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El Camino Hospital and Me

Lily’s Story: Hysterectomy

What if you were told your uterus would need to be removed — before you had even had a chance to have children? That's what happened to Lily. Fortunately, Lily found a wonderful doctor who worked with her so that she could first have a child, then have a hysterectomy that would allow her to recover quickly so she could be back home taking care of her baby. Here's her story.

In 2007, Lily received possibly the worst news of her life. She was diagnosed with a precancerous uterine condition, and the standard protocol called for a hysterectomy. But Lily was only 37 and hadn't yet started a family, so a hysterectomy was out of the question for her.

"I still wanted to try to have a baby," recalls Lily, so she opted for conservative hormone therapy instead.

Fortunately for Lily, she was able to get pregnant, and in 2010 she gave birth to a healthy baby girl. Lily was absolutely thrilled.

She was hoping to then have a second child, but while undergoing in-vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment, her doctor found a relapse of her precancerous condition.

"My doctor told me I really needed to think about my own health, to be safe," says Lily.

Lily's doctor, Prasanna Menon, MD, recommended trying a single-incision laparoscopic surgery (SILS), which would be the first time the procedure had been performed in the South Bay. The SILS approach uses just one cut through the belly button. Other laparoscopic techniques require multiple entry points, usually three to four incisions.

Lily chose the SILS procedure because she wanted the fastest possible recovery and the least invasive surgery possible. After all, she had a 20-month-old to care for at home, and she was still planning to have another child through a surrogate as soon as she was well again.

Lily's surgery was on December 21, 2011. Later that same day, she was already up and walking. On the second day, she was home and taking just one ibuprofen pill a day.

"I didn't even need a prescription pain medicine," says Lily. On the third day, she didn't need any pain medication at all. "And on day four, I was back to cooking in my kitchen!"

"I am thrilled to have gone through this procedure," says Lily. "No woman should have to endure more pain than necessary."

Lily, we couldn't agree more!