get up and walk about the kitchen dining room or garden every so often and then progress outside the gate, small steps at a time.  I wish you the very best for this surgery.  I hope someone will answer you regarding hrt etc, if not do contact your gynae liason nurse as they are usually full of advice and also kind

  • ah thank you so much Suzuki, I really appreciate your advice and your help. now that I have the date, I am nervous and a little scared too I suppose. If my mam never had of had ovarian cancer , I would be none the wiser but now I feel its the best thing for me, every twinge I get in my back or tummy, I panic a little inside, I am a replicate of my mam in a lot of ways so just since she passed always had the fear. please god it all goes well and over in no time and I will be able to face the menopause, that has me a little unsure. hope you are keeping well too. xxxx

  • Hi, I had a full hysterectomy , removal of ovemtum and appendix on March 8th this year. I found a site called HysterSisters (US based but women all over the world on it). You join a group of women all having surgery over the same week or 10'days and that site was brilliant. Lots of hints and tips, a place to ask questions, to share progress, is this normal? Is anyone else feeling X Or y?  Have a look, it was so so useful. 

    Surgery went well, hospital was great although I was allergic to the painkillers and ended up on a drip. Catheter was no problem. 

    Tajke a mobile phone and charger plays book or e reader.

    Once home get loads of pillow and surround yourself in bed with them. If you cough or sneeze hold a pillow over your wound to help. Stay in bed as long as you need, I didn't get out for about 4 days. Wear loose comfy clothes. Don't do any lifting or any housework. Drink loads of water, squash etc. 

    It is painful afterwards but suddenly it's manageable! Take it easy, look after yourself and have a look at HysterSisters. 

    Clare X 

  • hi Clare, many thanks for the reply and all the useful information, really appreciate that so much. Can I ask if you have started to go through the menopause and if so what are the symptons like for you. I will have a look at that site you gave me. Many thanks for sharing your story with me. kazxx

  • Hi Kaz, i was already in the menapause and experiencing hot flushes before my Op, still have some but not as bad as before. I still sleep with a towel on my pillow as I have for 2 years as flushes at night were my problem! Looking forward to them going! My main symptoms were the hot flushes, it didnt matter what the external temp was as my internal body temp went 0 to 60 in seconds, I had a nurse say to me "it must be awful when its sunny" - it didnt make any difference because YOU are hot . It will be fine


  • hi Choski, thank you for your message and for the advice, it all helps so much to hear stories back about how other ladies have got through the operation and the menopause. I hope you are doing good and your health too. thank you for taking the time to reply to me. I will keep in touch . kazxx

  • Hello Alandan,

    I had the surgery you had late last year removal of everything essentially. I am 45 so also had read the stories about menopause etc and had myself worked into a bit of a state about the symptoms etc! I got over the surgery quickly I had mine done laparoscopically so it was an easier recovery. I have not experienced any significant symptoms of menopause so far aside from some minor hot flushes and some sweats but I had Chemo as well so some of that may be down to Chemo. I am finished Chemo about 5 weeks and so far only a few hot flushes so not sure if it will continue like that or not! In short I have been well able to manage so far and all my worrying and anxiety over it has come to nothing! It may be that it hasn't kicked in yet because of the chemo or I may be one of the lucky ones who doesn't experience the extreme of symptoms!!! 

    Hope this helps and best of luck!!! 


  • Hi there, thanks ever so much for your message and the helpful information too. The surgeons are hoping to do mine by keyhole surgery so that  end of it should be fine.  Hope you are doing okay after your chemo and your health is improving. thanks for replying to me, will keep you updated . kazxx

  • Hi Kaz, I had full hysterectomy in 2007 and had absolutely no pain afterwards.  I was able to get out of bed next morning and walk around.  So everybody is different and hopefully it will be easy for you too.  I was 49 and had not been through the menopause at that stage and I have never experienced any symptoms in the 9 years since.  I have ways taken flax seeds with breakfast and people tell me they are good for some people to reduces hot flushes.  Good luck with the surgery and I think you are doing the right thing.  Prevention is much better than dealing with OC.

  • ah many thanks for your reply. God that is brilliant that you did so well after the operation. I haven't had a chance to talk to any of the nurses in the mater about the aftermath and menopause and all of that. I suppose I will just have to wait and see after the operation. Many thanks for taking the time to reply to me and yes I agree , prevention is the best thing. thanks . kaz xx

  • Hi I'm 2 week post op for ovary and Fallopian tube removal.There is strong family history of breast and ovarian cancer in our family and I have had several cysts.The genetic test for us thankfully came back negative but I still decided to go ahead with surgery as every time I got a cyst I dreaded it would be ovarian cancer.

    I don't regret my decision  I know it will give me peace of mind.Before surgery I start homeopathic remedies as I cannot take HRT and will continue with that, the hot flushes are pretty bad but I'm confident that they will improve.

    Good luck with your surgery worrying is perfectly normal but for me it's not been as bad as I imagined x

  • ah many thanks Wendy, what homeopathic remedy's did you use as I don't think I can take HRT either. Thanks for all your advice, I really appreciate it so much xx I hope you are doing good and on the road to recovery xx

  • Hi I saw a homeopathic doc before surgery and she has reassured me that there is no reason why she can't help not really sure what I'm taking as there is several tablets some to help me recover from surgery and some for menopause symptoms but I'm hopeful it will help.Also I've started wearing the lady care magnet as I've read great reviews.

    Every day I feel a bit better as I got myself in a bit of a state researching the negatives of having no ovaries but as my doc said the positives of peace of mind will out weigh the negatives.

    For me HRT isn't an option so I will try the natural and healthy eating option.

    Take care and keep in touch I've found talking to others in the same boat really reassuring x

  • Hi wendy, Many thanks for your reply and advice, really appreciate and you are right talking to others is so helpful.  what is the lady care magnet do you mind me asking. where do you buy it.  I think your doctor is right all the positives of peace of mind definitely do outweigh the negatives.  I will keep in touch with you for sure and when its all over I will message you ok. On the day I am having my operation, my 19 year old daughter is receiving her wings for flying with aerlingus as cabin crew, just so proud of her. xxxx

  • Hi you can buy the lady care magnet in boots or on Amazon, it's suppose to help with menopause symptoms and I really hoping that it works as I think the reality of surgical menopause has kicked in and the hot sweats are really awful, there are lots of reviews on Amazon and lots of women find its really helped so really hoping it will work for me too.

    Hope all goes well for you and yes you must be very proud of your daughter x

  • Hi Kaz, firstly I am sorry that you lost your mum to this horrible disease.  Secondly I definitely think you are doing the right thing being proactive.  

    I was 53 when I went through surgery. I hadn't had the menopause.  It was about 3 weeks later on my first chemo that I suddenly felt very hot, my daughter was with me and she got the nurse as we thought it was a reaction to the chemo.  A Dr was called, lots of checks, conclusion, no reaction, a hot flush.  Sorry that was a bit long winded.

    My tip, don't drink anything with caffeine in it. If you can drink decaffeinated green tea, it takes a while to get a taste for it but I can't drink ordinary tea now.  Lots of water too.

    The biggest thing I have noted is at night.  I used to love to snuggle up under the duvet, now however, I spend more time out of the duvet, even in the midst of winter.  I feel sorry for my poor husband as I tend yo fling my side of the duvet over him lol.

    I was taken back to my ward after surgery.  I had a cathetar in.  I was kept in bed the day following surgery but the next day they got me up to the side of the bed and once the cathetar save out, they start walking  you. Nighties until the cathetar comes out and then PJs.  Try and drink lots of water too. I had an epudurazl for pain relief so discuss that with your anesthetist when he/she comes to see youy after admission. 

    Good luck Kaz, try not to worry and let us know how you get on. Ann xo

  • Hi ann, Thank you so much for your lovely message and for the information provided, I hope you are doing good and your health is good too. I will most definitely let you know once everything is over and how I am doing. thank you so much for all your advice, I really appreciate it so much xxkazxx

  • Hi Alanadan,

    I have just recently had a total hysterectomy on 15th of April. Mine was done by laparotomy due to a large abdominal mass. The ladies have all given you sound advice and the only thing I would add (to drinking lots and using a cushion when coughing/sneezing and also under the seat belt in the car) is that the biggest problem I had was my bowels. Gentle walking and drinking prune juice have remedied this thank god. I was also post menopausal so I had already been through the change but I will PM you with regard to how I coped with hot flashes etc. Best wishes for the upcoming surgery. 


  • ah thank you so much for your reply and your advice  Murt, really appreciate it so much. I hope you are doing good and life and health is all well too. xx

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