Health, Life, Personal

My Bilateral Salpingectomy Journey

One month ago today, I made a huge change in my life. On June 12th, I had a laparoscopic bilateral salpingectomy with Nexplanon removal done.  The decision to do so didn’t come lightly. In order for me to tell you the exact reasons as to why and it make any kind of sense, I have to take you back to 2015.

What Led Me To Make This Choice

4 years ago I ran into some high blood pressure issues. I was on one of the many hormonal birth control pills out there. My dr had me try the lowest dose my insurance would cover but it wasn’t helping any. The HBP issues remained. She figured my body was sensitive to the hormones. So we discussed non-hormonal options and I decided to get the Paragard. It’s supposed to be a form of birth control that has no hormones and last for 10 years. After having it in for a year and running into several problems, I had enough. I couldn’t bear it any longer.

We discussed the next step which would be either the Nexplanon implant or having my tubes tied. So not knowing at the time whether I wanted more kids, I decided on the Nexplanon. The first few months I had it everything was fine. Then out of nowhere, I started having problems. Period pains so horrible it felt worse than natural childbirth. Blood clots coming out of me that were the size of softballs. Constant headaches so bad that OTC medicines were useless. Even suicidal thoughts that came out of nowhere one day while I was standing at my kitchen sink doing dishes. I wasn’t myself in any kind of way with the Nexplanon. What I experienced wasn’t normal by any means.

I waited it out for 6 months but things didn’t get any better. So in April of this year at my annual lady visit, I told my dr I couldn’t take having the Nexplanon anymore. That I wanted to take the next step and have my tubes completely removed. She didn’t fight me on it at all because she knew if the Nexplanon didn’t work out for me that this would be the next and final step.

Of course, there were other reasons why I chose this. With my overall health issues, things currently going on in my life and the fact that I wish I could throw my ovaries in front of oncoming traffic, I knew this was what I needed to do for myself and my sanity. What made it even better for me is my husband supported whatever decision I decided to make.

I’d like to mention that I have tried every form of BC available and none of them worked out for me. I ended up pregnant 4 times throughout my life and made sure to use each correctly.

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What Is A Bilateral Salpingectomy?

Complete removal of both fallopian tubes. 0% chance of getting pregnant and reduces ovarian cancer by 60%.

Consultation/Pre-Op

My dr had me sign a form at my annual visit which gave me a 30 day grief period to ensure this is what I wanted and that I would not regret my decision later on. This was also considered my consult appointment. She had me come back in on June 3rd for pre-op. All I did at that appt is fill out a paper for the anesthesiologist and sign the form stating what surgery I would have done. Surgery date was scheduled for June 12th with an arrival time of 8 am. Nothing to eat or drink after midnight.

Surgery Day

I’d just like to state that this was my first ever surgery. I was nervous about it a few weeks beforehand but I was cool as a cucumber the day of. What made me nervous wasn’t the surgery itself but the thought of being put under. After getting over my nervousness, I was pretty excited about my surgery taking place at the new local hospital — Bayhealth Sussex Campus. Yay!

Anyway, the day arrived and we were at the hospital by 7:45 am. My arrival time was 8 but they called me back before then. The nurse weighed me, had me provide a urine sample so they could test to make sure I wasn’t pregnant and then given a small room in day surgery. I changed into a gown and was asked a bunch of health questions. Then another nurse came in and placed an IV in my arm. The anesthesiologist stopped in to meet with me and introduce himself.  He also asked me some questions. After that, it was pretty much a waiting game. My surgery was supposed to happen that morning sometime (I was never given an official time) but the surgery ahead of mine ran into some complications.

Once my dr met with me, I knew it was getting close. My memories before the surgery were me being rolled into the operating room, moving over to the operating table on my own, a mask being placed over my face, someone telling me to take deep breaths and after that, I was out.  My surgery lasted less than an hour but in my mind, it felt like I had fallen asleep one second and woken up the next.

I woke up in the PACU with a big smile on my face. I remember the nurse who took care of me saying that she wished more people would come out of surgery with a huge smile on their face. 🙂 All I remember feeling in my groggy state was a tiny bit of pain in my belly button area. Three tiny incisions were made; 1 in my belly button, 1 on my right side abdomen and the other on the left side. They were covered with surgical glue. My pain level was 4 out of 10. After being in the PACU for a half-hour, I was sent back to my day surgery room where they kept an eye on me for a bit. My IV was removed and I got dressed on my own. I was also required to pee before I left just to make sure everything with my bladder was ok.

At 3 pm, I was discharged and very much ready to go home. I was not allowed to drive. They recommended that I eat a light diet for the first 24 hours. I was not allowed to lift anything over 5 lbs for 2 weeks. I was also not allowed to submerge myself in water of any kind or shower for 48 hours. I was scheduled to see my dr in 2 weeks for a post-op appt.

Recovery

Recovery at home was interesting. My husband and I had originally thought that I would be out of commission for a week.  Turns out it was only for a couple of days. The first two days were painful. I was given Percocet to take if my pain was above a 5 but below a 10 and Ibuprofen 800mg if it were above a 3 but not a 5. I took 1 Percocet the first night to help with the pain from my incisions, the pain in my shoulders from the gas they used to blow up my belly during surgery and so it could help me sleep. The next day I took an Ibuprofen 800mg. After that, I didn’t have to take anything. The entire time I was able to move around on my own although the first few days my husband insisted on helping me which I appreciated a lot considering we have stairs in our home. By day 3, I was feeling great. I was shocked at how fast I could feel a difference not having the Nexplanon anymore.

Sleeping was a bit of a bummer for me. I am a belly sleeper and it was hard not being able to sleep on it for 3 weeks without feeling pain or tenderness from my belly button area. My husband also insisted that he sleep on the couch that way he didn’t accidentally hit my belly. It was hard sleeping in our bed alone. What did help me sleep though was using a body pillow.

The surgical glue from my abdominal incisions fell off within a week. By day 10, the glue on my belly button was off but sitting in my belly button. It was shocking to see that the incision there was so small that you really have to look in order to see it.

Post Op Appt

On June 25th, I went to see my dr so she could check my incisions and see how I was feeling. She said my incisions were healing nicely and we discussed the results of my fallopian tubes which she had tested. Turns out one of them was damaged (chronic salpingitis) and the other had a cyst which came back benign. So it begs the question now as to whether the damaged one could have been the cause as to why my cramps during my period have been so severe and whether it stemmed from an abortion, childbirth or usage of 2 different IUDs. The pain didn’t start until after the Paragard so I’m thinking that was the cause.

She also gave me the green light to have sexual intercourse again but said to be careful in the pool and not do anything vigorous like swimming as my abdominal area isn’t fully recovered yet.

 

To Recommend or Not To Recommend?

I highly recommend it but only for those who feel they will benefit from it and those who are 100% sure they don’t want kids or more kids. Once you have it done there is no going back. With a bilateral salpingectomy, the only way to get pregnant ever again is via IVF.

One Month Update

I am feeling great. I am content with my decision and feel that it was the best choice I could make for myself and my health. I’m not quite sure how the next couple of months will go period wise but I am prepared to face whatever my body throws at me before she hopefully mellows out. I will be upfront and say that it’s nice being able to have sex now and not have to worry about getting pregnant. Getting sterilized does have its benefits. 😉

 

I plan to post a 6 month and 1-year update, so be sure to come back and check those out in the future or subscribe. <3

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