Mum's Surgery (70)

My Mum aged 70 has had her 4 rounds of chemo and then went in for surgery on Monday

Mum had a sub total hysterectomy, womb, tubes and ovaries, not the cervix. Also they removed the omentum. She only lost 200ml of blood during the op which is very low apparently. She now has to wait for the results from histology to determine what they do next with regard to chemo. Mum had been out of bed most of the day and walked across the ward, they are removing the catheter tomorrow, also the plaster and some of the staples. I think she is on track for coming home on Friday but had been warned this was a major op and she will have to take it easy,

Is a sub total hysterectomy a normal course with OC?

Any help / advise would be much appreciated.



8 Replies

  • It's exactly the same op that I had, by the sound of it, Sue. Your Mum is doing very well from your description. I was allowed home on the third day (I was nearly 20 yrs younger than your Mother), but suffered badly from nausea for the first few days at home - and from recurring thrush! Otherwise recovery was quite good, especially once the staples were removed, but I did feel as if I'd walked into a window from rime to time, and all my energy just went very suddenly - so be prepared for that.

    I presume that at least your Mum won't have the aggressive menopause to deal with!

    Hoping she gets really good results and all is plain sailing from now on. I think it is the recovery from chemo that takes the longest time. I only now feel something like fully recovered 18 months after the end of my treatment.

    Very best wishes,


  • Isadora,

    Thank you for your reply, Mum has had 4 rounds of Carboplatin leading up to the surgery, they say she responded well to that. The surgery was her decision as the surgeon said it was a very grey area and would /could not advise her what to do. I was surprised that they did not remove the cervix as Mum has had 2 lots of laser treatment there for borderline changes over 10 years ago.

    You say about the menopause, Mum started hers in her 40's was on HRT for over 17yrs and still has hot flushes, she was hoping these would stop now since everything has been removed but from what I have read I think she may still get them.

    How long after your surgery did you start chemo again?

    Thanks again,


  • Hi Sue,

    Just to add to youir comment about when would your mum start her chemo again. (I am a Gynae Nurse specialist). Your mum should start her chemo again about 6 to 8 weeks post surgery. the reason for this is that your mum needs to recover first from her surgery. I would expect your mum to have a further 2 cycles of chemo and then they should assess her with a CT scan. She should then go on to follow up every 3 months.

    Hope that explains some things and it sounds that your mum is making a good recovery

    Best wishes


  • Helen,

    Thank you for your reply, I wanted to check with regard to the chemo as so far nothing that other people have said/had seems to apply to my Mum. Nearly everyone I have had contact with on any of the forums say she should have had a specilist nurse assigned to her from the beginning of her treatment plan, to date still no specilist nurse has been assigned. I have seen other people say exactly what they have, where they have it, grade etc but Mum has not been given this information in that much depth, so she feels as if they are keeping something from her. No one seems to want to talk to her, I know doctors/nurses are very busy people but sometimes the fear of something actually causes more stress. Although Mum probably would not understand all they tell her I try to be with her at these appointments to take notes so we can go away and try to uderstand, 2 heads being better than one.


  • Hi Sue,

    I'm not sure why your mum hasn't been assigned a specialist nurse, as she should have one. You may have to check with the ward she is on and ask them. Alternativley, if you want to let me know what hospital she is at- I can locate a gynae nurse for you?

    Regarding the grade and stage of your mums cancer. When any patient has chemo upfront- it is difficult to assess where the cancer is i.e ovarian cancer - it could be peritineal cancer or ovarian cancer (they are both similar anyway).

    You will find out the stage and grade of the cancer when you come back to clinic to get your mum's results- which is normally 4 weeks post surgery.

    Depending on the stage of cancer then - I would normally ensure that your mum has support in the community i.e district nurse or community macmillan nurse. I would discuss about benefits with her.

    Hope this is of some help


  • I started chemo (I had not had any pre surgery as my surgeon looked at my scan and was confident that he had a good chance of getting both my tumours - on both ovaries- out at the beginning) 6 weeks after surgery, and had 6 cycles of carboplatin. I refused the Taxol(?) combination as I felt strongly that my surgery had been successful and the chemo was only an insurance policy which I felt a bit bullied into by the Doctors and my family/friends. I was 53, and moderately fit.

    I had not started the menopause, and have had horrible hot flushes since - but hopefully your Mother's will be resolved by the surgery.

    She should have been assigned a Specialist Nurse, and I am so sorry she has not. Is there a Macmllan group locally - they would provide the support and information she will need?

    Do get hold of David Servan-Schrieber's book 'AntiCancer; a new Way of Life' to help her too. It's an inspiring story, and helps to make decisions about how to avoid recurrence.

  • Helen

    Mum went home yesterday after her op on Monday, I stayed overnight to make sure she and my step father were managing okay, and will be back again in a few days time.

    One thing I read on the paper work she was sent home with, it mentioned "obliteration of the pouch of douglas"

    Can you advise exactly what this is and what it means please? I have tried to google it but could not find anything.

    Thank you


  • Hi Sue,

    I hope things are going well for your mum (and you!).

    There is an explanation of the pouch of douglas at

    New to me!


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