Can surgery cause SLE Lupus?

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Elsie Mae
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 32
   Posted 4/10/2012 6:37 PM (GMT -6)   
Twenty-five years ago, at age 30, I had a hysterectomy to end a long and painful battle with Endometriosis.  While still in the hospital recovering from that surgery, I started experiencing surgical menopause and the symptoms of FMS and/or Lupus for the first time.  It wasn't until recently that I finally tested positive to SLE Lupus on lab work though.  Could the hysterectomy and/or the surgical menopause from that surgery have caused or accelerated the development of Lupus?  Why did Lupus take 25 years to show up on lab work even though I have had MANY Lupus sumptoms all these years and had previously tested negative to it?

Lynnwood
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Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 7720
   Posted 4/10/2012 6:52 PM (GMT -6)   
If you find definitive answers to those questions you will greatly further Lupus research!

Basically, no one knows why we get Lupus or what might cause it. We kinda' all believe that stress (mental, physical, spiritual, whatever) can contribute to it, but there is no scientific evidence to answer any of your questions.

Additionally, your situation is made more confusing because some (many) Drs are happy to diagnosis on symptoms alone, while some stubbornly cling to the idea of a blood test. The Lupus Org and the Rhemy folks all say you need 4 of 11 symptoms, only of of which is the blood test...so some Drs may have diagnosed you back in the past just by symptoms....

All we can really do is be aware of how we feel in the present and see that our Drs give us symptom relieve, with or without a formal diagnosis. Fun, huh?
Lynnwood, Lupus & Sjogren's Moderator
DIAGNOSING-LUPUS & LUPUS-RESOURCES
"Life is far too important to be taken seriously" - Oscar Wilde

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 4/10/2012 6:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Lupus is a tricky disease to diagnose. A good rhuematologist takes in account your bloodwork and your symptoms.

I had surgery for acid reflux two years ago after that my body went down hill. In less than a year I was diagnosed with lupus. IMHO I wonder if the surgery wasn't a stress trigger for my body.
Joy

momto3
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1331
   Posted 4/10/2012 7:07 PM (GMT -6)   
I've often wondered if surgery can trigger certain auto-immunes.  I had surgery a year prior to my RA diagnosis and a few days after surgery, I developed something strange, with a fever, and hot swollen joints, I was like a balloon, and my fingers were so swollen I had to have my wedding ring cut off. It was very painful. Nothing like that surfaced until nearly a year later, triggered by a stomach bug. I say anything is possible.

AngelinaATF
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 135
   Posted 4/10/2012 9:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Wow does that sound familiar! I too had symptoms appear out of nowhere once I had hus..but I did have some joint pain in the last pregnancy ...so my doctors assumed pregnancy triggered the lupus (or in my case MCTD).
Oddly however, I too had severe endometriosis (6 laps; 3x on Lipton for total of @ 2.5 yrson Lipton - I know it's not listed as safe over 6 mos but it was only thing that helped me!).
I always kindof assumed the Depot Lupron caused it - or contributed to it. But I don't think I will ever know for sure! It took a long time for diagnosis & by that time I couldn't even work! It's still bad but not nearly as severe as those 1st yrs! My heart goes out to you! It's s very complicated, isolating disease & not alot of Drs are qualified to treat let alone really know what it is! Hang in there! We are all here for you! Ang
Angelina.
age 41, Mom of 2 great kids (10 & 7), Diagnosed in 2007
MCTD(LUPUS), RAYNAUDS, FIBROMYALGIA, L4L5 disc herniation, fracture in L3 fro EPIDURAL in childbirth
Meds: Prednisone, Nifedipine, estropipate, cyclobenzaprine, Cymbalta, sulfasalazine, gabapentin, hydrocod, fentanyl patch, methotrexate - MTX (on hold), clonaxepam (sleep), vit D, PRILOSEC, Transderm Scopalamine, Vit Bcomplex

AngelinaATF
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 135
   Posted 4/10/2012 9:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Oops! Its supposed to say "once I had the hysterectomy" - gotta love these little word finders! (On my kindle fire) :)
Angelina.
age 41, Mom of 2 great kids (10 & 7), Diagnosed in 2007
MCTD(LUPUS), RAYNAUDS, FIBROMYALGIA, L4L5 disc herniation, fracture in L3 fro EPIDURAL in childbirth
Meds: Prednisone, Nifedipine, estropipate, cyclobenzaprine, Cymbalta, sulfasalazine, gabapentin, hydrocod, fentanyl patch, methotrexate - MTX (on hold), clonaxepam (sleep), vit D, PRILOSEC, Transderm Scopalamine, Vit Bcomplex

AngelinaATF
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 135
   Posted 4/10/2012 9:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Oops again! "LUPRON -not Lipton!" Hahaha! Silly me!
Angelina.
age 41, Mom of 2 great kids (10 & 7), Diagnosed in 2007
MCTD(LUPUS), RAYNAUDS, FIBROMYALGIA, L4L5 disc herniation, fracture in L3 fro EPIDURAL in childbirth
Meds: Prednisone, Nifedipine, estropipate, cyclobenzaprine, Cymbalta, sulfasalazine, gabapentin, hydrocod, fentanyl patch, methotrexate - MTX (on hold), clonaxepam (sleep), vit D, PRILOSEC, Transderm Scopalamine, Vit Bcomplex

Elsie Mae
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 32
   Posted 4/10/2012 9:37 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the feedback! It is interesting that others have also wondered if Lupus started following a surgical procedure or illness. After my new family Dr diagnosed me with Lupus, I dropped my long-time rheumatologist for ignoring my symptoms and saying I only had FMS and OA the last several years. Had I known I had Lupus, I may have avoided three total left knee replacement surgeries in 14 months (the first two had problems and needed to be re-done, by two surgeons in two different hospitals) to deal with chronic inflammation, fluid build-up, coming loose, and being painful. My new Lupus Fdn. book specifically described the disease attacking joints, especially knees. The symptoms the book described were the ones I had experienced for about 3-4 years. When I shared this with my 2nd knee surgeon at a post-op appt (following the Lupus diagnosis), he agreed that indead the Lupus could have caused problems with the knees, including after the surgeries. Prednizone for the severe inflammation seems to have helped knee #3, so far. It has lasted longer than the previous ones. Best wishes to everyone battling Lupus and other related health problems! Overall, life is a blessing although each moment of each day is a challenge.

Bsime
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1342
   Posted 4/11/2012 4:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Elsie,
 
Your surgery probably did not cause lupus but it could have been the final trigger that made it symptomatic.  Below is a link to LFA which mentions surgery as a possible trigger.  Also keep in mind that there can be multiple triggers over a long period of time.  My case was probably lurking for 15 years (low platelets and mild anemia) before symptoms appeared but we don't have any idea what the final trigger was that made me sick.
 
 
None of know for sure.
 
Bill

Elsie Mae
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 32
   Posted 4/11/2012 8:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks, Bill, for the info and link!

IslandDave
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 4/14/2012 12:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Another vote, actually two, for the possibility of surgery causing SLE lupus. My Dad was 36 when he had surgery for a hernia and soon afterwards is body went to garbage and he was diagnosed a couple years later with SLE. I had surgery more than a year and a half ago to repair my severely dislocated shoulder and was under general anesthesia for two hours. Soon after starting physical therapy and rehab, my body went crashing to crap. I was diagnosed two to three weeks ago with SLE lupus and dermatomyositis (a mixed connective tissue disease). I was so weak and had lost the strength to move my legs out of bed in the morning and could not stand without assistence.
 
So, we've two votes for heredity being involved in SLE as well as surgery possibly being a stress trigger.

Elsie Mae
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 32
   Posted 4/14/2012 2:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for sharing your stories.  It sure sounds like surgeries can trigger SLE, especially for those with genetic links to SLE.  Good luck living with yours.  Each day has its challenges, but I just keep on going as well as I can for as long as I can. 
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