Monday, April 12, 2010

Questions for the Surgeon

This weekend I had my 3rd Fertility Sport Group meeting and as always
I was incredibly inspired by these strong, outgoing woman. Each of these
woman have chosen to take different paths on this fertility journey, and
as a group we all support each others choices.  In Just one afternoon 
they reminded me that I am in charge of what path I take and how fast 
I walk it, they reminded me to stand up for myself. 

I know I should already know this, I work as a doula and every day I 
am encouraging others to advocate for the birth they want. I have now
decided to treat myself as a client and follow the advice I would give 
when a woman is feeling pressure from the medical system. 

The first piece of advice I would give a client is to ask questions, find out 
if your doctors philosophy on birth  (or in this case fertility) matches 
yours. For example if you have a doctor that gives every first time mom 
an episiotomy and you believe they should only be done when medically 
necessary, then perhaps that's not the doctor for you. If you had not 
asked where they stand on episiotomy, you may have never known what 
was soon to come in your future. 

Tomorrow is my consultation with the laproscopy surgeon, and as you 
may have read before on this blog, I am terrified of this surgery. I know
I need to have it, and I can accept that, but I can also follow this advice
and make sure I have a surgeon that I feel comfortable with. I will go 
in there with my list of questions, the only problem is, I don't know 
what questions to ask. That's where you come in, does anyone out there
in the blog world know what questions I should be asking the surgeon
so that I know I am getting the best care possible? 

Thank you in advance to anyone who can help me out here :)


  1. You should definitely ask the surgeon if he is going to do anything (i.e. remove endo if her finds it) or if it's just a "look see." I didn't realize that my first surgery would just be a "look see" surgery and that he wouldn't remove anything. In retrospect I'm glad that I had two surgeries and that I was mentally prepared for my second surgery, but it was quite a blow to find out that he didn't remove anything while he was poking around.

    You should also ask what his protocol is if you have to have a second surgery, depending on what is found.

    I would also ask about pain management post-surgery. I wasn't given anything after my first surgery, but it was nothing compared to my laparotomy.

    You can look at this post before my first surgery if you're curious to see what I went through:

  2. 1. Is this just a lap or is it also a hystereoscope?

    2. If you have blockage in the tubes, can she/he clear it out?

    3. what is she going to do once she is in there? specifics are good

    4. you were concerned about scarring, so ask her about her plans to limit the amount of scarring on the inside.

  3. I don't know what to say as I've never done it before, but I'm really hoping this gives you some good answers!

    Sounds like you have some good questions above.

    And way to go on continuing to go to the support group - should be very helpful! I'm a little jealous...

  4. I completely understand how scary it is to even think you might need surgery..this thought have not been far from my mind with my fibroid but as you mentioned it is important to be happy and comfortable with the doctor you choose to go with..which I am and I believe in what he is doing to help me.
    You are a strong woman too first and foremost as you write and speak to others what you are going through. Many others would find that very hard to do.

    I applaud you for starting the support group and I feel very lucky to be part of it and to be able to be around such smart, courageous and positive ladies..all of you have inspired me to move on with my life and to lift my head up and know that i'm not alone.

    I have not done this procedure myself so i'm not much help in what questions to ask but what i can say is ask as much questions as you need too until you feel comfortable with whether or not to move forward with the surgery or even with the surgeon. Thank goodness for the support system that we have! Good luck with the appointment tomorrow and make sure to afterward treat yourself to something tasty like (chocolate)!

  5. JB gave some great advice, my first lap, like JB said was not very painful, I took some tylenol 3s after (but that was because they didn't do anything). My laparoscopy where they did "work" and landed me in hospital for almost 2 weeks was a whole WACK of pain.

    I would ask him what his opinion is on trying some lupron treatment instead of surgery - or doing lupron before/after surgery if you ahve endo.
    If you are contemplating doing any ART then also ask him his opinion on doing ART before or after doing any "work" laparoscopicly.

    best of luck and feel free to email me!

  6. I would ask if he finds endo if he is planning on excising it - totally different from burning it with a laser. Excision is the only way to remove endo, everything else just takes off the surface and leaves the rest behind. Also - ask if he will check your tubes are clear while they have you open.

  7. You will have already had your appointment by now, but the advice I'd have offered would be to not worry too much about asking the questions all at once ... it's okay to take some time to think about things and you can always call the doctor back if anything else occurs to you after the fact.

    Do you remember the second time we went to the hospital when S was being born, and my water was really close to breaking and they offered to do it for me and we all decided to take a few minutes to talk about it, then I sat up and ka-SPLOOSH? I think about that moment a lot. It was a great lesson for me that when you take the time to make the best decisions for yourself, the universe responds and respects it.

    My OB's staff used to gently poke fun at me for always showing up with a written-out list of questions, but I could never understand how a woman could go through a pregnancy without doing that! Doubly true when you're trying to conceive!

    I hope your appointment went well -- let us know when you get a chance!

    -- J

  8. Thanks for the comment on my blog - and yes, I will definitely keep doing the meditation! I also think of you when I'm stopping first thing in the morning to do my 10 minutes and I have other things I could be doing. But I promised you I would keep doing it, and I'm sticking to it!!! Thanks for this!!!

  9. Hi! I found you through Kim's blog and I'm delighted!! Of course I'm late to give you any advice but I hope it all went well and I look forward to your next update. Love, Fran