Laser Ablation for Vin III
I wanted to start this log to help others with this diagnosis. I was diagnosed with Vin III in July. I researched and researched and could not find much up-to-date info.
I thought I would write down my personal experience so that others may find this post if they are scared and not knowing what to expect.
I was diagnosed with a biopsy by my regular GYN. Biopsy hurt and I was sore for a few days. When he took the stitches out I nearly jumped out of my skin. But then the area healed nicely.
I had a spot on my labia for a long time. Years. My GYN said it was nothing. It would improve with Estrace, so we thought it was hormone related. I am in forced menopause due to ovary removal and lack of estrogen can cause thinning of vaginal tissues. I have had chemotherapy and they believe that my VIN was caused by a low immunity, rather than HPV because I have never had HPV before. When I developed a new area on the other labia, that is when he wanted to check it for VIN. The biopsy said Bowen's Papulosis. A second reading of the slides showed high grade VIN.
My GYN sent me to a GYN/ONC. He told me I needed to have the areas removed. He said that if I had a partial vulvectomy, he would do a wide excision of the areas and it would change the architecture down there. I was a bit hesitant about renovating my vagina and I am sure the look of horror on my face gave that away. He also said that he felt comfortable doing a laser ablation. The only downside is they do not have tissue to check after it is over to see if they got all the areas. However, they already knew the pathology because of my core biopsies, so he was confident they knew what they were dealing with. He also explained Aldara ointment to me. He said it takes 16 weeks to work and it is very uncomfortable. I chose the ablation. My regular GYN told me that ablation leaves you with virtually no scars and as he says, a "new, fresh vagina." I trust him completely and felt better after speaking to him.
The weeks leading up the surgery I was a complete wreck. I have had a lot of surgeries, but this one freaked me out. I had no idea how much pain I would be in or how to prepare. Plus, I was too mortified to tell anyone what was happening to me. I prepared by google-ing what women need to have in the house after they have a baby. I don't have any kids so this was new for me.
I bought a Peri-Bottle to cleanse the area after using the toilet; pads for spotting; epsom salts for the sitz baths you have to take three times a day; Tucks and witch hazel because I read it is cooling; dermaplast spray because the new moms said it was a life saver; Aleve and ice packs.
I had the ablation three days ago. It took about a half hour, I think. I was under anesthesia in a day op facility. I woke up to NO PAIN. My doc gave me a long acting numbing injection of Marcaine. Ask your doctor to do this. He also put a lot of Silvadene on me. Make sure you get this wonder cream to take home. I was walking fine. I had no trouble using the bathroom. I immediately grabbed the peri-bottle the first time I peed, but I didn't need it. Make sure you have plenty of clean towels, disposable hand towels and a blow dryer with a cool setting...
I am swollen and I keep putting the Silvadene on. I am wearing skirts and granny panties with pads during the day, but nothing at night. Don't use good sheets- or use white sheets that you can bleach, because you will spot them. I took the first sitz bath on the morning of the second day. It felt fine. I dried the area with the blow dryer on low/cool. Don't put the air too close because it will sting a bit. I then put more cream on and a new pad. Day two and still no real pain at all.
Today is the morning of day 3. I noticed some itching with I associate with healing. I feel the area more today but I am not in pain. I am faithfully following all the instructions: Sitz baths, silvadene, rinse and repeat.
I am not a super woman- I am a complete wimp. The biopsies hurt more than this. Maybe pain will be coming, but so far so good.
I will check back in again to give you more reports. Because, for me, knowing what to expect is half the battle. And if my experience helps you, then I am really happy.
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