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Cancer: Uterine Message Board


Cancer: Uterine Board Index


VIN
Feb 22, 2008
Well, I did have laser surgery a little over two weeks ago (laser vaporization) and thought I'd describe to let anyone interested in knowing what it was like. It was definitely not a fun experience!! (Take into consideration, I'm not a fan of pain so much...and I definitely don't want to scare anyone, but I know I really would have liked to hear how the experience would be prior to going in.)

The surgery itself was a relatively quick outpatient procedure. I arrived at around 7 a.m. and was home around 10:30 a.m. After waking up from general anesthesia, I was in quite a lot of pain (INTENSE burning sensation) and was given two shots of pain medication intravenously and a Percoset for the ride home. I barely remember the ride to my apartment and was in and out of sleep and taking two pain pills every four hours for about a day and a half. Probably good, because the pain would have been pretty bad!

The first couple of days were pretty rough, and the first time I took a mirror to look at myself and reapply the Silvadene cream to my vulva, I was truly shocked. Obviously, I knew I was extremely swollen, but it looked like something off of a sci-fi movie! I was afraid my remaining skin would burst from all the swelling. And the raw skin was horrid...white and seeping with discharge and blood. It was unbelievable. I just wasn't expecting it to look so terrible!

I could barely hobble to the bathroom and back to bed. Sleeping and lying on my back only, and keeping my legs bent and as far apart as possible. Urinating was fair at first, but after a couple of days the pain was unbearable. It would be a sharp burning pain...enough to make me cry and bite down on a towel each trip to the toilet. I finally called the doctor since this was an excruciating process and was told I wasn't drinking enough water to dilute my urine. As a tip for anyone else (since you're afraid to drink water for fear of the pain of peeing!)...I dumped about three glasses of water on myself as I was urinating in order to artificially dilute the urine. This was a god-send! The water was cool and really made the experience more bearable...still very painful for about 10 days, but bearable.

I took sitz baths three times a day (usually after urinating) and applied the Silvadene cream after each bath or after using the bathroom. The area was SO sensitive to the touch - hurt pretty bad to put the cream on and the baths were soothing yet uncomfortable at the same time. I noticed that the cream was really gunking up on me...creating a crust and getting very thick. I was afraid of really washing myself off down there (you can't really rub or wipe due to the pain), but decided I really needed to. After about 5 days I got in the shower (not my first shower in 5 days!) and pressed the washcloth on myself. It was painful, but felt good to get the gunk off. I think this was a good move and the more I read about second degree burns, I found that you do need to cleanse that white gunk off there. I don't think I could have done it much sooner since the skin hadn't started healing yet. I couldn't get it all off, and the skin hurt a lot afterwards, but it felt good to let the skin breathe. I would apply more cream and go to bed. I did this daily afterwards.

There are still a few patches that are bright red and sensitive to touch - obviously still not healing as quickly as the rest, but overall, I'm mostly healed now. Pain tapered off gradually, but I really saw an enormous change in pain, swelling and sensitivity about 12-13 days after the surgery. Suddenly I was able to put on underwear again (I hadn't worn any for a week and a half)!! I can walk around my apartment so much better and practically sit up fully upright on the couch. There is still sharp pinching pain every once in a while in a couple of the more slowly healing areas, but I no longer take the pain medication and I feel incredibly better. I had started to get worried that the pain was not subsiding...luckily it stopped at just the right time!

I plan to stay home from work for another 5 days to fully heal before going back to work and sitting on my vulva on a hard chair for 9 hours a day. (I might even take a donut in with me - embarrassing!) I haven't had my post-op appointment yet, but I think things are probably coming along well now.

If anyone else has had this surgery, I do still have a couple of questions (and my doc's nurse isn't helpful). How long should I apply the Silvadene cream? Most of the skin looks bright pink like new skin so I don't think I need the cream anymore on that part since its purpose is to prevent infection. Instead, is there something else (another lotion or cream?) that might be good to keep it moisturized and keep up the healing? Also, any idea how long it takes before you can resume a normal life (sex, exercise, etc.)?

Sorry for such a long post but it feels GREAT to write all of this down!! :)





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