Weight Loss the Major Surgery Way

April 3, 2011

I lost a few pounds this week. I went into the hospital last Tuesday morning for womb removal service, otherwise known as a hysterectomy. I’ve been looking forward to it for quite some time, given that the alternative I’d been living with (namely, carrying around a 7 cm tumor and all the side effects that go with that) was not a desirable way of life.

I’d never had any body parts surgically removed before, and can’t remember the last time I was a patient in a hospital (I think to have my wisdom teeth removed when I was 16, do teeth count as body parts?) so I learned a lot of new things. In case you have a hospital stay in the future, here are some tips:

  1. Don’t hesitate to ask about anything and everything. Even if you’ve asked it before: The drugs make you a little forgetful.
  2. Forget about forgetfulness, take the drugs! Love that Patient Controlled Analgesia (PCA) clicker – it’s a great thing.
  3. The drugs stop you up. Really, really, really try to “go” before you have the surgery. You’ll be really glad you did. Really.
  4. They pump your abdomen full of gas to get plenty of room to maneuver around with the laparoscopic and surgical instruments. It doesn’t go away quickly. You shouldn’t freak out when you wake up literally looking (and feeling) like you are seven months pregnant.
  5. Don’t expect to get a lot of rest in the hospital unless you have a private room. And then, don’t expect to get much more.
  6. Liquid diets really are liquid.
  7. Modesty doesn’t exist much behind that curtain.
  8. You feel really proud of yourself when your nurse tells you how proud she is of you… for walking down the hall and back at a snail’s pace. It’s a major event.
  9. Celebrate the major events: The oxygen removal, the PCA removal, the catheter removal (ouch!), the IV removal, the first sit, first stand, first walk, first pee, first… well, you get the idea. It’s the little things in life at this point.
  10. Let your friends be your friends and accept offers of help. It makes them feel good and it lets you focus on resting and recovering. Relax.

I didn’t know for sure that I would wake up having had the procedure laparoscopically. It could have been a lot more invasive. Dr. Joanne Vogel and her team were excellent and thanks to her my recovery will be a lot shorter and less painful. The nurses and staff and San Ramon Medical Center are wonderful. (Special thanks to Theresa in admitting, Deb in pre-op, and Ann, Veronica, Brooke, and Jan in maternity. Wonderful women all!)

I am going to use this event to cultivate some new health habits and re-establish some abandoned ones. I am going to use this recovery time to catch up on some reading and writing and planning, and lots and lots of quiet time. I am going to celebrate when my tummy is flat again. If you want to lose some weight, I don’t recommend major surgery, but you take it how you can get it, right?  🙂



  1. Yes I guess we do take the weight loss however we can get it, but you went to the extreme. I hope you are feeling better and thanks for the great advice. I too have only had my teeth removed other than some cysts and those aren’t body parts. I realize we have a little more in common each time I find something new out about you.

    • Indeed! Hoping this is good for at least 10 lbs… 🙂 Ad isn’t the internet wonderful? SO glad for new friends!

  2. Amy! You had your yutey yanked! You go, girl! I’ve been wanting to do that for a LOOONG time! But NOOOOO! All I had was a mangy eblation and the ovary removed! Of course, I don’t have a 7 pound tumor there either. Oh, wait — you lost 7 pounds? No! It was 7 cm! I get it now! Well, my growths occur in my brain, and are almost quite as large! I have a 6cm cyst on my cerebellum. Now you know what I am so dizzy all the time.

    I’m sooo very glad you came through this ordeal famously. I would love to be able to chat face to face regarding it sometime in the near future. I guess we could talk about other stuff, too, but only if we want to.

    And, I am proud of you, too!

    • YOU are SO funny! Yes, let’s talk soon. Come over. We can sit out back in the sun and talk about which other useless body parts we want removed most.

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