Wednesday, March 31, 2010

GYN Roulette

My biopsy results were promising. I don't have to see an oncologist but will have a colposcopy. Having always had normal pap smears and an uncomplicated gynecological history this is my first trip down the medical system's rabbit hole.

The GYN who performed the biopsy & pelvic exam recommended a hysterectomy. I was surprised that she would base such a drastic measure on a pelvic without the results of the biopsy, vaginal/abdominal ultrasound or CT scan. She hastily explained that the lesion was gross, visible and had to be removed regardless of the outcome of the biopsy. I understood that, I'm the one harboring this thing, I'm on board with a coup. But I asked was a hysterectomy the only option if the biopsy didn't indicate cancer? Would we have to throw out the baby with bathwater? She smiled at my lame attempt at humor but was adamant that a hysterectomy was in my immediate future. We spent more time discussing the cutting edge robotic technology one of her colleagues was spearheading, then if there was any other course of action. It didn't make me feel any better to think that my uterus & cervix could be disposed of faster then I could get a pizza delivered.

I know full well that giving a patient the worse case scenario and going from there is the name of the game. But not to give even a passing nod to other scenarios is not something that I'm going to pay for. And as an woefully underinsured American I'm definitely paying for every minute of the good doctors time.

Granted I was shellshocked but here's my transcipt of our chat post examination:

You need a hysterectomy,

20 forgettable words

You can have the hysterectomy at one of these hospitals

20 forgettable words

There is no other option but a hysterectomy

20 forgettable words

But you are in great overall health so you should recover easily from your hysterectomy.

So when she called to give me the good news and schedule the colpo (look at me I'm already speaking the talk of someone who spends way too much time googling gynocological ailments) I knew that I was going to find another exam table to spread my wares on. My single days long behind me I found having 3 pelvic exams in 5 days exhausting.

During my search for a new GYN I found the HERS Foundation who were extremely nice but unfortunately unable to point me to any specific local doctor. But they did validate my feelings of unease with my initial GYN which was of enormous comfort to me.

I've found a new GYN courtesy of google so lets hope that the roulette wheel has been kind to me this time around as I continue on my road to wellness.


  1. I had a colposcopy several years back. I was very nervous about it but found it to not be much more of a big deal than a Pap smear. I had some spotting but it last only for a day. And as for your GYN, yeah I would say a second opinion is warranted. I'm always surprised that doctors still say shit like that, especially in this age of malpractice lawsuits! But regardless: scaring people is *not* cool!

  2. I'm so sorry you're going through all of this!! Is there a teaching hospital near you? Sometimes that is the way to go to see if there is some way to spare your uterus. Did they give you a specific diagnosis yet, based on the biopsy results?