After years of horrible periods, I decided to finally doing something about it. I went to see my regular doctor at the beginning of summer. He thought that ablation would be the right choice for me, so he sent me to an OBGYN in Fresno. The OBGYN was very thorough. He did a biopsy (which was normal), ordered blood work (all normal), and sent me for an ultrasound (NOT NORMAL).
My ultrasound revealed a fibroid tumor. This actually didn’t surprise me too much due to the fact that my mother had a fibroid tumor that caused her to eventually have a hysterectomy. Luckily the fibroid tumor is still small and isn’t worth going into surgery for…so my OBGYN thought Novasure Ablation would be the perfect surgery for me. I had to agree. I liked that this doctor was willing to do what was needed without going straight for the knife!
How does NovaSure work? NovaSure is an endometrial ablation procedure that can reduce or stop menstrual bleeding. In my case the doctor will preform this procedure in the hospital under general anesthesia. It works by the doctor inserting a slender wand and extends a triangular mesh device into the uterus. The mesh will expand to the size and shape of your uterus. Once a seal has been made, a precisely measured radio frequency energy is delivered for about 90 seconds. The mesh device it then pulled out and removed. The radio frequency energy permanently removes the endometrium, therefore your period should stop completely.
The procedure was scheduled for today (9/26)…2 days after my 39th birthday. I thought of it as a belated birthday gift (yeah, what girl wouldn’t want to get rid of their period indefinitely!).
In preparation for the procedure I was giving the follow list of Pre-Op instructions:
- Do not eat or drink anything after midnight; including water, gum, hard candy or mints. You may brush your teeth.
- Take only the following of your Routine Home Medications with a small sip of water on the day of surgery.
- Hold all herbal and vitamin supplements for one week prior to surgery.
- Do not shave, wax or use depilatory creams near your procedure site for one week prior to surgery. (Too bad they gave this information to me 2 days before my procedure…just saying, if you don’t want me to shave for a week prior to surgery, you NEED to give me the information earlier.)
- Shower the night before surgery and again the morning of surgery with liquid Chlorhexidine Gluconate (CHG). Ask your pharmacy for Hibiclens/Hibiscrub/Betasept or a generic equivalent. Apply to entire body except face/head. Leave the soap on your skin for two minutes before rinsing. Dry thoroughly with a clean towel. Clean pajamas and sheets are also recommended. (Not a cheap product…cost $12 for a bottle that I used twice.)
- Do not put any products on our hair or skin after your showers such as after-shave, moisturizers, make-up, deodorant, perfume, hairspray, gel, etc.
- If you wear fingernail polish it must be clear or very pale.
- Clothing should be clean and comfortable. Ex: Sweats, leisure wear
- Remove all jewelry (rings, wedding bands, earrings, body piercings)
- Bring your insurance card and identification (ex: drivers license)
- Co-payment is due on admission.
- Do not bring any valuables (cash, credit cards, purse, wallet, electronic devices) unless family can keep them.
- Come to the Outpatient Care Center entrance on 9/26 and check in with the receptionist. (My surgery was scheduled for 9:15, so I had to arrive at 7:15.)
- If you will go home right after surgery, you must have a responsible adult over 18 years old to drive your home.
The night before, I went to bed around 9:30 and surprisingly was able to fall right asleep. My daughter did wake up once, so that was fun (NOT). Oh…and I made sure to sit out Logan’s outfit and Kira wore her clothes to bed! Talk about a time saver!
Well we live an hour away from the hospital, so we had to wake the kids up and take them to a fellow teacher’s house at 6:00 am! That right there was a feat in itself (since we typically have to push them out the door at 7:30 to get to school on time).
Checked into the hospital at 7:15ish (give or take a minute). The reason you have to show up 2 hours in advance is to fill out the paperwork and get your vitals taken, iv, and other fun medical crap beforehand. Well I am not the best person to place an iv into. I have deep veins. I remember vividly the nurses trying to insert an iv into my body when I was hospitalized with Logan…NOT FUN AT ALL!. It took the nurse 3 tries to find a vein. UGH. Now I have three lovely bruises on my arm and hands. I call them my battle scars.
I felt extremely popular in the room…I had 3 nurses visit me taking my stats, the “drug” guy (anesthesiologist), and my doctor. They all had their jobs to do, but I was ready to get this thing done!
By 9:30 I was wheeled into the operating room. I was given an amnesia drug to help me forget what was going to happen, then they asked me to take a few deep breaths with the mask covering my nose and mouth…(while taking the breaths I thought how is this going to put me to sleep…it couldn’t work that easily). Around 10:30 I heard someone call my name. Wow, that was fast (at least it felt like I just went to sleep).
I was stationed in the recovery room until just after noon. I was waiting for the doctor to come talk to me, but he didn’t show up until I went back into the prep-room. This is where I hear the not-so-good news. Ablation is just not for everyone. Please remember I was coming off the drugs, so this is what I heard him say: He tried to perform the Novasure procedure three times without success. He put the wire mesh up my uterus, but he couldn’t get a good seal. He thought that maybe there was a leak/hole somewhere, so he filled my uterus with water to search for leaks. None found, therefore he tried a different ablation method, but again he couldn’t get a good seal. Third ablation method was used…the scrapping of the uterus lining. (This is where things got fuzzy and I don’t have the entire story.) He said something about scraping only half of my uterus because there was a thin spot???
All-in-all, I am sadden that the procedure didn’t work. I was hoping to eliminate my periods. Instead I am sitting at home with cramps and bleeding…and it’s not even time for my period. We won’t know how or if they amount of ablation he did will help until later. I go back on 10/13 to see him. My options if it didn’t work are trying ablation again or a hysterectomy. Oh joy!