November 27, 2015

Getting Spayed: Six Week Update

It's been six weeks since my laparoscopic bilateral salpingectomy. It's a ton easier (and admittedly more fun) to say I got fixed. Now, except for two tiny little incisions that are still healing, you wouldn't be able to tell I had surgery.

As a reminder, here's what I looked like the day after surgery:



I covered the big events of the first month after surgery in my previous post, and really there wasn't much to talk about. Like most people who have surgery, there was bloating and a small amount of pain, which was managed with extra strength ibuprofen for about a week. But I was working from home and visiting friends the very next day, back in the office on three days later, and eating and drinking normally that week, though not as much as I usually do. 

I haven't shared this with a lot of people yet. Part of me really wants to, because I'd love to shout this from the rooftops. But part of me understands how sensitive people can be to things they aren't familiar with and, as it was put to me, being so sure you don't want kids that you'll change your body is such a foreign concept. However, those I have told have been almost uniformly supportive. My close friends and family members who do want kids have been the most supportive, saying they're happy for me and reminding me I'll be a great aunt. 

One thing I am very, very happy to be doing again is running. I had taken a few months off due to an injury, combined with an extra hot summer, so adding the surgery was just one more reason to not exercise. Now everything has fallen back into place and running feels so good again. I've even started doing some weights. Since I'll never be pregnant I'll also never have to work as hard to stay fit and in shape. It's amazing how quickly the body readjusts to exercise; even taking almost three months off any form of exercise except walking the dog, after only a few short runs I feel my muscles returning and my jeans are a little looser. It's lovely.

The final thing I'm still waiting on is that sweet, uncomplicated, risk-free sex. Six weeks was the time I had to take off from both sex and tampons, and it was something I didn't think would be so hard (that's what she said) to stop, especially when you're still going to bed every night next to this person you think is really sexy.

However, it's Thanksgiving. Which means traveling and staying with family (his) and a further moratorium on sexytimes. I would say I'd give an update on what this risk-free sex is like once we get back, but I'm not. So here's a photo of what my scars look like today, because that's basically the same thing, right?



And here are the two photos, six weeks apart:


Feel free to leave a comment if a salpingectomy is something you're considering, or share your stories from your own spaying!

33 comments:

  1. Thanks for the info in your two posts! I'm having the same procedure in 3 weeks so I'm stalking the Internet for personal accounts. Did you have any shoulder pain from the gas? Any effect to your regular cycle? Sorry if that was too personal to ask.

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    1. Hi there! I'm so glad this has been helpful to someone. I'm happy to answer your questions - I feel with this just about anything is game. :)

      I didn't have any noticeable shoulder pain, fortunately. There was slight discomfort for about a day or two, but that could have been from anything. I really felt distended from all the gas still in my abdomen for several days.

      As for my period, yes it was interrupted. I should have gotten it 10 days after the surgery and didn't get it until 20 days after. But when it happened it was a normal period, if maybe a little heavier since it had been longer since my last one. I had my post-op visit with my doctor while I was waiting for it to come and she said it's not typical that the period should have been interrupted, but every body responds differently to surgery. I did, however, have period symptoms and cramping when it was supposed to happen, so who knows. Back to normal now, I think.

      Feel free to ask more questions if you'd like! You may also want to check out www.reddit.com/r/sterilization for a lot more personal accounts.

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  2. Hello Lindsay Marie, could I email you about this procedure?

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    1. Sorry, I don't want to give out my email address. But you're welcome to ask more questions here!

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  3. Lindsay Marie, have you experienced any severe pain during your periods? I keep reading that women start having bad cramping during their periods after this procedure.

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    1. Nope, my periods haven't changed since the surgery. They've always been light and relatively short and almost entirely un-crampy. I'm very lucky!

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    2. Hi again, I wanted to follow-up here. My most recent period was much more crampy than normal. I actually felt pretty bad and used a heating pad. I also took one of my leftover extra-strength ibuprofen, which helped a lot. But so far that's been the only one, and every now and then when I was younger I would feel that way, too. So I don't think it's related. But if I have a few more like that I'll let you know.

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  4. Hi! Thank you for sharing your story-it's been hard seeing actual pics that are not horrific out there about this procedure. I am getting this done is about a month, and my main concern is scarring. I am a professional bellydancer, and teach and perform every week. Obviously I will be taking a week or so off from classes, but I'm really afraid of scarring, and if I'll get gigs again afterwards. After all, my costumes all bare the belly lol! But it looks like the scarring, for you at least, has been minimal? I had a really bad burn once on my stomach and was told I'd have scarring, but I took good care of it and it didn't not leave a permanent mark, so it seems like I have a strong capacity to heal. I am hoping the same with this procedure.

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    1. Glad this was helpful! I'm 3 months in now and my scars are very small. I couldn't imagine two tiny scars would stop you from getting work - but maybe ask your doctor if he or she can make the incisions a little lower, where your costume would cover them? I also didn't use any scar concealer, since almost no one sees my belly. If you use something to minimize the appearance you'll be just fine!

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  5. Thanks! I asked my doc, and he is making the main incision lower, so I think I will be ok! My surgery's in two days, wish me luck! Thanks for putting this post out there, it's super helpful to see actual photos instead of crazy Google search images, and to hear it wasn't that scary. Thanks!

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    1. How did your surgery go? Hope it went well!

      It's now 5 months since I had surgery and my scars are so small. The one on my right side looks like it could just be a skin discoloration; I can barely even feel it. By the time I hit my 1 year surg-iversary I'm sure they'll be gone. (I'm actually a little sad, I've loved this small reminder.)

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  6. Any post surgery updates? You mentioned that you had a boyfriend. Even after surgery, being preggers is always a scary thought in the back of one's mind.

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    1. Nothing really. I've been back to my regular self for several months, and as it's coming up on my 1-year surgery anniversary I'll probably write another post about what it's been like being sterile.

      As for worries about getting pregnant, I can confidently say I have not once been worried since my surgery. It's the best feeling! I track my period with an app because I like knowing when I can expect it (I'm super regular, which is nice), but other than that I don't worry a bit. And honestly sex is even better! No hormones to be messed with, no stopping for a condom, we can be more spontaneous and are completely relaxed because it's impossible to get pregnant. That was why I wanted this procedure - if I was going to go through surgery, I wanted to be 100% sure it would work. When I see friends and others who are pregnant and have kids, I smile to myself knowing that will never be me. Definitely one of the best decisions I've ever made. :)

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  7. Thank you for responding! I was really curious if post-surgery was effective! I mean I'm single and not sexually active but when I get married I want to not be scared or nervous. Based on friends, being preggers sucks!

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    1. Super effective! I have not been worried about getting or being pregnant once and my boyfriend and I are able to completely enjoy each other. I knew that regardless of my views about having kids, I do not want to be pregnant. So this was the only way to go for me.

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  8. I'm just reading this for fun because I had this same surgery last Thursday. I was going to get my tubes tied but when I woke from surgery I was told she had removed my fallopian tubes. I'm so happy I found a magical unicorn of a gyn who knew what I meant when I said I don't want children. She knew I meant not now or someday or ever, not even in dreams or when I'm drunk. So she snipped me and I'm so excited! I'm glad other women are doing this too!

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    1. Congratulations on your surgery and on your doctor! I've heard a few other stories of women going in for a tube tying and coming out with a salpingectomy. I love this procedure as it completely removes the risk. Yay!

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  9. I was wondering if you would be willing to share which doctor you went to for your surgery? I completely understand if you don't want to though. I just wanted to ask because there aren't any listed on the subreddit page for Arizona so I will probably have to go out of state to get mine done unfortunately. Thanks :)

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    1. I found my doctor on the subreddit list (Dr. Khan). However, it was the resident that I had my doctor crush on. I only met Dr. Khan on the day of surgery.

      Also, it wasn't cheap, even with insurance. I'm working on a follow up on dealing with that, but it cost about $2k. :( Some dumb loophole about how salpingectomy isn't technically a birth control procedure so it doesn't have to be covered. Be sure to get the full costs up front!

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  10. My surgery is the 10th of October in I have done all my homework but my question is concerning the cases they wrap legs in they don't use the ones that go on ur feet and legs do they. Cus I was just gona wear a pair of regular socks n I already have hospital socks so was going to wear both cus feet get cold easy. In my other one is about the glass I no they pump ur stomach did they try to get any out

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    1. My doctors were very concerned with keeping my whole body warm. In addition to the leg wraps and hospital socks, I was given a heated blanket while I was waiting, and they switched it for a freshly heated blanket as I was walking to the surgery room. I had to completely undress and wear the hospital clothes before my surgery so you probably won't be able to wear your own socks (for sterility reasons). But I also think each hospital does things a little differently, so if you're concerned about it you can call and ask what to expect.

      No stomach pumping on me! I had an empty stomach for surgery because I had nothing to eat or drink for 12 hours before. They'll tell you the same, no doubt. I did have gas afterwards but it wasn't too bad - I felt really bloated but it was uncomfortable, not painful.

      Good luck next week! You must be excited. :)

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    2. I just found your blog. I had a bilateral salpingectomy almost 2 weeks ago on 9/21. I had gotten the ESSURE implants back in 2011. I didnt think i had any problems with them but saw the support group on Facebook and read all the issues others had. It started to scare me. I had no pain but lots of bloat belly, weight gain, joint pain and extreme fatigue. I was shocked to find out after surgery that they had both moved from my fallopian tubes and he found them both embedded deep in my uterus. I even had the hsg test they twll you to get 90 days after getting Essure and the radiologist said they were in place and both tubes were fully blocked. How the heck I didnt get pregnant over the past 5 years is amazing. I do not recommend Essure to anyone. I thought it was the greatest thing because i had no problems. Funny thing is, its 13 days post op and Ive dropped 9 lbs (just sitting around recovering), I have a ton of energy, no more napping needed, and my joints dont hurt at all. Normally, getting out of bed in the morning was torture on my feet and knees. The day after surgery I told my teenage daughter "if i wasnt afraid my belly button would pop out like a timer on a turkey, i feel like I could do jumping jacks! My feet and knees feel great!" My ankles are skinny again...I can wear my rings again...my fingers no longer feel like the skin is going to burst when I clench a fist. I feel like somebody pushed a RESET BUTTON.

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    3. Hi Little Nest, thanks for sharing your experience. I'm sorry you had to go through all that before finally getting your salpingectomy. That was one of the reasons I didn't want Essure - I didn't want *anything* inside me, especially something that other women reported going so wrong. Congratulations on your amazing recovery!

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  11. Have there been any more irregular or much more crampy periods for you since the surgery?

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    1. Nope, after a few months of my period being a little wonky it settled on a schedule and has been the same for about a year now. My period also didn't change much, since I wasn't on hormonal birth control before the surgery. I'd say that whatever your period was like before you started hormonal birth control, that's what your period will be like after surgery (unless you stay on hormonal BC after for whatever reason).

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  12. Hi, I'm having this procedure done in a week. Did you get your ovaries and tubes removed or just the tubes? Also how long did it take for the abdominal bloating/swelling to go away and back to pre-surgery normal? I was told it takes a week but I've been reading stories on forums that say it takes months.

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    1. Just the tubes! I

      I had a bit of a belly before surgery, so normal for me isn't exactly a flat tummy. I felt back to normal after a couple weeks, but I went right back to my normal bloaty diet immediately (beer, pho), so that didn't help me feel thinner. Months seems like an exaggeration, but everyone is different.

      Hope you had a great surgery and are recovering well!

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  13. Hi I'm having laparoscopy in a week to be permanently sterilized (32, never had children). Did you get your ovaries and tubes removed or just the tubes? Also how long did it take for the abdominal bloating/swelling to completely go away and back to pre-surgery normal? My doc said it takes a week but I've been reading posts on forums that have said that it takes months. Thanks!

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    1. Hi again KT, responding here to make sure you get this. I'm sure you're well on your recovery path by now and your bloating should be back to normal! Feel free to check back here. :)

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  14. I'm having this surgery on Thursday. I am beyond excited. I have two kids (3 and 2.5 months), which is two more than I was ever planning on having, my hormones have been al out of whack since my second was born, I gained a ton of weight with the second one (same with the first, I lost every single ounce, let's hope that happens again) - I'm done with hormones, birth control that doesn't work, feeling like my body isn't mine anymore - hoping I'll get the "reset" effect. Thank you for sharing, you addressed a lot of stuff I was still feeling in the dark about.

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    1. Hope you had an easy surgery and your recovery is going well! The bloat you'll have from the surgery will go away (not real weight!) and your hormones will go back to the way they were before hormonal birth control, but probably not before you had kids. I'm not a parent and have never been pregnant, but I've heard lots about hormones changing after kids, so I can't really speak to that. But you will hopefully be as back to normal as possible, and you'll be sure you won't have any more kids. :) Feel free to post here again and let me know how your recovery has been.

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  15. Hi,

    Thank you for your blog and detailed information. I just had the surgery today and I am recovering at home. I decided on the bilateral salpingectomy because I did not want anything left in my body and I was told through IVF I could still have kids. I felt like the choice is always there and not permanently removed. I am blessed that I have two kids already but do not want any more so I decided the procedure was best in regards to the choice given to me. The tubal ligation was an option but after finding out that a friend of a friend had that and 10 years later it unraveled and she was pregnant; I thought to myself that isn't a good choice either because I don't want that constant worry. It was great that you put your experience out on the blog with pictures I reviewed it multiple times to get an idea of what I will feel like because this was my first major surgery although for years I saw patients in the OR you really don't know the felling unless you go through it. I had a great doctor; she removed all the air before I wok up so I was the same as I was when I walk in despite the incisions. Thank you again marisa.

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    1. Hi Reese (Marisa?), that's exactly why I went with BLS over a tubal, too. I didn't want any chances and this is as close as I could get without removing the whole uterus. I'm glad my photos and story has helped! It was my first major surgery as well but it went so smoothly. I really trusted my doctor and everyone at the facility. I hope you're already recovered!

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