Hysterectomy is surgery to remove the uterus. It may be recommended to treat heavy or painful periods, uterine fibroids, or endometrial, cervical, or ovarian cancer. In some cases, the fallopian tubes, ovaries, and cervix may also be removed.
Preparation should start as soon as the procedure is scheduled. Here are some of the steps that patients can take to prepare for a hysterectomy.
#1 Talk with Your Gynecological Surgeon
Take the opportunity to discuss the surgery with your surgeon. Don’t hesitate to ask questions, such as whether a traditional or laparoscopic hysterectomy is the best approach to treating your gynecological condition, and why it is so. Ask as many questions as you’d like to educate yourself on the procedure and what to expect.
#2 Ask About the Specifics of the Procedure
Gain a clear understanding of the type of hysterectomy that you will be undergoing, whether it’s a total hysterectomy or a partial hysterectomy, and whether the fallopian tubes or ovaries will also be removed. Another important thing to discuss is your expected recovery timeline, as you will need to plan for it. You should also know the length of the procedure and the logistics, pre-surgery steps, and expectations on how much time you will need to spend in the hospital.
#3 Submit to Pre-Surgical Testing
Patients typically need to undergo comprehensive testing before surgery, which may include blood work, a computerized tomography (CT) scan, endometrial tissue sampling, and an electrocardiogram (ECG) to ensure that you are fit to undergo surgery. It is important to discuss any underlying medical conditions you have that may complicate surgery or recovery with your doctor.
#4 Talk About Anesthesia
Understand the type of anesthesia that will be used during surgery and discuss any concerns you may have with the medication used. Make sure that your doctor is aware of any allergies you have, from certain anesthetic medicine to latex, as these are serious considerations before surgery.
#5 Discuss Your Medications
Provide your surgeon with a list of medications and supplements you are taking. This includes herbal remedies. Some medications may need to be stopped before the procedure.
#6 Make Lifestyle Changes
If you smoke, it’s advisable to quit smoking before surgery, as smoking can impair healing and increase the risk of complications. Additionally, maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine – including Kegel exercises that strengthen the pelvic muscles – to boost your recovery after a hysterectomy.
If you are overweight, the doctor may advise that you lose weight, as that can increase the risk of complications.
#7 Prepare Your Home for Recovery
Arrange your home for a safe and comfortable recovery. It can take anywhere from two to six weeks to make a recovery from hysterectomy, and you want to be as comfortable as possible during this period. Prepare essentials beforehand, such as meals, groceries, personal care and hygiene products, and books, magazines, or movies for entertainment. Consider setting up a designated recovery area, ideally on the ground floor of your home.
#8 Gather Support
Enlist a friend, family member, or caregiver to assist you during the initial days of recovery, as you may have some mobility limitations. For instance, you should avoid lifting anything heavy after a hysterectomy and may find it difficult to cook meals and clean up after yourself in the initial days following the procedure.
#9 Follow Pre-Operative Instructions
Your healthcare team will provide specific instructions on fasting and medication use one week prior to surgery. The day before your surgery, you may be instructed to go on a clear liquid diet. By midnight, you may be asked not to eat or drink anything. It’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions properly. If you are unsure about anything, give their office a call for clarification.
#10 Prepare Yourself Mentally
You need to schedule time off from work for surgery and recovery and prepare mentally for it. Surgery is not just physically exhausting, it can also be emotionally taxing. Engaging in relaxation techniques, deep breathing exercises, or meditation to alleviate anxiety and get yourself in the right headspace. Educating yourself in the procedure and recovery is a great way to set expectations and calm nerves, too.
#12 Arrange for Your Transportation
Plan for transportation from the hospital on the day of surgery. Hysterectomy usually involves a stay in the hospital, so you will need to arrange for your return home as you will not be able to drive yourself. In fact, the hospital won’t release you without a trusted companion to take you home.
#13 Clear Any Doubts and Concerns
If you have any doubts or concerns about the surgery or recovery process, don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor or care team. The more informed you are, the calmer and more relaxed you will be for the procedure.
Hysterectomy Surgeon in Miami, FL
The gynecological surgeons at Levin’s Women’s Health & Wellness Center use the highly advanced da Vinci Surgical System to perform a hysterectomy. Using this technology, we achieve successful outcomes with less pain and a faster recovery for patients. This robotic surgery system is cutting-edge technology and not all gynecologists are trained in its use. Our OB-GYNs are proud to offer you this most advanced options for surgery.
To schedule a consultation, call our office today at (305) 981-0231 or use our online request form. We are a multilingual staff, and we look forward to serving you.