How to Prepare for Your Hysterectomy Surgery
So you’ve decided that you’re ready for a hysterectomy. You’ve spoken with your doctor and agreed on a date and plan of treatment. Now what? Preparing yourself mentally and physically will make your recovery easier, and you’ll know what to expect each step of the way.
Taking time to prepare your house and follow your doctor’s tips will ease fears of surgery and get you ready for a speedy recovery.
Research Your Procedure— Gathering all the information you can about the type of surgery you’ll be having may seem daunting, but you should know what’s going to happen to your body. You may have questions for your doctor that you hadn’t thought of before, but are now ready to have answered.
Make Sure You’re Healthy Enough for Surgery — Do you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or sleep apnea? Discuss with your doctor any conditions or medications you take. Your doctor will need to ensure that these are under control in order to deem you a safe candidate for hysterectomy surgery. If you are overweight, your doctor may schedule the surgery a few months out so that you can lose weight to lower risks with blood loss, anesthesia, or other complications. If you smoke, it’s imperative that you quit immediately. Smokers have problems breathing during surgery and heal much slower than non-smokers.
Prepare for Medical Leave at Work — You may need two to six weeks before you can return to work, especially if you work long hours on your feet. Fill out necessary paperwork and notify your superiors.
Get your Post-Op Prescriptions Ahead of Time — Rather than going to the pharmacy right after surgery in a pained and weakened state, ask your doctor if you can get any prescriptions filled early. Alternatively, make arrangements for a family member or friend to pick them up for you after the surgery.
Make Your Home Comfortable — Prepare frozen meals, casseroles, and easy-to-make dishes beforehand so that you don’t have to labor in the kitchen. If you live in a multi-story home, consider setting up your living quarters on the first floor in order avoid going up and down those stairs. It may be too much for you following surgery. Move furniture around to be more accessible, and prepare a safe spot on your couch or bed where you’ll allow yourself plenty of time to rest and recover.
Reach Out to Your HysterSisters —Talking with others about their recovery can help you prepare both mentally and emotionally. HysterSisters can give you advice you may not have considered like keeping extra pillows and a large water bottle by the bed. Surgery can be scary, but knowing that many other women have come out of it happy and healthy is sure to help calm your nerves.
Drink Plenty of Fluids and Eat Well — Drinking broths, water, tea, coffee, etc. will help prevent constipation, which can be painful after an abdominal surgery like a hysterectomy. However, limit your consumption of energy drinks like Powerade. While they do have electrolytes, they’re also loaded with sugar. Eating balanced meals of protein, fruits and veggies gives your body the vitamins and nutrients needed to heal your body. Throw out the junk food, even if it is your comfort food when you’re not feeling well.
Accept Help from Others — Find someone that will pick you up from the hospital and take you home after the surgery. If you live alone, ask a friend or family member to check on you at your home and to call or text you every few hours. Your doctor may advise you against driving for up to two weeks, so if you must go somewhere, arrange for someone else to drive you. If someone offers to babysit, clean, or make a meal for you, accept the help without guilt. You deserve a full and restful recovery, and surely others want to help you have that, too.
Preparing for a hysterectomy surgery takes planning and research. The more you prepare yourself mentally and physically for the operation, the easier it will be to bounce right back.
Content sponsored by Nevada Surgery and Cancer Center (NVSCC). Located in Las Vegas, Nevada, we treat gynecologic cancers including Ovarian, Cervical, Endometrial, Vulvar and Vaginal. Specializing in robot-assisted surgery, we also surgically treat fibroids, endometriosis and other complex gynecologic conditions with a minimally invasive approach. Doctor Lynn D. Kowalski, M.D., has served Las Vegas since 1998 with compassion and innovation.