October 17, 2015

Getting My Laparoscopic Bilateral Salpingectomy

Today was surgery day! After about a year of consultations and trying to find the right doctor and not one who would do it begrudgingly, a couple years of giving surgery serious thought, and close to ten years knowing I don't want kids (and more importantly, never want to be pregnant), I am finally sterile.



Pre-op selfie

I stopped taking birth control about 10 months ago because I couldn't start another year on it. What used to work really well turned on me in my mid-twenties and I started getting side effects: mood swings, dryness, irritability, low libido. When I stopped I felt much better, but every time was a risk. And boy did we risk it... I honestly started wondering if one of us was naturally sterile. Part of my consultations was to decide which procedure to go with, and after a long time I settled on a laparoscopic bilateral salpingectomy: full removal of both fallopian tubes. I cannot wait for my 6 weeks to be up for 100% worry-free and baby-free sexy times!

Why a laparoscopic bilateral salpingectomy? 
  1. My fallopian tubes are completely removed. There is no chance I can get pregnant!
  2. There is no chance this can be reversed. I imagine this being particularly helpful for anyone who tries to tell me I can get it reversed if I change my mind.
  3. There's nothing inside me (and never will be, hey-o!). Other sterilizations like tubal ligation and essure leave things behind. A tubal is traditionally done with filshie clips, while essure is a tiny coil that is pushed through each fallopian tube and in about three months is covered in scar tissue. Essure was really appealing to me at first, but I liked the immediacy of the salpingectomy and the fact that there isn't anything left.
  4. There are early studies that show that some ovarian cancers originate in the fallopian tubes. With them gone, my chance of cancer is reduced!
  5. My hormones were not messed with at all. I'll still ovulate, still have a period, still go through menopause, and still get all those glorious hormones that make me a woman. (Yay?)
  6. No chance of an ectopic pregnancy! I'm really excited that this can physically not happen, as it's super dangerous. No fallopian tubes=no ectopic pregnancy! In fact, women who do have an ectopic pregnancy have a salpingectomy. 
  7. If I do end up getting pregnant, my doctor said she'd write a case study on me. :)
Consultation:

I met with a couple different doctors about being sterilized before finding the right one. I knew Planned Parenthood would perform the surgery, but since I'm a big girl with insurance I figured I should try the doctors in my network first. I found an office that primarily performed essure and made an appointment, but was wary of that doctor for several reasons (including his reluctance to do it, and his reluctance to consider a tubal). If I was going to be going under the knife or having any sort of permanent procedure performed, I wanted someone to be 100% on my side.

The doctor I settled on I found through the childfree subreddit, which has a list of doctors willing to perform these procedures on people who don't have kids. I liked everything about this doctor, especially that she seemed fully supportive, possibly even excited for me. 

She did a pap since I was due anyway and we set up a day for the surgery about 6 weeks away.

Surgery Day:

Check-in was at 8:15am. At the front desk I showed my ID and got a wrist band (so fancy) and was whisked away almost immediately for a urine sample for a preggo test. No one told me the result but I'm guessing it came up not preggo, since they didn't tell me they threw in an abortion.



In a curtained waiting area I was given a gown, hair net, and adorable purple socks with grippy paw prints that they let me keep! I'm pretty excited about those, and will always remember my surgery when I wear them. There were also these weird compression sleeves for my calves, apparently to encourage blood flow and reduce the risk of blood clots. The Boyfriend came to meet with me once I was changed and to take my pre-op photo.



During the next hour my doctor, the attending, the anesthesiologist, and a couple of the nurses came in to say hi or introduce themselves. I kind of already have a girl crush on my doctor, but I really liked the anesthesiologist, too. They asked me several times to state my name, birth date, and procedure and my doctor verified a couple of times that this is 100% what I want and that I know this is 100% irreversible. Yes and yes! 

Finally, closer to 10am, I was taken to the surgery room. It was so intimidating! I've never seen a surgery room before and it was both exactly like what they show in movies and the exact opposite. First of all, it was huge and felt domed. It was full of incredibly white light and lots of it, and so many machines and tubes all over the place. The entire crew was already in there, in scrubs and hair nets and shoe covers and face masks. The nurse asked me one last time to state my name and procedure to the surgeons, so I said, "I'm Lindsay, and I'm getting my tubes removed!" I figured they weren't backing out then.

The nurse helped me onto the table, loosened my gown, and got me comfortable. The nurse wrapped me in a warm blanket – the anesthesiologist told me this is because keeping bodies warm before and throughout surgery leads to a better recovery. The anesthesiologist then started the IV in my wrist. He warned me that the drug causes pain at the injection site. I could feel it working almost immediately – I was fuzzy and knew I'd be out within seconds. But I asked him why the medicine hurt, and he definitely started to answer, buuut I was already asleep.

Some time later I woke up in a recovery room with a nurse by my side. She talked me awake(ish), asked me how I was, and helped me sit up a little bit. I was really out of it but responsive and felt fine, though I know I had a whole bunch of drugs in me still. She offered me water or apple juice, and I said both. That was some good apple juice. The Boyfriend was brought back to see me and take my post-op photo.



Someone took out the IV and wrapped it so I look like I survived a suicide attempt. The nurse helped me get dressed and complimented my choice in comfy clothes. She said I wouldn't believe how some women want to walk out in heels after surgery! I picked my superman shirt on purpose: not only did it make me feel a little stronger and braver, but it's super comfortable and loose. Then she told me about my dressings and wheelchaired me out!

The Boyfriend dropped me off at home and went to the pharmacy and grocery store (and had to deal with madness from a home football game). The first thing I did was pee and OW. Catheter. What a bitch.

I had soup ready for me for lunch and also tried to eat some crackers. But that was a bad choice... my throat was sore from the breathing tube. The cat jumped directly on my stomach while I was napping, not cool, and then threw up a massive hairball (on the rug I just washed), and I had to clean it up. Cats are the best. I spent the rest of the day napping, Netflixing, watching the Chargers almost win, and took the dog on a very slow walk with The Boyfriend.


Sweet dog follows me around

My belly button was plugged up with cotton and a very good tape all the way around it. The two incisions on either side were covered in some sort of body glue, and I was told to keep all three dry overnight. I feel pretty huge right now.


Post-Surgery
Day 1:
Slept on my back all night. It wasn't uncomfortable, but the dog loves is most adorable in the morning (when he's at peak cuddly) so I had to keep him off my belly. I wasn't in pain, just bloated. My big morning disappointment was no poo. My whole day is off if I don't have my morning poo. :(

I worked from home (in our new home office) and made soup. I threw in all the fiber I could think of, and it was actually really good. I took a 600mg ibuprofen just because, even though I wasn't really in pain, but then I was eating just because, even though I wasn't really hungry. Surgery is weird. 



The cat tried to jump in my lap while I was at my desk, and I pushed her and she hit her head. Poor lady cat. 

I experienced a little bit of shock over having had surgery yesterday. I think I should feel worse. Bending is uncomfortable, but that's all. I also have the realization that I am sterile. This is something I wanted for a long time but sort of never thought I'd do. When I was a kid I wished there was a pill to get you pregnant so you wouldn't have to have sex with your husband (because gross). Now I've taken out parts of my body so I can have sex without getting pregnant. Super weird. I wonder if this is the part where some women start to regret it.

I pooped! The soup worked! Tip for pooping after surgery: elevate your feet. This is a good tip for any pooping where you don't want to strain too much. Put your feet on a roll of toilet paper and sit up straight. Seriously, just try it. I might do this every time from now on. Even princes and unicorns agree this is good for your sphincter. 

I showered! And took off my belly button bandage – there's a staple* there! It looks really weird. I'm glad I have a belly button ring to hide it a bit, though it's not like people see my belly button very often.

The surgery center called but I missed it walking the dog. They were just checking in, reminding me to call if I need anything. My doctor also called for the same reasons, which was nice.

The Boyfriend and I went to a restaurant for a friend's birthday and I had like 2 ounces of beer before giving it to The Boyfriend. I wore my skinny jeans because they are the most stretchy around the belly, but after 2 hours I was done. It might have been the pizza, might have been not being able to fart, but I had to unbutton my jeans in the car on the way home (and then immediately stunk the place up). The Boyfriend remarked that this is as close to being pregnant as I'll ever feel. I'm grateful for that, and that my giant bloaty belly will soon go down, and that The Boyfriend doesn't even bat an eyelash at my gassiness (both post-surgery and normally).

At home we shared a slice of pumpkin cheesecake (it was treat yo' self day) in comfy pants. Glorious, glorious comfy pants.

*I learn on Day 8 that it's not a staple, it's sutures. Makes more sense, though I swear it feels like a staple.


 BLOAT.

The only belly photos I'll ever take.

Day 2:
Feeling a lot more normal today, but I'm really tired. Probably just didn't get enough sleep, but I look exhausted. My dark circles are out in force today and it's a struggle to keep my eyelids open. It doesn't help that I'm working from home again and it's horribly hot and muggy. I'm pretty sure my minor bloody nose is from surgery, not the heat.

I'm fascinated by my cuts. There's a staple* in my belly button and some weird body glue on the incisions on my sides. They look so weird, and I just look at them sometimes.

I get wine with my lady friend and tell her about the surgery. She had known I was talking about it but was still shocked and had a bunch of questions. I like that she lets me talk about this sort of thing, not everyone is into seeing cuts and hearing stories like that. We then talk about how some of the people in our lives are baby crazy and we don't understand why. Gonna hang on to her.

*Still not a staple.


 Quality photos are not taken with a phone in front of a mirror.

How am I bigger?!? Oh yeah, wine.

Day 3:
Back to work! I wore a skirt because fuck pants. I took the rest of my soup for lunch, though I was still eating far less than I usually do. 

Dinner was pho because The Boyfriend is lovely and puts up with my need for all the pho when I'm feeling even a little bad. It's bad, the lady who owns the place knows my phone order.

While I'm not in pain, I definitely like relying on the heavy duty ibuprofen. I get this pain like I've had a tampon in too long and it sort of resonates through that whole area. Surprisingly almost no spotting, though.


 Dog <3 comment-3--="">

Surgery + soup = giant

Day 4:
Office again, and Friday! Skirt again, but it rained so I was that person wearing a skirt and flip flops in the rain. It was muggy and warm so I wasn't the only one not dressed for the weather, but inside the office was freezing. All I want is for this heat to be over so I can wear jeans and shoes and sweatshirts, and when it's sort of cool I'm stuck in a stupid skirt.

I go to a happy hour after work and don't finish my beer. I don't need bloaty beer on top of my bloaty self.  

At home we order Thai foods, because it's Friday. I'm feeling rather back to normal, outside of the bloat, but not 100% yet.



Shhhh... they're on the bed together.

Day 5:
More skirt. I'm pretty sick of skirts and want to wear jeans again but I volunteered at a workshop for a women's hackathon and didn't want to commit to pants just in case. I'm super in love with these culottes I have for housewear (see Day 2 and 3 photos). They're so comfy and stretchy.

I realized the reason my appetite hasn't been as big all week is because there's still gas that's probably pressing against my stomach and making me seem full all the time. I'm starting to get hunger pangs again, but I've been relying on when I need to take a pill for my meals. I like feeling hungry. On the other hand, I've been eating so well all week that my poops have been fantastic. It's been a great experiment!



Day 6:
The Boyfriend and I went to Pour It Black, a dark beer festival at Stone Brewery. Stouts and porters are my fave and I've been wanting to go to this for a couple years. We arrived a little late (because drinking a whole bunch of really strong beer at 10am just really isn't my thing) and didn't make it through all 15 of our tasters (3oz each x 15 = 45 ounces of beer, or almost 4 full beers). But we had a really good time, got some great food, ran into a friend, and I got pretty drunk. I took an ibuprofen in the afternoon and that held me all day.


In the evening we went to some friends' for the night football game and I got some work done. For dinner I had my first post-op burrito (potato, egg and cheese!), though I saved half for breakfast. Soon I will have my full burrito.

Day 7:
It's been a full week! A week ago I was having surgery. Kind of weird to think about. 

Other than that, regular day, back at work, nothing too exciting. Still only taking 1 ibuprofen, and this one I didn't need until after lunch.


I was able to take closeups of the incisions, with the glue still on. The first two are the incisions over where my fallopian tubes were, and the last is my belly button. I found out during my post-op appointment that at least one of my fallopian tubes were larger than average, and had to be re-routed through my belly button, which explains why my belly button incision felt worse than the others.




Day 8: 
I WORE PANTS. Holy shit did that feel good. I haven't missed jeans so much in my life. 

Still only taking one ibuprofen (and at like 2pm, too), but today I feel like I did a lot of sit-ups. It's like that weird good pain you get, only it's not good because it's surgery, only it is good because it's surgery. I don't know. It wasn't bad. Now I'm wondering when I can start working out again. After an ankle sprain a couple months ago I've been out of commission for way too long. Feeling the flab.

I called the doctor's office and learned that it's stitches in my belly button, not a staple like I thought. They should dissolve on their own, or might come out. I dunno, feels a lot harder than thread... But I have orders to not pull them out. 

I can also take the glue off my side incisions. Maybe tomorrow.



Day 9:
I peeled off the body glue after showering. I'm healing! They're going to be almost invisible! I'm so excited! 

I wonder if anyone else that gets surgery like this is as fascinated with the human body as I am. It just fixes itself. I was cut open and soon you won't be able to tell at all. Amazing. The surgeons did such a good job making the incisions as small as possible so they'd heal, for which I'm very grateful. 

Except now my belly button is itchy. But it's itchy on the inside and scratching doesn't do anything. The nurse said I could take Benadryl if the itchy is too much but that would just put me to sleep. Fortunately it's not so bad and working gets my mind off it. Really looking forward to this being done.



Shitty cell phone pictures are shitty.

I also didn't take an ibuprofen today. :)

Day 10:
Honestly, there's not much to talk about. I wanted to update this to 10 days (then my six week update) but things are pretty much normal. I'm feeling a lot less bloated and almost like I could begin light jogging again. But then whenever I move too quickly I'm very aware of my belly.



Overall, this was a lot easier and less painful than I was anticipating. Pretty surprising, but I'm happy about it, obviously. Check my update for more, and I'll do one about dealing with insurance once that's settled.

71 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing your post-surgery experience. I hope my scarring is subtle like your recovery!

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    1. Good luck! You can also try using products that minimize the appearance of scars. I didn't, because my belly is almost always covered and I'm not very concerned about it, but even still they're so small.

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  2. Question: If a doctor hesitates to do a surgery 15 days before the date, should I switch doctors or was it just him being cautious to make sure I'm certain about the permanent bilateral salpingectomy?

    Last summer in 2015, I went to one doctor about a non-reversible tubal ligation. He was so kind and showed NO JUDGMENT when I explained a list of reasons why I didn't want to ever have kids or be pregnant. Then he suggested removing both fallopian tubes and keeping the ovaries. I never heard of that, so I took several months and researched about it.

    Last Fall I went back and told him, "LET'S DO IT!" He then suggests his colleague instead who he says is more of an expert for salpingectomies. I meet him for the first time today but he was very hesitant and mentioned possibly delaying the surgery to speak to a counselor first.

    I told the 2nd doctor how his colleague before I met him was so free, accepting and 100% okay. Then he responded that his colleague is not the one doing the surgery and that it's happened to him before that a client told him she hated him and regretted a ligation. I said "Well that was her."

    Then he asks "What if you change your mind? What if you meet someone who wants kids and fall in love?" I responded, I dated men who had vasectomies and also didn't want kids.
    Then the doc tried to discuss alternative contraceptive procedures. I told him Essure is now unsafe and I hate the thought of an IUD. By this point, it had been several months. A lot of back and forth with the surgery center and his schedule availability to finally pick a date. This week it got rescheduled. I explained to him that my insurance for my job now covers this type of procedure 100% and there is a chance I might switch jobs so there's no turning back.

    *I fully explained to him that I had no desire for the sacrifices that parenthood requires and I have absolutely no desire to ever be pregnant, give birth or to raise children. I also told him not every woman is born with an innate desire to be pregnant and give birth. Then he said "Okay. I just want to make sure you understand this is permanent. You should definitely only have kids if you want them." He also said that because I'm turning 30, I'm old enough to know. He said that if I were 21, we wouldn't even be having this conversation.

    Then he said that he won't know if I have endometriosis until the day of surgery, so just in case, I needed to resign my consent form that if there is scarring down there he can do a tubal ligation instead of the bilateral salpingectomy. IS THIS TRUE?

    Then there was a mix-up. He also first said the goal was tubal ligation then I corrected him and said the goal is salpingectomy at first then a the tubal ligation as a backup. The consent form said tubal ligation first and secondary salpingectomy. When I asked why, they said they write it that way for the insurance.
    The surgery date is 15 days from now, at the end of this month. I don't want to get to the day of surgery and he gives me the opposite of what I want if I don't have any scarring.

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    1. Wow, you have quite the complication.

      Personally I would find a better doctor, one who is 100% on your side and, most importantly, one you trust. It sounds like you don't trust this doctor.

      Especially since you're facing a possible complication, you want a doctor who will act in your best interests. I had to go through a consultation within 30 days of surgery and I verify I wanted this and knew it was permanent to her, the main surgeon, and a nurse the day of, but no one pressured me.

      Plus, if you're only wanting to go through with it because your current insurance plan will cover it 100%, you should know that all ACA-compliant plans are supposed to cover sterilization 100%. I'm currently fighting my insurance to get it covered, as it was billed as regular surgery, but it hopefully will be. With something like surgery, especially when you have very specific desires, and a potential complication, you want to trust your doctor.

      As for the insurance billing for a tubal, that might be really helpful. Even though insurance is supposed to cover sterilization 100%, some insurance plans specify tubals and essure only, not salpingectomies. If your insurance plan is one of them they might be doing you a favor. Can you ask someone in the billing department about it?

      I really don't know much about endometriosis, so you might want to ask around on www.reddit.com/r/childfree or www.reddit.com/r/sterilization. Lots of other women have gone through something similar.

      Good luck with whatever you do! I hope it turns out really well for you.

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    2. Update...well I'm way behind. I had a discussion with the Doc. He agreed to proceed with the surgery. I was just freaking out because this is a BIG deal. I even typed up Reasons I don't want to have Kids. Not everyone wants to experience pregnancy or the lifetime commitment and obligation to developing another person.

      So my surgery was back on Jan.30th. The way I responded to the General Anesthesia was so FUNNY! The nurses said I kept saying I had to "poo poo" because the gas bloat really tricked my brain I was going to BLOW and needed to reach the toilet. I remember being completely COLD and shaking terribly before I was knocked out by the anesthesia.

      It was so FAST. I woke up on the medical center bed. Post surgery, my scars on my hips healed great. One side you can't even tell. It was my bellybutton I was scared about. I thought it was looking too keloid to me lol. That's where he pumps the main gas in so that explains the puffiness.

      Overall, my experience and healing has been a blessing. The only scary part was the day of surgery and on like the third day after surgery I had some blood clots and heavy bleeding that stopped. The first day and second day were so light. Thanks for your encouragement and responses!

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    3. I'm so glad everything went well for you! Hopefully your scars are super small now and everything is fully back to normal. :)

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  3. I wanted to check in on any side effects you may have experienced since your surgery. I had this done about a month later than you and my surgery and recovery seems very similar. My period returned like clockwork and has been totally normal. I have, however, experienced some weird heaviness or fullness around ovulation and bloating. I'm wondering if it's related to the BSO or something else. There's next to nothing on the web about BSO side effects because everything is talking about ovary removal, too and hormone changes. Thanks!

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    1. Following, I too would like to ask the same question. I had the procedure done a week ago.

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    2. For the most part I haven't noticed any difference in my period. Since people have been asking this question, it does feel maybe slightly crampier the day I get it, but mine has always been very light and generally non-crampy (other than the first day, which has always been worse than the others). But so far no heavier flow, no extra bloating. I would also wonder if any changes you might experience could be due to stopping hormonal birth control? I stopped mine several months before my surgery and didn't experience any significant differences.

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  4. Thank you so much for your in depth blog! I am scheduled for this procedure in just a few hours and was feeling completely terrified (much to my surprise), but you have helped put those fears to rest! I hope my recovery goes as well as yours! :)

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    1. I can't believe you would be reading about these stories hours before your surgery! That would make me nuts! But I'm glad this account helped you feel better. :) Feel free to update here with how recovery is going!

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  5. Thank you for sharing. I just recently went through with the same procedure. Have you had any changes within your body or with your cycle in the following months?

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    1. You can see my other response above - for the most part, no. I stopped hormonal birth control several months before surgery, and other than skipping a month post-surgery my period has returned to normal and has felt normal. The only thing I am slightly noticing now is what I think is ovulation. I never noticed it before so I'm not sure that's what it is, but I do sometimes feel a little movement on my left side. No pain, though.

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  6. Hi there! So, I'm a little bit curious about your overall recovery. I am considering a bilateral salpingectomy (actually I already have a surgery date) but I work an extremely physical job (high voltage electrician/construction) and I am concerned about healing and time off of work. When were you able to fully function without any discomfort at all?

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    1. Bending at the waist is going to be rough for a while. I took 6 weeks off exercise but if my job were more physical I could have done light exercise after a month. I would really caution against going back to an extremely physical job too soon. Moving around, walking, all that is totally fine, but moving quickly and bending or climbing won't be. Plus, you'll be more physically tired the week or two after surgery. Is there a different procedure you can do? Maybe essure?

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    2. I also have a very physical job and I went back after 7 days off. I still restricted myself to not lifting anything heavier than 10 pounds but otherwise did everything else like normal. I work 12-13 hr shifts and by the end of the 4th I was definitely a little achey, but felt fine again after 12 hours rest. Everyone is different, but that 7 days was enough for me. (I'm at 2 weeks post op currently)

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  7. I just had this done on Monday along with Novasure and have a pretty large bruise in my belly button area. There was nothing the day of but every day it's gotten larger. I have a call into my Dr but just thought I would see if anyone else had something like this? I can't find much about this procedure out there!

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    1. Hopefully you've gotten this sorted out by now! For me, one incision was too small to pull out my (apparently larger than normal) fallopian tube, so they had to pull both through the other side, which was noticeably larger. My belly button probably also got a bit of extra work but I didn't have bruising. Hope it went away!

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  8. Thanks so much for posting this. I'm sitting here right now very scared about my upcoming procedure. I was really scared of the recovery and what it would be like but wow, you handled it like a champ! That is very motivating and makes me feel like I can do this and be ok too. Seriously, thank you! Although, I do have to admit that I'm not too excited about looking like a have a baby bump after. I have put a lot of work into getting that to go away ;-) haha.

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    1. Hope yours goes just as well! The best thing about the surgery baby bump is it's temporary - all your hard work is still right there under the gassy bloat. Plus, never being pregnant means a lot less work to keep it that way. :) (PS - tell me how you did that, because while I'm a pretty thin person I'm definitely getting a little extra stomach)

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  9. Im booked for this surgery on the 28th. I have ballet classes every tuesday how long do you figure id have to skip them and do you notice if the surgery affected your stomach muscles at all? Im also planning on going camping 3 or 4 days after the surgery would that be stupid

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    1. You should play it by ear depending on how you feel. I don't have any ballet experience, but those lessons seem pretty strenuous. You can might be able to go back in 2-3 weeks if you can take it easy during lessons.

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  10. THANK YOU for your post!! I found this by typing in "laparoscopic bilatural salpingectomy" as that is what I'm going to have done this Fall. I have 2 kiddies, ages 8 and 4, and my husband and I are DONE having kids. It's great to see that your surgery went well and you're so happy with the results - it definitely calmed me to read your post. Thanks again!

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    1. Very happy I could help! I assume you had an easy job getting approved since you have kids (but then again I had an easy job and I don't). Hope yours goes as well as mine and you're back at with the kiddos! Feel free to update back here after your surgery. :)

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    2. Thank you for your response! My doc moved practices, she's an NP, so I had to speak to the new doc she joined with - who thankfully, is super sweet!! She did ask me, "Are you 100% sure, a million% sure, you're done having kids? You're completely done done done having kids?" before we spoke, but I guess they ask that to cover themselves in case someone misinterprets the procedure and tries to sue afterwards (because you know, people and common sense, duh!, lol!) I'm scheduled to have the surgery in October, once my daughter (who is 4) starts Pre-K and my son (who is 8) will be in 3rd grade - so I don't have to worry about anything but resting for 6 hours while they're in school. Using condoms with my husband was getting frustrating (more for me, he's totally cool with whatever), and I didn't want to go back on the pill after my daughter (I used Yasmin, but they stopped prescribing that, and honestly, I was getting regular periods so I didn't want to mess with my hormones again, as you posted too). I will definitely post back to you; I'm excited :)

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    3. Oh they'll be asking you that many more times. I had two consultations where I had to state that I was 100% sure and knew this was 100% permanent, and several more times day of surgery, including as I was about to hop onto the surgery table! They need to be sure and give you an out. But if you're sure, it'll be no problem. :)

      When you're having your surgery I'll be having my 1-year surgery anniversary. Congrats to us both! Feel free to pop back in to give an update - I don't know that anyone else commenting here is a mother, so that might be helpful information to have.

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    4. Today is post-op day 3 for me after having the bilateral tubal ligation (fulguration). I have a tiny pain by the incision site but not too much and I think it's just because I still have the steri strips there and it's a little uncomfortable. I got my period yesterday, which is exactly when I was due for it and it's a little on the heavier side, so I'm taking Advil for the cramps pain. Overall so far, I'm happy with the experience. I see my doc in 2 1/2 weeks and then we'll have no worry sexy time :)

      Congratulations on your 1 year surgery anniversary :)

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    5. Hi again Mommy Nancy! Thanks so much for updating back here. It's been really great knowing about your experiences. Congratulations on the surgery! And thank you for the well wishes on my anniversary (post about that going up today). :) Best of luck to you during your post-op consultation and in your ongoing recovery. Sounds like you're well on your way to being fully recovered. And you'll definitely enjoy this new worry-free condom-free sex. ;)

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  11. I just had this done 3 days ago, and I'm feeling fine. No pain, just taking a couple ibuprofen a day. You're right that bending over is a bit odd, but I was expecting to feel much worse. I'm glad that I wasn't the only one who didn't want essure or an iud, I don't want a foreign object in my body! Happy day, no babies!

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    1. Glad to hear yours went well! Isn't it great not having anything inside you? That was one of my biggest concerns, and I felt a little silly for it but glad I stuck to my guns and got the procedure I wanted. Sounds the same for you!

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  12. Thanks for the great story - it's very encouraging to read about the recovery. I'm considering having this for birth control reasons (age 46, married, no kids and never wanted any). Question: Did you have the salpingectomy via DaVinci robotic assisted method or standard laparoscopic procedure?

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    1. I'm pretty sure it was normal with whatever manual tools they use. If there was a robot involved no one told me - that would have been pretty cool!

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  13. Thank you for your open experience. It was an encouraging factor in my own sterilization - a week ago! And, hey, it was marvelously easy! Virtually no pain after 4th day; am still careful with incisions, stretches, etc. The thought of being a pro-active responsible woman makes me feel kind of sexy... :)

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    1. Congratulations! I agree with you on feeling a little extra sexy being able to take matters into your own hands like this. And I will say, the completely spontaneous, worry-free sex is totally worth it all. :)

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  14. Hello ! Thank you for such an honest and open piece about female sterilization . I am 25 and in the past 3 years I have come to the firm understanding I do not want children. Now I am in a committed relationship with a partner who does not want children also and the immense fear abortion may happen despite being very careful weighs on me constantly. Living in Texas complicates things as doctors here are very traditional in their view points. What resources can you share about finding doctors willing to perform this procedure? I have thought about planned parenthood also but felt a private doctor might be able to perform a higher standard of post -op care. Thank you so much !

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    1. Congratulations for realizing what you want and for finding a partner who shares your views and goals. That's no easy feat! I also agree with you on being terrified of abortion, and even though it's easy to get one in California it was still not something I wanted to do. Continue to be careful until you can have a more permanent method - have you considered an IUD while you decide your long term plan?

      As for finding a good doctor, there is a list available here (I found my wonderful doctor here): https://www.reddit.com/r/childfree/wiki/doctors

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  15. I am having my surgery on Tuesday! I'm a little nervous but after reading your article I felt a little more at ease so thank you! Thank you! Also did you experience any weight gain in the months following surgery?

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    1. Congratulations on your surgery! I hope you had an easy surgery and are over the biggest hurdle in your recovery period. I was bloated for a couple weeks after surgery, but didn't gain any lasting weight. In the last couple months (since starting grad school) I've felt a little flabbier, but I blame drinking, take out, and a lot of late nights. :)

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  16. Lindsay thanks for sharing your blog. I am weeks away from my surgery and I am getting nervous.
    reading your blog makes me feel more comfortable.Surgery is a surgery and complications can happen but I am trying to keep positive and hope my outcome is a successful as yours.
    Have you noticed your periods diminished after surgeries? right now I have IUD (Paraguard) which causes super heavy periods so I am glad that will be over also once that is removed.
    let me know your thoughts

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    1. Good luck on your surgery! Of course complications can always happen but if you know that this procedure is right for you do what you can to prepare and then try not to worry. I believe that our attitudes can affect our health, and feeling positive can go a long way. But it's more important to have a medical team you trust and have confidence in - I hope you have that!

      My periods are pretty much exactly the same after surgery. I stopped hormonal birth control 10 months before my surgery so I had already gotten over the effects of "coming off" the hormones. My periods were also very light before and are still very light. I actually considered Paraguard before because I wouldn't mind a heavier period - I can barely use tampons now. Once you stop Paraguard your period will go back to whatever it was like before.

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  17. Im on day six and a piece of the glue came off on one of my incisions im freaking out because it started bleeding somewhat do u know if this is normal...

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    1. Hey there, I hope you called your doctor after leaving this comment. I'm not a doctor, but I would imagine some light blood wouldn't be a big problem as long as it stopped quickly.

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  18. Thanks for this!! I just had my bilateral salpingectomy done afew hours ago, by an awesome doctor, who gave me no grief or problems with my decision. Besides never really wanting to be pregnant, severe back problems that would make it misrerable to carry, and being 38 - topping off the list is the fact that I have chronic Lyme disease- for which studies are being done about passing from mother to child. I think, it goes w/o saying - I would never want to pass this disease on. I wish it one no one.

    I will say, besides the cramping pain, I am also having the shoulder and neck pain from the CO2. I could go on for a while. But, for now I need to rest... I'll be happy to share my experience more when I'm not quite so dopey!

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    1. Congratulations on your surgery AND for finding such a great doctor! I totally know how you feel, it was like mine was a unicorn. So glad she isn't and that other women have great doctors who understand them.

      Also sounds like you had quite the list for not wanting kids - at least I hope that made it easier on you, since you have to put up with a chronic disease. Definitely feel free to check back in once you're fully recovered - I hope the cramping and CO2 pain have both gone away by now and you're starting to see what it feels like being a fully sterile adult. :) I'm a fan!

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  19. Hi there! I'm getting a bilateral salpingectomy next month. I have one daughter (1.5yo), she makes me happy, and she is morethan enough. I am 31 and don't wanna get pregnant again that's why I talked to my OB and she'll gladly do it for me. Just one question though...you didnt get some weight gain and depression after your surgery right?

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    1. HI Diane! Congratulations on your upcoming surgery and best of luck with recovery and with your daughter!

      I did not experience any weight gain or depression after my surgery. I was bloated for quite a while, but that was probably gas (most women have gas pains in their shoulder, I did not). I also went right back to my normal habits the next day (drinking alcohol, eating regular food), though at a reduced rate. I probably lost weight, since I was eating a lot less, but I don't have a scale and certainly did not look like I lost weight (as the photos show).

      As for depression, I feel the opposite. I'm actually happier. Being on birth control pills made me unhappy, made me not care for sex, and made me far more moody than I've ever been. However, I transitioned off birth control pills 10 months before my surgery, and I think many women transition off at the same time, so they attribute those hormonal changes to their surgery.

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  20. Did you experience any mood swings or weight gain after your surgery? I'm scheduled for a bilateral salpingectomy in 3 weeks.

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    1. Hey again Diane, commenting here to make sure you see it (also commented on your other comment). I did not have any mood swings, weight gain, or depression after surgery - but if you're on hormonal birth control now you might feel some of that once you stop. It should level out within a few months if that's the case.

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  21. Thank you so much for replying!:) Really appreciate it! I'm currently on Mirena IUD and I had mood swings and some hair loss while on it. I just met with the anesthesiologist and he said that they'll put gas on my tummy while doing the procedure. They reassured me too that it is minimally invasive and that my recovery should be faster than when I had C-section delivery.

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    1. From your previous comment you're probably in recovery right now. Hope it went well! The gas makes you feel bloated but it goes away in about a week. I'd imagine this recovery will be far faster and easier than a C-section - those sound really invasive! Hope everything goes well for you.

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  22. oh my god. this is amazing. i just got an iud but still would prefer anything that will make me 100% baby free. maybe i will start discussing with doctors in my area -- i am 20, and in a very conservative state, but maybe i can find som

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    1. Good luck! The younger you are the more difficult it will be. But not impossible! You can definitely bring it up now and every appointment over the next couple of years so your records will show that this is what you want. In the mean time, an IUD is great at preventing pregnancies! Good luck!

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  23. Hi! Thank you so much for writing this up! My tubal removal is booked for 3 February and I'm excited. I'll still be on hormonal BC for PCOS, but the fact that the threat of pregnancy will be gone forever is thrilling.

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    1. Congratulations on your upcoming surgery! I have to admit, as much as I hated hormonal BC towards the end there I do miss the ability to plan my periods. And since you have PCOS, it obviously has other benefits, too! Good luck on your surgery and feel free to check back in after!

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  24. Thank you so much for this post! I've never wanted kids and am scheduled to get surgery this week. However, one of my friends and I got in a heated debate; she says it will throw me into menopause and cause hormonal issues, whereas my understanding is that it shouldn't affect it since I will have my ovaries. I feel that other issues, such as discontinuing hormonal birth control, are likely the causes. Unfortunately, I have pretty bad anxiety in general so she made it skyrocket! My doctor has been very reassuring and he's made it clear that that's not the case- but I'm still irrationally nervous. What are your thoughts on this? I see from other comments that you haven't experienced issues- which is highly reassuring to me!

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    1. Hi Ceramarie, hope you had an easy surgery! I'm glad you talked to your doctor about this, too. Trust him! Your fallopian tubes have nothing to do with hormones, so removing them won't affect your hormones at all.

      However, if it had caused early menopause I don't think I would have minded it. I mean, it has to happen someday, right? Why not get it over with, and then not have to dread anything related to my reproductive system at all? So far, though, that hasn't been the case, and I don't anticipate having to worry about that for at least 20 years. :)

      Good luck on your recovery!

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  25. What does your belly look like normally? To me the day 10 photo still looks very bloated but I'm not sure if that's just your normal size?

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    1. Wow, rude. Yes I was still pretty bloated on day 10. The swelling didn't go down fully for a few weeks. But there was a visible and physical difference between day of and day 10.

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  26. hi girls and thank you for sharing. i just got mine done 4 days ago and i am very crampy and constipated. Does anybody know what l should do for help the constipation. i am in so much pain with gas and constipated.

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    1. Hey, hope you're all better now! Didn't check my comments for a while. In case anyone else reads this, eat more fiber! That's all I did and I felt fine. I made a fibrous soup and ate that for a few days, but others also take a stool softener. Also I've heard walking helps with the gas.

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  27. Thank you so much for writing this. I am having my surgery tomorrow and your blog has put me at ease.

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    1. Hey Renee, hope your surgery went well Glad I could help. :)

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  28. Thanks for sharing! got mine done yesterday and im so happy! Im just worried about side effects as postpartum depression has hit me 3 times after having my 3 children but other than that, im feeling great. My periods are heavy but my Dr spoke to me about having Genesys HTA done so i will be done with periods!!!

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    1. Congrats on your surgery! Hope you've had a smooth recovery. The great thing about BLS is it doesn't affect your hormones at all so there should have been no changes. Also, I'm a little jealous about your period situation! Almost two years later and now I'm just annoyed that my periods ruin nice weekends and vacations (true story). I used to think I'd always want it to really know I wasn't pregnant but now that I don't worry about it I'm just annoyed. :(

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  29. Thanks for blogging about this! I just had this procedure done two days ago and it's awesome to see your pics of recovery. I have a 16 year old son and am definately DONE with kids, but the biggest reason I did this is that my mom has ovarian cancer. There is good, solid evidence that most ovarian cancers actually start in the fallopian tubes, so, yeah, this decision was easy for me (and my doctor, too). Thanks again for the post!

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    1. Hey Zero, congrats on your surgery! It's so nice to not worry about unintended pregnancies. :) The potential reduction in risk of ovarian cancer was a big selling point for me, too. I don't have much of a family history of it, but that doesn't mean I'm safe. I already have HPV so why not do anything I can to reduce my risk? Hope you had a great recovery!

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  30. Hi guys! I had the same thing done two months ago and recovery went well but im not experiencing depression and mood swings. Anybody else?

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    1. HI Broken Hearted, did you want depression and mood swings? ;) The fallopian tubes don't affect hormones so there's no reason you should feel any change in your mood. The only reason you might is if you use hormonal birth control to regulate your moods, and then you stop taking it after the surgery you could go back to having them again. But that's a case by case thing and not typical.

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  31. I know this is old but I'm wondering if you've had any complications this past year after surgery. And thanks for sharing your story

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    1. Hey Laura, so far so good for me! Everything returned to normal within a month or two. By now I can only see one incision site and I'm actually a little sad the other visible one is gone (the third is in my belly button but no one can see in there). I've had smooth sailing.

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