On 18th February 2019, I sent a very random text to a friend. It read: I’m going into surgery right now so if you don’t hear from me (insert peace sign emoji). In hindsight, I realize how unfair it was to spring that kind of information on someone who had no prior knowledge of what I was going through. Sometimes, I can be very irrational (actually it’s madness…Lmao). So special shout out to my girl Emefa! You didn’t deserve that and I love you for not panicking.
Thing is, I was scared, very very scared. What if I went in there and didn’t come back? The negative what-if questions in my head that morning were enough to run me mad. So today, we’re going to talk about what actually happens in the theatre.
Myomectomy as previously mentioned is a surgical procedure to remove fibroids while preserving the uterus. Myomectomy is not a simple procedure especially when the fibroids, like mine, are huge. Aside the removal, the surgeon has to, in most cases, reconstruct the uterus the best way possible. So, what happens during a myomectomy? A lot!
First, let’s begin with dos and don’ts prep for myomectomy. All eating and drinking should cease on the eve of the surgery. You cannot eat or drink before midnight; not even water so if you are one who loves to indulge in midnight snacking, then sorry. This is to ensure that your bowels are empty. The second thing is to take off all jewelry, piercings, and contact lenses. Just arrive in the barest form; just clothes and positive (ish) vibes ready to rock and roll. (I packed a bag but I didn’t need it.)
Day of surgery:
The first thing that happens is sleep! You will be asleep during the entire procedure and a while after. I went into the theatre at 1pm and I woke up around 8pm spewing nonsense to the nurses. (this was my favorite part of the entire surgical experience.) There was a lot of laughter and thank God for the language barrier because in that moment, I could have divulged all my life’s secrets. LOL!
Incision: This is an abdominal surgery similar to a caesarean section so the incision or cut is made on the lower abdomen area. Depending on the position it could either be a bikini cut or a vertical cut from the navel. I obviously got the bikini cut because it’s easier to conceal the scar.
Blood loss: Blood loss is inevitable because the surgeon isn’t going to work magic. After the procedure, my blood level was about 4.02 so I needed a blood transfusion immediately after. I was given a whole two pints! A special shout out to all blood donors especially A+ givers! You are lifesavers for real! Thank you!! (Please donate blood whenever you can) Even after the two pints, my blood level was only about 7.03 so if you can build your blood prior to surgery, please do so.
Pain: Personally I felt very minimal pain. Aside the pain I felt when I tried to get out of bed, there was barely any pain. But this is just me, someone who has a very high pain threshold anyway. The only time I took the pain meds prescribed by the doctor was the night I left the hospital and even that, I only took it because I felt I had to.
Like any surgical procedure, myomectomy has its risks which include wound infection and the incision opening up. Due to this, patients are advised to avoid the shower until about after a week of the procedure. I had the procedure on a Monday and showered for the first time on a Wednesday the week after. The goal is to keep the wound area as dry as possible so it heals faster so of course you can shower but ensure it is the shortest possible shower and quickly dry yourself. Ablution is your best bet here!
In total, I was at the hospital for 5 days. After that, I was prescribed iron tablets and sent on my merry way, free from the baby that would have killed me. Freedom!