Anyone had major surgery?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 263
   Posted 12/1/2008 1:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey everyone,
I am on a waiting list for a major elective surgery, and have been for nearly 5 years, long before fibromyalgia set in. The surgery is a double-mastectomy-reconstruction, done by "DIEP flap" meaning they take the tissue from your belly and "move it up" to make breasts. They schedule 10 hours in the OR for it!

I just wondered if surgery will make my fibro worse, or better, or no difference. I know you won't know this but wondered if anyone else has had surgery and what their experience of the fibro symptoms was!
I have Fibromyalgia, but nothing else!

I take Lyrica 150mg b.i.d.
Tramacet 75 mg for breakthrough pain

Tried amitryptelene 2.5 mg but it made me a zombie!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 5514
   Posted 12/1/2008 1:48 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Schutzhund,
Wow, did you ever post this at the right time!  I just had major abdominal surgery 3 1/2 weeks ago.  I had a hysterectomy with the uterus, cervix and fallopian tubes taken.  It's a big time surgery.  My expected recovery time is 2 months.  I can't do much of anything yet. 
I was afraid my fibro would become a demon.  But it hasn't!  It's no worse than before I had my surgery.  It might even be a bit better acutally.  I have a clearer head, lol. 
I made sure that my surgeon, and anesthetist knew about my fibro and I made sure that I was put on the operating table with my neck and head in a supportive spot, that my arms were kept as close to my body as possible ( to avoid shoulder pain), and to give me additional pain medication BEFORE the surgery was started.  I also had a PCA (patient controlled analgesic) so that I could just hit the button and pain meds would be delivered by IV.  No waiting for pills to take effect, etc.  I got instant pain relief when I needed it.  I didn't need it very much!  I was shocked by how I did.  I didn't even go home with any narcotics.  I just took extra strength Tylenol. 
Considering the length of your surgery, I would be adament about putting your neck into a brace. And making sure your lower back is supported somehow.  And the pre surgery pain meds, post surgery PCA. 
I think you'll do great!  How exciting to be having this done.  You've waited a long time.  I'm doing fantastic and I have no regrets about my surgery.  If you want to email me, just click on my name. My email address is there. 
Do you know when the surgery is, or have they given you an approximate? Oh, just so you know, I was flaring BAD when I had my surgery. I was worried. Truly.  But everything was great!
I can do anything through Jesus Christ who strengthens me. I have learned in whatever state I am in,to be content. Phillipians 4:11-13

34 years old. Diagnosed with Lupus in 2000. Fibromyalgia, Anti-phospholipid syndrome(APS)(stroke, 2002), Sjogren's, Raynaud's, Libman Sach's Endocarditis, vasculitis, sacroiliitis, arthritis (neck), anxiety. Prednisone, Imuran, Coumadin, Clobazam, Amitriptyline, Didrocal, Cozaar, Zoloft, Neurontin, calcium, multi-vitamin, vitamin D, Magnesium, vitamin B6, Acidophilus

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1097
   Posted 12/1/2008 2:00 PM (GMT -7)   
hi schutzhund,

the only major surgery i've ever had is 3 c-sections. the first one was long before my fibro symptoms showed up, the second came about 2 years after i started having tender spots, and the 3rd (4 years ago) was right after things had started getting worse. i have to say that i felt absolutely HORRIBLE after my 3rd c-section and my symptoms have gotten progressively worse. i don't know if this is because of the surgery itself (it was my most traumatic c-section in that my blood pressure dropped soooooo low, i got physically ill during the surgery, and it was my 2nd c-section in 2 years), or just timing or what. it's quite possible that the worsening of my symptoms after the surgery is just coincidence.

that all said-i am very happy that you are going to be having a surgery you've obviously waited a very long time for! you are also SO BRAVE-10 hours in the or?!?? WOW! i really hope that everything goes wonderfully well for you and that you have no increase in your symptoms at all after!

*gentle hugs*

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 261
   Posted 12/1/2008 7:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Well I don't know if this is considered major but i did have a breast reduction done a couple of years ago. I was undiagnosed with fibro back then and I didn't really have the pain that went with the fibro but did have other fibro symptoms and didn't notice a change in those.

What I can tell you is that after that surgery I had a hard time using my arms. If I wanted to sit or stand up I really had to use my abdominal muscles a lot more than I normally would so those got a good work out and hurt a lot.

Allergies, Asthma, Anxiety, Depression, IBS, PCOS, Fibromyalgia

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 326
   Posted 12/1/2008 10:47 PM (GMT -7)   
This last summer I had an emergency appendectomy. They did it the old school way as it had already ruptured. (No tiny laparoscopy scar for me) At the time the surgeon did not know that I was fibro so there were no precautions taken. I did end up in a flare, which was not fun. BUT...I really do think that with a planned surgery, with the right preparation, that you will probably be able to avoid the likely hood of a flare.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 378
   Posted 12/2/2008 7:59 AM (GMT -7)   
I had both ovaries removed in 2005, and didnt know I had Fibro. The surgery was a breeze considering 2 weeks after surgery, the Fibro kicked in.
I lost my hearing temporarily, my TMJ went bonkers, every part of my body ached, and I had vertigo for 2 months. I went to an ENT specialist, he found nothing. Went to ER, they found nothing. It was all a result of the trauma of surgery, and the way I was handled during and after the surgery. Please make sure you tell the nurses, anestheiologist and every one who touches you that you have Fibro. They can help make it more comfortable. I was finally diagnosed in Dec of 2007 after manyyyyyyyyy months of not knowing what hit me.
anxiety/panic attacks...osteoporosis....Fibro

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 263
   Posted 12/2/2008 4:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, everyone, for your responses. Especially ginny...for some reason your post made me feel a lot better. I just think that I will do ok through it and in the end it may even help cuz I have large breasts (I only weigh 130 lbs but I have DDs) I'll end up with nice little "B" cup boobs which should be lighter. Also my belly fat - what there is of it - will be gone. They don't take any stomach muscles with a DIEP flap, so there's no risk of hernia, etc. But they do saw through your rib cage at one point to thread arteries or something....nice (lol). I saw a video of it all in my plastic surgeon's office. And I thought I wasn't squeamish...ha ha ha!

And thanks for the tip about supporting my neck and back. I just imagine that will be a real bugger...but I'll get some lovely morphine so that should do the trick over the 5 days in hospital...

I don't have a date yet...I'm on the top of the list but it's elective surgery so it's a matter of scheduling the OR and 3 surgeons so that's the trick.

Thanks again to everyone who replied!
I have Fibromyalgia, but nothing else!

I take Lyrica 150mg b.i.d.
Tramacet 75 mg for breakthrough pain

Tried amitryptelene 2.5 mg but it made me a zombie!

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