Experience reports

Hysterectomy – a patients report


Foto: carölchen ./ Quelle: www.PHOTOCASE.com


 Simply let go and relax. Lying down I'm studying my doctor's every move. He, in turn, is studying his ultrasound monitor. The question he is about to ask is taking shape across his face. Have you had any bleeding disorders, at all? No, I reply, strangely offended. I'd thought as much: My womb has, yet again, increased in size… 

It had been growing steadily over the last few years, that is to say: it's been growing myomatously. It isn't just surrounded by little myomas you could simply pluck and remove: they have seeped through and fused with the entire muscle, in a way that leaves no alternative: my whole womb will have to be removed as soon as possible. At least, that's what the gynecologist said, whose words I've been taking for granted for the past eighteen years. 

I'm not prepared to part from my womb that easily and just yet. I've gotten used to the bleedings; and to their perfect, unaltered regularity. Well, yes: they have actually grown a bit severe… The pressure on my bladder has definitely increased – and sometimes there's this sudden outburst of tearing, stinging pain that goes right down into my legs. But by no means am I telling my doctors any of that ! 

Even though I know that a missing womb would neither interfere with my hormonal balance, nor with my sex life; even though it would definitely reduce the risk of getting cancer – I do not want to lose it! 

Another pregnancy would be rather unlikely at your age – That's all my doctor can come up with. I've been experiencing the joys of motherhood for the past twenty years and I don't envy my 40-year-old colleague for having an offspring crawling beneath her desk. Besides, I'd still feel a complete woman even without my womb. Nevertheless, I want matters to stay as they are – and the menopause can wait. 

Don't let it linger for too long, because if, suddenly, the bleeding takes on dramatic proportions, an operation will be all the more difficult. Well, that doesn't exactly conform with my plans for the coming year. I've got a great deal ahead of me professionally: traveling the world. There's absolutely no way I'm having an operation now. 

Then, as the bleedings hit me without remorse, at Christmas of all times, I decide to leave nothing to mere fate for any longer. Action will be taken. A second look into my stomach must be had, rather sooner than later. 

I consult a different Gynecologist. She can only agree to what the doctor had already advised me to do, and she suggests that I consult a surgeon for a final opinion. There's only two surgeons she recommends. Both of them have excellent reputations, one of them is based in town, the other a bit further out. It is due to my status as a Private Insurance Patient that I get an opportunity to consult both and decide on one of them. The one in town would draw a cut across my belly and operate from there. That comes down to two weeks in hospital, six weeks at home and a huge scar across the lower part of my body. Immediately I know that I cannot afford to take that time off work, and as I'm a freelance professional I wouldn't get paid for that time, either. And do I really want a scar like that? 

The second surgeon outlines different operating methods and emphasizes the possibilities of one he calls minimally invasive. He explains advantages and disadvantages; he has enough time for my questions, I like him. This surgeon criticizes the common method of laparoscopy: the utilization of carbon dioxide to inflate the abdomen, to create a better view and more space, is a disputable operational method. He favors laparoscopic operation without the use of gas. The operation occurs exclusively through the belly button and two tiny incisions in the groin area. The abdomen is raised mechanically. There's no build-up of gas pressure that can lead to severe backache and to shoulder aches. The surgeon renounces the use of special endoscopic instruments because they are too long and seem to invalidate the sense of touch vital to a surgeon's work. He prefers instruments that have had a chance to prove themselves over decades of surgical practice. They are designed to fit better into the surgeon's hand and provide for a good sense of touch. 

Our conversation has convinced me and I end up booking an appointment for the operation. The feedback to my decision from friends and colleagues is somewhat disconcerting. They tell me that some women are known to have taken a painfully long time to get well, or that there have been some complications with laparoscopic operations in the past. Still, I am not prepared to perceive anything wrong with my decision, because I am confident it was the right step to take. 

I prepare for my operation on a Sunday. At seven o' clock the next morning I'm at the hospital deciding whether I want a regional anesthetic or to sleep through the whole thing. I take the sleeping option. What happened to me while I was sailing away to cloud nine I was to learn a few days later as a spectator to a video-recording of the operating process. 

As the haze begins to lift and I slowly regain consciousness I feel surprisingly well. After a few hours I don't need any more painkillers and I make a couple of phone calls before I go back to sleep. On the second day I do some reading and some writing, on the third day I go for a walk in the park, and on the fourth day I'm back at home. I obey doctor's orders: don't exert yourself, don't lift anything, take rest for a few days. I must be told all this, otherwise I won't take it seriously. Books, bed, music and walks in the snow – a week later I'm back for a check-up. The doctor is satisfied with my condition, and I'm feeling altogether very well. Nor are there complaints in the following weeks. I'm working and traveling, and soon I'm right back in the middle of life again. 

A.V. from Zurich 


Karen Steward's Message in the message board of the International Adhesions Society (April 2004)



Foto: lama-photography ./ Quelle: www.PHOTOCASE.com



Hello to the USA—–!!!! No place compares, except maybe Germany! I know many of you are wondering about Melissa. First let me say a big hearty thank you to all that prayed, sent messages, called Dr. Kruschinski, asking about Melissa (he told us each time) YOU GUYS ARE THE BEST!! Thanks to all that sent letters of encouragement for Melissa's surprise hook of inspiration! You should have seen the frenzy at the office RIGHT before leaving for the airport! Miranda, (daughter) and I were 2 wild, crazy women,thro ing pages everywhere, sticking cute little stickers on the emails, scanning in ph tos of Melissa's family and dogs for collage pages, making a cover, etc.and all the while my husband was being his usual self–saying we had to LEAVE. (Why do men do this??) We were not stressed until he started in–then everything got chaotic–lost the eys to the car. etc. That REALLY made him happy! We got to the airport with a good 10 minutes to spare before boarding. No problem! Anyway, I have not been able to read any posts, (internet down) but, thanks especially to Anthea, Carolyn, Tonya & Lynn. You are the ones I know for sure that I need to say thanks to!! I will thank everyone else personally as I am able to read this messed up service! UGH! Anyway, the book was WELL worth the effort!! The look on her face was GREAT!! She cried, cried and cried. Put it down to stop crying, had it an hour later and cried and cried again. It was such a big encouragement to her, reading all the nice letters from her family a d so many of you, writing as if you had known her forever! I know you know her pain–and that makes an unfortunate, but common ground. I had to tell her all about each one of you as she read!! lol…and now, she is ready o look at the adhesion sites and post a message! She felt as if she knew e ch one of you, and cried with many of you.Thanks to everyone! We are home, slept a few hours (much needed)–it is 2:00 am here and I am wide awake once again, so came to the computer and UGH..it has gotten all messed up since I left…….can't get on any sites, read the boards, can't reach y Aussie friends at Bombobeach. I am attempting to post a message on the IAS and hopefully it will post. I don't know where to begin, but I know women want all the details! Here goes: We arrived in Frankfurt after a 9 hour flight. Melissa had developed one of her typical migraines in flight. She was in total misery, getting close to t e throwing up stage. We found our lady waiting, just as we had been told, with an EndoGyn sign. (Melissa laughed at this–saying, "Well, everyone knows WHY we are here! ) I am going to encourage Dr. Kruschinski to change his sign to "Babes Arriving from America"…..lol….. The EndoGyn sign lady had a beautiful face and smile and knew quickly Melissa was very ill. Her name was Steffi–she was a trooper, grabbing luggage and helpin so Melissa could just get to the car. We arrived in Seligenstadt at Dr. Kruschinski's office just as another American couple had arrived. We were taken to the apartment and given an hour to rest (t row up, etc….!!!!!!)……….then Michaela, the nurse, arrived and told Melissa she MUST get up and go for EKG, blood tests, etc., as surgery was scheduled for the next day. So, off we went, Melissa vomiting several times at each lab, Klinik, etc I felt like the mom from hell…….you all know how you feel when your child is suffering and you know YOU are the one that got them into this! I knew Melissa was in a fog, because of the pain and we were just leading her in and out of each plac . I will say that the lab and Klinik, both, came running with anti-nausea medicat ons in an effort to help her. Neither worked—but it was comforting to know they CARED! Next we were to meet Dr. Kruschinski to discuss surgery. We arrived back at his office and upon meeting him, and he, seeing Melissa's condition, told us to "go rest and we will discuss in the morning before surgery"………wow! Now this is a guy I like. We all know, most USA doctors do not adjust their schedule to meet your silly pain!! (Sorry, couldn't resist) Melissa was a little better the next morning and we promptly discussed surgery. I have to say this was the first time I felt total confidence prior to surgery. Dr. Kruschinski is warm, kind, caring and confident in his skill. He assessed Melissa's history (that is such a mess) and assured us that she would go home from Germany ADHESION FREE. He is very open, does not rush through any of the discussion, smiles a lot, (don't we like a doctor that smiles???!!!—-that in itself is SO exciting), he exudes a human compassion for the patient. He shakes your hand many times (something I really liked and appreciated)……..he also never excluded me. He has the ability to explain everything in detail to the patient, but was never offended if I, (the non-patient) asked a question. (Most of you know the stigma that a mom of an ADULT patient carries in the USA)…………. At each conclusion, he shook Melissa's hand and my hand. Each and every time, we were treated with respect and dignity and were given ample opportunity to ask questions. Being that Melissa has been ill since age 13, and knowing that prior surgeries have not helped, Melissa went to Germany, for the most part, because of the old snorting, pushing bull behind her (me)….lol…..she had reached the conclusion she would always be sick, no one would (could) help her, was not convinced that adhesions were here problem (even though we have photos of severe pelvic adhesions with bowel involvement, that were lasered "out" (????) in her prior US surgeries). Dr. Kruschinski performed surgery, finding and removing adhesions from the large and small intestines, liver, diaphragm, stomach, and pelvic area. SprayGel was applied to all areas. Photos of the adhesed areas were provided, along with photos f the blue SprayGel areas. For those that may not know, Spray Gel is applied after he adhesions are taken down by adhesiolysis. On her second look, 7 days later, one other area was found and a little more surgery was required. Again, photos were provided of this surgery. The rest of the second look photos showed an AMAZING, healthy looking, bowel, tissues, ovary etc. I look at these photos over and over. The difference is unbelievable. Her insides look shiny, healthy and well! We were so afraid her female organs had been destroyed by adhesions (first surgery in US showed severe adhesions of the pelvis, with all reproductive organs adhered together, bowels attached to bladder, uterus, and fallopian tubes that were so adhesed they bulged; unable to empty). Her pelvic areas look almost completely normal now!! The area looks healthy and it is wonderful to see normal looking organs, no nasty saran-wrap type adhesio s, no bloody sores, etc. like we have seen in the past. Dr. Kruschinski has no doubt she can conceive! How does Melissa FEEL? She has not had a migraine since the day of surgery!!YEAH!! (she had previously had DAILY headaches—many turning i to migraines); she has not said, "I feel sick", or "I feel sick-I shouldn't have eaten" (we had previously heard that EV RY time she ate), and has not felt nauseated since surgery!!!!! HOORAY!!! Melissa had dealt with nausea every day for the last 13 years! Dr. Kruschinski said the nausea and headaches are a result of the adhesions on the stomach, liver, etc. She has also began sleeping completely through the night after surgery; a welcome relief! A d yesterday she told me, "It's weird, but I feel like it is easier to breathe"………(adhesions on the diaphragm m de simple breathing a more struggled effort)………..on the flight home she told me that something" was definitely "different" in her stomach since surgery. She said, "I realize my whole belly is real relaxed and I can no longer feel my intestines inside—is that normal?" Then she adde , Can't you feel your intestines?"—"I could always feel mine and now I can't." Because her intestines have been wrapped up in adhesions for so many years, she thought everyone could "feel" their intestines!! She is adjusting to new sensations (pain-free)!! I can tell it will take a little while for the dea and sensation of HEALTH to become Melissa. She has little recollection of early, pain-free childhood. The misery had gone on so long, she is havin to take this new feeling in bits and pieces. I will gladly allow her that to me! I will finish up by saying there are no words to express my gratitude to Dr. Kruschinski!! A "thank- you" seems so inadequate! A hand-shake and a hug are not enough either! How can I express thanks to someone that has the skill, knowledge, ability, compassion, and GIFT to give me back my daughter? Nothing in this world can adequately express what I feel, or what our family feels. He's the best of the best! I have learned through our experience/trip that it is not Germany, the AbdoLift or SprayGel that has restored my daughter. Germany is only the country in which you must go to reach Dr. Kruschinski! The AbdoLift and Spraygel and equipment he uses are only the tools! Yes, they are all necessary and must come together for surgery and we all thank God for the AbdoLift and SprayGel, and proper equipment (that US doctors do not have , however, I know in my heart, you can place the proper tools in another person's hand and not get the same results!!! We all know gifted people hat can paint a picture on a canvas, but just because we place a brush in another's hand and even give them proper instruction, we know we won't have the painting of the artist!! Dr. Kruschinski is a gifted artist of his profession!! He has the eye of an artist to see the detail of the adhesion pain! He has the mind to understand the sufferer's pain! He has the skill to apply the technique in the proper fashion to get the RESULT that is so desperately needed! I believe his mind, his eyes and his hands are a gift from God t at many people have prayed for! We all know too well how many doctors have TRIED (and many times with good intentions) to "rid" the ARD sufferer of the pain—but, how many can say they went into surgery KNOWING the doctor w uld give them his 100% effort to remove pain caused by adhesions? Dr. Kruschinski was as,(or more), excited as I, to hear Melissa say her pain was gone! I loved his enthusiasm and anticipation of the end results! He came in after surgery, smiling, and asking, "How do you feel–only surgery pain, yes??" I LOVED THAT!!! As soon as he shook our hands and left, I was over her bed saying, "Only surgery pain, yes!!!??" We were both laughing. She was sore and couldn't decide how she felt! Dr. Kruschinski has a zeal I have NEVER seen in a doctor in the US. (And we have been to COUNTLESS). He passes his enthusiasm to the family member and the patient. He KNOWS he removed the pain, pulling, tugging, nausea causing, migraine resulting, (and a host of other symptoms in different people) horrible adhesions! I love a person hat loves their work and goes forth with zeal, gusto and EXPECTATION of RESULTS from that work! It is his business, his life. Dr. Kruschinski gives his all, going beyond expectation, running after hours, calling and checking on each patient. He is a master of his profession. A skillful artist indeed. And to this artist, Dr. Daniel Kruschinski, my hat is off, my tears haven't stopped and I must say I will forever be grateful! Our family is SOOOO grateful too!! Many tears were shed yesterday at the airport!! (Hey, they REALLY missed us) Sincerely, Karen Steward P.S. Melissa is on NO pain medications……now, how about that???