This interview is with Trisha Torrey, a married mother of two from central New York state. Trisha is a patient advocacy consultant and is also the Patient Empowerment Guide here on About.com
How old were you at the time of your hysterectomy surgery?
Trisha: I was 42.
Why was surgery recommended for you?
Trisha: I had a growth on one ovary that was growing very fast -– the size of a golf ball at my check up, and the size of a grapefruit 5 weeks later when removed.
What kind of symptoms were you experiencing?
Trisha: None! It was discovered during a routine checkup.
Were any alternatives to a hysterectomy offered?
Surgery Guide: Trish had a hysterectomy, the removal of the uterus and an oophorectomy, which removes the ovaries. She does not indicate why the doctor chose to remove her uterus for an ovarian issue in this interview.
Did you try any alternative procedures or therapies prior to surgery?
Did you feel like you were being “pushed” toward a hysterectomy?
Trisha: No. Never felt pushed, but never considered any alternatives.
Did your surgeon discuss the option to retain your ovaries, so that menopause would happen naturally, rather than immediately after surgery?
Trisha: Yes. I was given several options and made the decision myself to have a total hysterectomy.
Surgery Guide: A Total Hysterectomy means that the cervix and uterus were both removed, Trisha had both a total hysterectomy and a oophorectomy, which also removes the ovaries and causes menopause to begin after surgery
Were you well-prepared by your physician for menopause to begin during your recovery?
Trisha: No. It was 1993, and hormone replacement therapy (HRT) was recommended. It never occurred to me not to use HRT which I stayed on until 2006. I never had menopause symptoms until I weaned off the HRT.
Can you tell us about your recovery?
Trisha: Uneventful. I started back to work parttime at 3 1/2 weeks.
Did you worry that you would feel less womanly or sexy due to the surgery?
Did you worry that having a hysterectomy would alter your sex life?
Most women say that their sex lives are as good, or better than, before the surgery. Would you agree?
Did the hysterectomy improve your symptoms?
Trisha: I didn't have any symptoms other than the growth which never did bother me.
How is life after hysterectomy?
If you could make the decision over again, what, if anything, would you do differently?
Trisha: Nothing except to ask for a tummy tuck while they were there!
If a good friend was considering a hysterectomy, what advice would you offer?
Trisha: Go for it. I tell other women I am a poster child for the perfect hysterectomy. I had such a positive attitude that it went very well –- I looked forward to no more periods, and it was all good. My daughters were both teens at the time, and they used to tell me they wanted a hysterectomy for Christmas -- anything not to have to deal each month!
What do you wish you had known before surgery that you now know?
Trisha: Nothing. I had prepared for it well, and that paid off.
More Important Hysterectomy Information: All About Hysterectomy
More Real Stories of Hysterectomy: Hysterectomy Interviews
Editor's Note: This is a personal account of this individual's experience. Your experience with hysterectomy may be different, and the decision to opt for surgery is something that should be based on your particular situation and doctor's advice.