Just diagnosed with endometrial/uterine cancer and wondering about different surgery options

Options

I am hoping someone can give me some feedback on the type of surgery they had and their recovery experience. I am helping a friend who just got diagnosed to understand the options and be able to communicate more clearly with her doctor on what she feels might be best for her. She is very concerned about a traditional hysterectomy and would prefer laparoscopic. Can anyone give us some information? Thanks!

Comments

  • Kaleena
    Kaleena Member Posts: 2,088 Member
    Options
    There are pros and cons with

    There are pros and cons with each type and everyone here will probably give you different answers.   

    With traditional surgery, if they see something unusual, they can biopsy it on the spot or remove it.   Sometimes with the DaVinci method, if they find something, you may end up with a traditional surgery anyway.

    They say recovery is quicker with the DaVinci.   I had traditional - was in the hospital for 2-3 days and then the usual take it easy - no lifting.  I felt great by the end of the week.

    With the DaVinci, from what I hear, you feel great but you have a tendency to do more because you feel great.    Don't do it.  Still take it easy.

    No matter which surgery you have, you must start to walk as soon as possibe.   When you are given pain meds, it will cause constipation.   Walking and drinking water will help.

    Just remember - no matter which way you have it - its surgery.   Take care of yourself.

    I hope this helps.

    Kathy

  • Editgrl
    Editgrl Member Posts: 903 Member
    Options
    I had laparoscopic

    but it was not robotic.  Technical term is Laparoscopic Assisted Vaginal Hysterectomy, where everything is taken out through the vagina. Beforehand, my surgeon said that if he found something that he didn't expect once he got in there, he might have to open me up and do a traditional abdominal hysterectomy.  Fortunately, that wasn't the case.

    I was in the hospital for 2 nights.  The only reason I was in the second night was because I had a bit of nausea just before I was going to be released the day after surgery and they requested to keep me one more night. Recovery at home was pretty quick.  However, I did get tired easily for the first month or so and made myself rest or nap every afternoon.  The worst part for the first week or so post-op was the pain from the gas they pumped into me.  That was very uncomfortable.  I started to feel pretty normal 2 weeks post surgery and was dancing at 3 weeks afterwards.  

    Even with laparoscopic, it is major surgery and as such, is a trauma to your body.  Everyone responds to surgery differently. If your friend is in pretty good physical shape otherwise to begin with, it will probably be a faster and easier recovery.  

    And I totally echo Kaleena when it comes to walking.  At first it was hard, as the gas settled under my lungs and made me very short of breath.  However, the more I walked and moved around, the better it got.

    Also, make sure your friend has a gynecologic oncologist doing the surgery.

  • Lou Ann M
    Lou Ann M Member Posts: 996 Member
    Options
    I had a regular radical

    I had a regular radical hysterectomy.  My gym-onc wanted to be able to feel for small tumors.  I was in the hospital a little longer because my bowels kind of went to sleep and were slow at starting to work again.  I started chemo at 4 weeks and was back in my classroom at 5 weeks.  They had me sitting up at day 2 and walking soon after.  My incision heeled very quickly.  Hugs and prayers , Lou Ann

  • nads
    nads Member Posts: 6
    Options
    Kaleena said:

    There are pros and cons with

    There are pros and cons with each type and everyone here will probably give you different answers.   

    With traditional surgery, if they see something unusual, they can biopsy it on the spot or remove it.   Sometimes with the DaVinci method, if they find something, you may end up with a traditional surgery anyway.

    They say recovery is quicker with the DaVinci.   I had traditional - was in the hospital for 2-3 days and then the usual take it easy - no lifting.  I felt great by the end of the week.

    With the DaVinci, from what I hear, you feel great but you have a tendency to do more because you feel great.    Don't do it.  Still take it easy.

    No matter which surgery you have, you must start to walk as soon as possibe.   When you are given pain meds, it will cause constipation.   Walking and drinking water will help.

    Just remember - no matter which way you have it - its surgery.   Take care of yourself.

    I hope this helps.

    Kathy

    thank you!

    I really appreciate this information. My friend has been quite nervous about the traditional hysterectomy and really wants the Da Vinci, but knows it is not her decision. This is good news. How are you doing now? Has it recurred? 

  • nads
    nads Member Posts: 6
    Options
    Editgrl said:

    I had laparoscopic

    but it was not robotic.  Technical term is Laparoscopic Assisted Vaginal Hysterectomy, where everything is taken out through the vagina. Beforehand, my surgeon said that if he found something that he didn't expect once he got in there, he might have to open me up and do a traditional abdominal hysterectomy.  Fortunately, that wasn't the case.

    I was in the hospital for 2 nights.  The only reason I was in the second night was because I had a bit of nausea just before I was going to be released the day after surgery and they requested to keep me one more night. Recovery at home was pretty quick.  However, I did get tired easily for the first month or so and made myself rest or nap every afternoon.  The worst part for the first week or so post-op was the pain from the gas they pumped into me.  That was very uncomfortable.  I started to feel pretty normal 2 weeks post surgery and was dancing at 3 weeks afterwards.  

    Even with laparoscopic, it is major surgery and as such, is a trauma to your body.  Everyone responds to surgery differently. If your friend is in pretty good physical shape otherwise to begin with, it will probably be a faster and easier recovery.  

    And I totally echo Kaleena when it comes to walking.  At first it was hard, as the gas settled under my lungs and made me very short of breath.  However, the more I walked and moved around, the better it got.

    Also, make sure your friend has a gynecologic oncologist doing the surgery.

    Thanks for the info!

    Thanks so much for this info. I think my friend will definitely be up and moving fairly quickly as she is a personal trainer and spin/bootcamp teacher. The trick will be keeping her from doing too much, which is likelier I think with a surgery like this.

    Yes she has a gynecologic oncologist doing the surgery.

    How are you doing now?  

  • nads
    nads Member Posts: 6
    Options
    Lou Ann M said:

    I had a regular radical

    I had a regular radical hysterectomy.  My gym-onc wanted to be able to feel for small tumors.  I was in the hospital a little longer because my bowels kind of went to sleep and were slow at starting to work again.  I started chemo at 4 weeks and was back in my classroom at 5 weeks.  They had me sitting up at day 2 and walking soon after.  My incision heeled very quickly.  Hugs and prayers , Lou Ann

    thank you, Lou Ann!

    You had chemo as well? How are you doing now? 

  • Lou Ann M
    Lou Ann M Member Posts: 996 Member
    Options
    nads said:

    thank you, Lou Ann!

    You had chemo as well? How are you doing now? 

    I have stage 4 Serous

    I have stage 4 Serous Papilary endometrial andocarsinoma and it is very aggressive .  To date I have had 24 chemo treatments, 28 external radiation and 2 internal radiation treatments.  I have had two  periods of remission and am currently healing from surgery to remove a tumor that was I twined between my small intestines.  I will restart chemo in about a week.  All in all I have had many more good days than bad.  I have been able to live a fairly normal life.  God takes care of me and doesn't give me more than I can handle.  I am hoping for the best for your friend and remember everyone is different.  Hugs and prayers Lou Ann

  • Editgrl
    Editgrl Member Posts: 903 Member
    Options
    nads said:

    Thanks for the info!

    Thanks so much for this info. I think my friend will definitely be up and moving fairly quickly as she is a personal trainer and spin/bootcamp teacher. The trick will be keeping her from doing too much, which is likelier I think with a surgery like this.

    Yes she has a gynecologic oncologist doing the surgery.

    How are you doing now?  

    I am currently

    I am currently receiving chemotherapy and have completed 2 of 6 rounds of carboplatin and taxol, each round being 3 weeks apart.  So far, I am tolerating the chemo very well with only a couple of days of feeling kind of crummy.  The rest of the time I feel pretty normal and aside from avoiding inside crowds and taking precautions due to the lowered white blood count, I am doing most of the things I was doing before surgery and treatment, riding my bike, gardening, taking care of my horse.

  • Virgil90012
    Virgil90012 Member Posts: 35 Member
    Options
    Robotic Laparoscopy

    I had the robotic laparoscopy performed by my Gyne-Oncologist Surgeon through five incisions.  My surgery was 5 hours long and I was released from the hospital the next day.  My surgery consisted of the removal of my uterus, cervix, ovaries, and fallopian tube (total abdominal hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophrorectomies) along with 18 lymph nodes removed, pelvic wash, omentum removal, and perirenal lysis.  I was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma Stage 1A Grade 2 with no further treatment other than surgery. 

    The recovery from the robotic laparoscopy was only 3 weeks and I was told not to lift anything over 10 lbs for 6 weeks.  When I woke up from the surgery, I had a catheter which was removed prior to being discharged from the hospital and the doctor had me on a clear liquid diet for two days after the discharge.  I believe it was to help with gas issues.  By the way, I urinated a blue -green color for at least two to three days after I came home but it was because of something I was given during surgery. 

    If it matters to your friend, I was able to take a shower on the same day that I returned from the hospital because my incisions were glued together.  The wounds healed on their own and I didn't have to have staples or threads removed.  I was told to walk as much as I can because moving helps to recover faster.  The first week I was tired but it was manageable.  Laughing and coughing until the incisions heal can be a little troublesome. 

    If your friend decides on the robotic laparoscopy, make sure that it is a oncology surgeon who has had a lot of practice with this procedure.  My doctor had performed over 200 of these procedures so I felt confident with him.  I would also verify with the surgeon that the laparoscopy will have intact tissues removed and not morcellated.  I don't believe doctors do that any more but it is always best to check.  Morcellation has been linked to the spreading cancer.   I don't know that much about morcellation but you can look it up online. 

    I hope this helps.

    Cathy

  • nads
    nads Member Posts: 6
    Options

    Robotic Laparoscopy

    I had the robotic laparoscopy performed by my Gyne-Oncologist Surgeon through five incisions.  My surgery was 5 hours long and I was released from the hospital the next day.  My surgery consisted of the removal of my uterus, cervix, ovaries, and fallopian tube (total abdominal hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophrorectomies) along with 18 lymph nodes removed, pelvic wash, omentum removal, and perirenal lysis.  I was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma Stage 1A Grade 2 with no further treatment other than surgery. 

    The recovery from the robotic laparoscopy was only 3 weeks and I was told not to lift anything over 10 lbs for 6 weeks.  When I woke up from the surgery, I had a catheter which was removed prior to being discharged from the hospital and the doctor had me on a clear liquid diet for two days after the discharge.  I believe it was to help with gas issues.  By the way, I urinated a blue -green color for at least two to three days after I came home but it was because of something I was given during surgery. 

    If it matters to your friend, I was able to take a shower on the same day that I returned from the hospital because my incisions were glued together.  The wounds healed on their own and I didn't have to have staples or threads removed.  I was told to walk as much as I can because moving helps to recover faster.  The first week I was tired but it was manageable.  Laughing and coughing until the incisions heal can be a little troublesome. 

    If your friend decides on the robotic laparoscopy, make sure that it is a oncology surgeon who has had a lot of practice with this procedure.  My doctor had performed over 200 of these procedures so I felt confident with him.  I would also verify with the surgeon that the laparoscopy will have intact tissues removed and not morcellated.  I don't believe doctors do that any more but it is always best to check.  Morcellation has been linked to the spreading cancer.   I don't know that much about morcellation but you can look it up online. 

    I hope this helps.

    Cathy

    thank you Cathy!

    This info is very helpful. Since my friend has Stage 1 we can hope the outcome will be similar.

  • nads
    nads Member Posts: 6
    Options
    Lou Ann M said:

    I have stage 4 Serous

    I have stage 4 Serous Papilary endometrial andocarsinoma and it is very aggressive .  To date I have had 24 chemo treatments, 28 external radiation and 2 internal radiation treatments.  I have had two  periods of remission and am currently healing from surgery to remove a tumor that was I twined between my small intestines.  I will restart chemo in about a week.  All in all I have had many more good days than bad.  I have been able to live a fairly normal life.  God takes care of me and doesn't give me more than I can handle.  I am hoping for the best for your friend and remember everyone is different.  Hugs and prayers Lou Ann

    wow, scary!

    Thanks for sharing, Lou Ann. So scary for you...really sorry you are going through this. It sounds like you have a great attitude.

    Can you tell me at what stage you were diagnosed?

    I really appreciate you sharing this. I just want to know as much as possible for my friend so she had I can know what to possibly expect.

  • NoTimeForCancer
    NoTimeForCancer Member Posts: 3,386 Member
    Options
    Just to add to what others

    Just to add to what others have already said, all surgery is risky.  I remember going to sign the surgery forms and they listed something as "minor" and I said, "I wouldn't consider that MINOR?!"

    The plan was I would have the robotic surgery but my gynecologic oncologist told me going in that if he got in there and didn't like what he saw he would move forward with a traditional hysterectomy.  I told my BFF I wanted to know when I woke up if I had the robotic and I will never forget when I was put in my room hearing her say, "You had the robotic".  I was so happy to hear that but I also know that I wanted that was best and my surgeon is the only one who could decide that. 

  • Lou Ann M
    Lou Ann M Member Posts: 996 Member
    Options
    nads said:

    wow, scary!

    Thanks for sharing, Lou Ann. So scary for you...really sorry you are going through this. It sounds like you have a great attitude.

    Can you tell me at what stage you were diagnosed?

    I really appreciate you sharing this. I just want to know as much as possible for my friend so she had I can know what to possibly expect.

    At the very beginning the gyn

    At the very beginning the gyn that i went to said stage 1 or 2.  My gyn-onc never used the word stage.  He said it was a very agressive form of endometrial cancer and decussed how we were going to treat it.  i had surgery and the sandwich treatment ( 3 taxol/carbo, 28 radiation plus 2 internal radiation treatmnets and then 3 more Chemos.)  after this everyone was very hopeful that it was gone.  7 months later it had metastizied to my neck and liver.  Stage 4  My medical oncologist believes that it was always stage 4.  i had no symptoms before diagnosis,  i went to the Dr. for a yeast infection.  both of my oncologist do not dwell on stage but rather how we are going to treat this monster.  Hugs and prayers to you and your friend  Lou Ann

    I do not find it scary.  God is with me and with Him I have nothing to fear.

  • txtrisha55
    txtrisha55 Member Posts: 693 Member
    Options
    nads said:

    wow, scary!

    Thanks for sharing, Lou Ann. So scary for you...really sorry you are going through this. It sounds like you have a great attitude.

    Can you tell me at what stage you were diagnosed?

    I really appreciate you sharing this. I just want to know as much as possible for my friend so she had I can know what to possibly expect.

    I had the traditional cut

    I had the traditional cut from stem to stern hysterectomy. My dr said she wanted to look around and move the organs so she good see them and look for spread of cancer. Surgery was 3.5 hours long. I was in the hospital 6 days only because bowels did not want to wake up and work. Pain meds stopped the morphine drip on second day out of surgery. Was up walked ng the next day. Took a shower on day 5 with daughter's help. Had to wapk up and down the halls three times a day.  DO NOT LIFT anything heavier than the dr tells you. I tried to follow the advice but felt good and  did to much and got a hernia by my belly button which I had to go back and have another surgery to fix it. Best of luck to your friend and let her know it is doable. Trish