post hysterectomy...

  1. Okay, who can tell me...? What sort of a gyne exam does one need post hysterectomy? I would really hate to have undiagnosed ovarian ca, that would be so unpleasant. I have tried to get an answer from the surgeon post op, but got the "I'm done with you now" feeling.
    My hysterectomy was about a year and a half ago and I went in for an "exam" one year post op as instructed. The exam was a pap smear (vaginal ca seems like a very remote possibility but I am willing to go along with it) and a breast exam.
    Is it not routine to have a pelvic exam to check ovary size...? I know I probably should have specifically asked this last visit, but the whole visit was over, done, and I was down the road before it came to me.
    The surgery was done for fibroids and I have no reason to suspect a problem now. I just don't want any problems! :stone
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    About passinthru

    Joined: Mar '05; Posts: 28; Likes: 6

    11 Comments

  3. by   stidget99
    My post-hysterectomy exams are the same as pre-hysterectomy exams. I had cervical/uterine CA. I continue to insist on pap and pelvics per my surgeon's advice.
  4. by   CardioTrans
    I had a hyster in 2002. I think that it depends on the MD and why you had the surgery. My OB/GYN told me that I needed a vaginal and breast exam every yr, but a pap smear only once every 3 yrs. I had to have one because of endometriosis. It was the best thing I have ever done!
  5. by   nurse-to-be1000
    I had a complete hyst a little over a year ago and was told by the gyn-oncologist that I didn't need to have pelvics or PAP smears again since she had gotten my entire cervix but my internist today said I do. The hysterectomy was done for endometriosis like Cardiotrans. I also haven't had a breast exam in ?? years. It seems everyone thinks everyone else will do it and I am tired of asking.
  6. by   caliotter3
    I just had an ablation for fibroids a few months ago, not the total hyst I wanted and asked for. I am very apprehensive about the whole matter b/c gyne CA is in my family. (BTW, after the surgery, it still took between 3-4 months for the bleeding to stop). Now I'm having episodes of mod to severe pain and anticipate having to see an MD again. Like it will never end.
  7. by   CardioTrans
    Ok, from my GYN............ you dont need a pap smear every yr if you no longer have your cervix, but still need one at least every 3 because the cancer cells can actually be on the vaginal walls.

    <STEPPING ON A SOAPBOX>

    You listening?????????? PLEASE, PLEASE have a breast exam every year!! If you are over the age of 40........... have a mammogram!!!!! 85% of new breast cancer patients that are diagnosed each year HAVE NO FAMILY HISTORY of it. Do your self breast exams each month. If you feel a change get an appt ASAP. Even if it turns out to be nothing, at least you know!

    My mother had never had a mammogram in her life. She was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer in Feb 97 when she was only 57. No one in her family had ever had breast cancer. By the time she felt the lump (she didnt do self exams either), had a mammogram, ultrasound, then surgery, the cancer had spread through her lymph nodes. Bone scans showed areas on her spine, pelvis, and liver. Had she had her mammograms, and done self exams........ it would have been caught years before it was. She died at the age of 61... Oct 99........ yep do the math........ 2 1/2 yrs later.

    PLEASE have a breast exam done EVERY year!

    <stepping off my soapbox now>
  8. by   Mimi2RN
    Quote from CardioTrans
    I had a hyster in 2002. I think that it depends on the MD and why you had the surgery. My OB/GYN told me that I needed a vaginal and breast exam every yr, but a pap smear only once every 3 yrs. I had to have one because of endometriosis. It was the best thing I have ever done!
    This is what my doc says. I had my surgery the same year, too. I still have annual mammograms.

    I hesitated having my ovaries removed, but the decision became easier when the nurse doing my pre-op at my docs office told me that ovarian CA frequently is diagnosed when a woman has bleeding that is not menstrual. If you don't have an outlet, it's more difficult to diagnose. Plus, at my age I didn't need them anymore.
  9. by   KellieNurse06
    Oh ya...please get a mammogram!!! My mother had breast cancer too cardiotrans!!!!
    She is also one who never ever did self exams...and only had a mammogram because the doc felt something...and lo & behold! She was only 61 at the time...and she had biopsy which became a radical mastectomy.
    And there is not any history whatsoever of breast cancer in my family.......my mom is the only one to ever have it.
    After that I asked my pcp to send me for a mammogram due to my mom's bc.
    I get one every year now......only I did slack last year but I am getting back on track this year. My mom is one of the lucky ones.....she will hit her 6 year mark this Sept. as being cancer free........only thing that gets me is she still smokes..............and she will tell us to our face she isn't ..but go in her house and right away it smells like a huge nasty ashtray............I keep reminding her how lucky she is......she just yes's me to death...... I think she thinks because it was breast cancer & not lung cancer.....well you get the picture.....:uhoh21: .......well I am just glad she's still here as much as she drives me nuts at times....lol
  10. by   nurse-to-be1000
    Thanks for your concern Cardiotrans. I am only 31 so I haven't had a mammogram and supposedly even though I have had a hysterectomy I don't have to have one any sooner than if I hadn't. I did have a small lump that was more likle a pimple that I went to the doctor about back in the Fall and yet even then did the gyn oncologist/ gyn nurse practioner do a complete breast exam-nope. Is there any literature that anyone knows of about whether a young woman who had a hysterectomy should have a mammogram sooner than 40? Also there doesn't appear to be any consensus about pelvic exams. I was told since I had the hysterectomy for endo and the surgeon was able to get my complete cervix there is nothing left to do a pap on. Is there any literature I can take to my doctor? I swear at 31 I sometimes feel like I am 60 something and have more in common with my mother than I ever wished.

    I have a physical scheduled in April (for nursing school) and will be sure to press my internist to do a breast exam at least.
  11. by   CardioTrans
    I started having mammograms the year my mom was diagnosed. Yep, at the wonderful age of 27. I dont have them done every year, but at least every 2. Needless to say, my GYN and my PCP are very cautious, and are trying to catch anything if anything early.

    I have decided to talk to a genetic counselor about the BRCA-1 and BRCA-2 gene test. I have been reading about it for months from various sites, and have been talking with my PCP about it. It is something that I want to do not only for me, but my boys as well.
  12. by   EarthChild1130
    I had a total hyst. back in 2001 and I still have a PAP and breast exam yearly as part of my 'well woman exam'...like another poster said, even if the cervix is gone, some cells can still remain and cause problems, and IMO it's best to catch the problem early...anyhow, I have a yearly physical exam, and that's part of my body too! lol
  13. by   DDRN4me
    Had my hyst in 2000... my graduation gift to myself!! ( had issues all my life with bleeding and pain, dx as intrauterine endometriosis) I just saw pcp and she said bimanual exam is sufficient since there is not any cervix; also that ovarian ca is hard to diagnose with and without a uterus; that primary symtom is vague abdominal pain and bloating and to come in if i felt like that ..course i have ibs and always get bouts of pain and bloating!!!:uhoh21:

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