First 3 month check up - what to expect

Hello ladies,

I have my first post-hysterectomy check up tomorrow and I’ve no idea what to expect.

Is it like a smear? Or will they just feel around? Do they take biopsies usually?

Scared!

Jo xx

Hello lovely - when I went for mine, the consultant asked how I was getting on and then told me that everything I was struggling with is perfectly normal for 3 months after surgery. Kind of reassuring but not much practical help.

Then he got the nurse in to be his chaperone (his words) and she held my hand and chatted to me. I told him I was nervous as nothing had been up there since the operation. He said that there was no reason to be nervous and was kind and almost jolly about it. 

He just had a feel around. He just used his fingers, no speculum or tools. No smear test. It was very quick and wasn't painful. He said everything was fine and sent me off saying he'd see me in 3 months' time. So no need to worry about test results or anything.

I got back to my car and found that my parking was still free because the whole thing had taken less than half an hour.

So please try not to worry too much - I was a bit tense beforehand but there really was no need.

Good luck x

Amazing thank you Rosehip.

I’ve not had anything up there since the op either so was wondering where I should, err, break the seal so to speak! Had visions of a colposcopy style exam but given I can’t lay on my back comfortably yet I was getting worried.

Thank you xx

Hi Jo

I've had a few check ups since my surgery now and all have gone well.  There's nothing scary about the procedure although I do find it difficult going back to a place which brings back unhappy memories.  But that could just be me.

The hospital staff usually ask some questions about your healing and general well-being and have an internal probe.  The staff are friendly and put you at your ease.  It's not painful although possibly a bit uncomfortable - there's no equipment but a finger up and firm feel around (!!!!).  Rather than scary I find the appointments reassuring and am glad they are being thorough to be honest.

Good luck tomorrow you'll be fine :)

Best wishes

Kirsty x

 

Thank you,

I did go back 4 weeks ago as my recovery’s been so slow but they only prodded my tummy then. I jumped off the bed! I then realised I’d gotten so used to it feeling numb that it startled me to have sensation across my scar.

I’ve been very apprehensive and it’s brought back each and every one of the feelings I had when waiting for results and treatment plans. As I’m physically still very much aware I had an operation for cancer I’ve never had a moment where I can forget. But being right back in the mind-terror is not pleasant. But, I got through it before, I’ll get through it again. And each little visit for a check up will be another step away.

Thankfully my appointment is at 9am so I can then go and have a nice coffee :slight_smile:

Hope you’re doing ok xx

Hey just an update, I had the check up and it was fine. My consultant examined me and said I've not got cancer, it's very unlikely to come back and the only real way they will know is if I have any symptoms. She was of the opinion that regular check ups like these cause so much mental anguish they're not worth it unless you have a physical problem or symptom. Personally I found it reassuring to go, also to know that I was progressing ok after surgery. Xx

Hi Jo,

I agree with you that although it is stressful building up to it, it's also reassuring, and I wouldn't want to be left without check ups, even though I know any recurrence would be likely to show symptoms that I would immediatey flag up anyway. I just like to have the extra reassurance of my gynaecologist being happy!

Well done Jo - every check up is a milestone, so it's great you've got one out of the way. Smile

Love, Annabel. x

 

xx

Glad it was ok Jo. I was wondering how you got on.

My consultant basically said something similar, effectively that unless we have had bleeding its very unlikely to have come back. Still, it's good to get checked over I suppose. 

Hope you enjoyed your coffee - and had a big piece of cake with it! x

so i'm jumping ahead of myself here, but is that it when all this is over.  do we just wait for symptoms?  

how long do these regular checkups occur for?

Hi Pat,

They’re every 3 months for the first 2 years, then become less frequent, I.e. 4-6 months until 5 years. I think everywhere is a little different. My consultant is happy for you to go on yearly check ups after 2-3 years if you’ve had no problems but it’s totally up to the patient if you feel comfortable with it.

I’m not sure but I always presumed I’d be given a vault smear once I’ve healed properly. Apparently tumours have a distinctive feel to them so when they examine you internally they check for this too.

Xx

thanks Jo, now my next dumb question what's a vault smear?

x

Hi Pat, It's where they take cells from the top of your vagina, like a smear would. As the cervix is removed they do this instead. I don't like the term vault, it seems like a huge cave or something! And there's no such thing as dumb questions here. Thanks to having cancer and the hysterectomy I know now way more than I ever wanted to about these things! X