Medical Q&As

Hysterectomy - complications?

I am writing to you for some advice on a health problem that has been going on now for almost 5 years. I had a hysterectomy just over a year ago because of precancerous cells in my cervix. I was told that I was not a suitable case for laser treatment because there were too many abnormal cells present. Two months after the operation I started to bleed on and off and this problem has persisted up to the present day. The bleeding happens after intercourse, after heavy house work and after I go for a walk. Also I have now developed a bad pain in my left side. It goes from low down in my tummy to high up under my rib cage. I went back to the gynae clinic on Monday and saw the doctor who performed the operation. He was very puzzled about the pain in my side. He scheduled me to have a scan after I suggested it! He was going to re-open me to look at my ovary which he thinks may have moved or dropped and got stuck to something else during the healing process. I took very little comfort out of the visit. I don’t know if I should let him operate again if he needs to or if I should get a second opinion first or maybe even change to a doctor in Dublin that my sister attends. I do not know what to do or which way to turn. Please can you help me at all or give me any advice of what to do.

It is possible that you may have adhesions in your abdomen following the hysterectomy. That means that some of the structures in your lower abdomen and pelvis may be stuck to each other, which could explain the reason why you are suffering pain in the left side. That is the reason why the gynaecologist said that something “may have moved or dropped and got stuck to something else during the healing process”. I would suggest that you wait for the result of your forthcoming scan, which hopefully will give some useful information about your condition. Armed with that information you can decide if you wish to continue under the care of your present specialist or alternatively you might decide to seek a second opinion. If you do decide to take that latter course of action the scan could be useful to the specialist providing the second opinion. If that specialist confirms the opinion of your current gynaecologist there may be some benefit in being treated by your current specialist since that doctor is already familiar with your case and has the advantage of prior knowledge of your internal anatomy from the previous surgery. However, if your confidence has been adversely affected by your experience over the course of the past year it would be reasonable to change specialist. Irrespective of a doctor’s competence it is probably best for both you and the specialist if you were to seek help elsewhere, especially if your confidence in that doctor’s ability has diminished. Remember, you are not under any obligation to proceed with a course of action with which you are not comfortable.