I have never had regular periods, that’s one of the “joys” of PCOS. Recently though, they have been super long. We’re talking ten days of bleeding in a good cycle but usually two weeks or more. Plus unpredictable mid-cycle spotting. If my cycles themselves weren’t so dang long, I’d never stop bleeding… So thanks(?) PCOS.
So anyway, I got a referral from my family doctor to a specialist here in Kingston. Because you can never have to many doctors looking at your bits. This new doc, Dr M2 (not to be confused with Dr M – the high risk OBGYN who oversaw my pregnancy with Anika), ordered blood tests and a saline ultrasound that had to be done between days 6 and 12 of my cycle. Of course, my body decided that this window should fall exactly when Dr M2 was on holiday.
I went to Ottawa to have the saline ultrasound done there rather than waiting for another whole cycle to come around. And because, like I said before, you can never have too many doctors looking at your bits. The doctor said that other than a polyp which Dr M2 would discuss with we at my follow-up, everything looked good. So I felt alright about shelving the whole thing until I could talk to Dr M2 on August 20th.
I guess it was a week after that appointment that I got a call from the secretary at my specialist’s office that my appointment was booked for August 24, in Napanee and my doctor will meet me at the OR. With my shocked and confused reaction she confirmed that I am who I am, and then she said that following the results of my tests as discussed at my follow up, my surgery has been booked for August 24. I explained to her that I had not had a follow up after blood tests and an ultrasound… She put me on hold.
Just as an aside, the 24th is a pretty inconvenient day for me as my brother in law will be getting married the very next day and I was so very looking forward helping set up and decorate and then dancing and celebrating. Oh, and Malcolm is the best man, and I don’t want to get in the way of his best manly duties.
After a while she came back and said that my specialist would like to see me the following Tuesday (August 7) at 9:30am and would discuss the results of the blood and ultrasounds and reminded me again that my surgery was booked for August 24 in Napanee. She said they’d call me a few days before that with an exact time, and my doctor would meet me at the OR.
Immediately the worry set in. And so did consulting Dr Google. Uterine polyps are also known as endometrial polyps. They are skin tag like growths on the walls of the uterus and common symptoms are irregular periods, heavy flow during periods, bleeding or spotting between periods, bleeding or spotting after menopause (which doesn’t apply to me), infertility and increased likelihood of miscarriage, and prolonged periods Women with PCOS are at a higher risk of getting polyps due to increased estrogen. It’s a small likelihood, but some endometrial polyps are cancerous. My brain couldn’t let that C-word go the whole time I was waiting to get in to see Dr M2.
Why else would I be having a removal procedure booked without even seeing her? Was there something in the blood tests that showed cancer? I’ve been on the losing side of the statistics before, was this just another losing hand for me?
I also worried about how they would remove the polyp because of my TAC. It restricts the opening of my cervix, so would they go in laparoscopically? Is it weird that I was kind of hoping for another laparoscopic surgery through my abdomen and more little scars to add to the constellation on my belly rather than having my transabdominal cerclage compromised?
Tuesday arrived and we went to see Dr M2. She explained that usually she would have done the scan herself and would discuss the outcome at that time, but because of the whole vacation thing and me having my scan in Ottawa the lines got crossed and she scheduled me for surgery assuming that I knew what was going on. The next available date, if I chose not to do the surgery on the 24th wouldn’t be until October… Right in the middle of my first semester of my undergrad, not ideal.
My polyp is 1.5cm by .8cm located on the anterior side of my uterus; with both Lily and Anika I had anterior placentas, so I’m guessing if I were to get pregnant again it would probably attach anteriorly and this pretty sizeable polyp could cause it to fail. Since the polyp is over 1cm it can cause cramping and bleeding (like I have been experiencing) and puts me at a higher risk of miscarriage in a future pregnancy so that’s why Dr M2 wants to remove it. My blood tests all came back normal and cancer was not even mentioned once. The surgery would be done transvaginally using a 5mm scope so that it won’t dilate my cervix to the point of upsetting my TAC. Dr M2 was very good about explaining that there are different instruments she could use and ways to do the removal and that using the smallest scope possible (the 5mm scope) and then chopping the polyp up into little pieces so that it can pass through my cervix without issue is the least invasive and safest way for me because of my TAC.
I told her about going to the wedding the next day and she said that I might have a bit of cramping and bleeding, but that “going to a wedding the following afternoon might be a nice thing”. Which is good since that’s the plan. I can slow dance, but I probably don’t want to be “getting jiggy with it” all night. Bummer. I really love dancing even though I look ridiculous.
I tried to find articles and information regarding polyp removal with a TAC and found nothing. I tried calling my TAC surgeon for reassurance, but she was on vacation, I tried again and still no response… So I’m taking that as a good sign, she didn’t feel the need to call me and say “bad idea! Don’t do it!”
I turned to the AbbyLoopers community and got a few reassuring responses that other women have had polyps successfully removed after having a transabdominal cerclage placed. But I found nothing concrete on the best practices for polyp removal with a TAC in place. So I just have to trust that everything will go well.
I have watched some polyp removal surgeries on YouTube and the actual procedure seems to take only about 5 minutes. Mine might take a bit longer because she’s going to chop it up. But it really doesn’t look like a scary procedure.
I got a call this morning that I have to be at the hospital at 10am this Friday, no food or drink after midnight. No pain meds or anything that morning. Just show up and get it done.