Thursday, January 9, 2014

Uterine Septum Surgery

Hello friends, I know I've owed you this post for a while... As you could probably tell from my previous post, we've been walking through and trying to deal with some unexpected strife. Here I am, back with you, more determined than ever to get through this so I can become a tool to help those of you that may be struggling as well. 

In December I underwent hysteroscopy to remove a previously misdiagnosed uterine septum. You can imagine our delight that our yearly deductible was met, hence the rush to get it done before the year's end. This journey is far from cheap, so any part of it being covered helps tremendously and is definitely an answered prayer!

As previously stated, a uterine septum may be a reason for past complications and miscarriages, though there is no way to absolutely know for sure. Our reproductive specialist explained that this septum is not composed of normal uterine tissue. The tissue is dense and fibrous with scant blood vessels. Therefore, if a placenta tried to attach and grow in this area, it would not generate proper blood flow, and eventually would clot and cause the baby to die. Since there is no way to determine what part of the uterine lining this will attach to, we made the decision to have the surgery in hopes that future pregnancies (God willing) would have a better chance of survival. 

A hysteroscopy is performed using a lighted tube (hysteroscope) inserted through the cervix and into the uterus. Gas is then released inside the uterine cavity to inflate the area and give the doctor some room to work. (I was completely asleep during the procedure.) In my case, a laser was used to cut away the septum, removing the fibrous tissue. (Other tools that may be used are special scissors or electrical currents.) 

The procedure itself was quick and I rather enjoyed the nap. (I'm normally a troubled sleeper so I will take what I can get!) I remember waking up groggy then experienced terrible cramping. The nurse brought me a ginger ale that I didn't even have to ask for and medication for the pain. You know you've been to a surgery center too often when they no longer have to ask your post-op drink preference. The cramping I experienced was expected, however it took more pain medicine than they normally anticipate to alleviate the pain. Sometimes I feel as if my body is rebelling against me for all I've put it through. Hubby was there to hold my hand of course, as always... And quite often my dad just happens to show up at the surgery center to wish me well before hand, how comforting compassionate family members can be. I can't say enough good things about the staff at the East Memphis Surgery Center. Having worked in the medical profession for years, I know how burnt out nurses and doctors can get in their daily routine. I must say that I have never received anything but excellent service and empathy from the entire staff. That is such an important aspect, especially if you get pre-procedure anxiety like I do. Something about any procedure just makes me anxious. It's not that I am afraid of not waking up afterwards, if that were to happen I'd simply wake up in Heaven, with my Heavenly Father and my three children... How amazing would that be? I think it's more anxiety of pain afterwards that gets to me. 

By the time the nurse got my pain under control, Mike was already back with me in recovery. Not long after that, we were discharged with more medication just in case. I slept a good bit of that afternoon, cramping on and off. I was pleasantly suprised that the post-op bleeding was very light. (The doctor said that is due to the fact that the tissue removed didn't have much vascularity.) I was sore for a few days following, but nothing too bad. The surgery was done on a Friday and I was able to return to work the following Monday, so no time lost there thankfully. 

One important thing I would encourage you to do if you find yourself dealing with presurgical anxiety like I experience, is to have your spouse pray with and for you. I can't even describe the level of comfort and love that I feel when I hear my spouse speaking to God on my behalf. If the anxiety is intolerable, the staff at such centers also have anti anxiety medication available to you. I haven't partaken in this part, but they still offer it every time. I can usually stay calm enough knowing that it won't be too long before I'm sedated anyways, and I always have Mike there to make me laugh in the pre-op area... Boy the things you hear in pre-op can be entertaining!!!

Our doctor appreciates my curious nature and medical background so he even supplied us with pictures from the actual procedure. I won't post them here because I know many of my readers are pretty squeamish, but if you're as curious as I am, I don't mind sharing them with you. 

Never underestimate the things a mother is willing to endure for her children, even for the ones that don't exist yet... Even just to keep the dream of having children alive... Even if this has no future benefits to us, I will not regret haviing it done, just knowing thereis even a possibility of it helping with future pregnancies is encouragement enough to know it was worth it. Like I've said before, this is the path God is leading us down, there's no way I can ever regret following Him.


Stay tuned for posts about a scary post-op emergency, another post-op procedure and a new addition to our family (of the 4 legged variety). For today I'll leave you with this bit of infertility humor: 

1 comment:

  1. I'm terribly sorry to hear that you had to undergo hysteroscopy due to a misdiagnosed uterine septum. I just hope that you are doing better, now that you know what it is you're truly fighting against. You're a super smart and brave woman, Stephanie. Thanks for sharing your story! Take care always! :)

    Modesto Culbertson @ D&Z Law Group