50 Things I Wish I Had Known Before Hysterectomy
As you prepare for your hysterectomy and recovery, it can be helpful to know what other women wish they had known before their surgery. Their tips and advice from a “been there, done that” perspective can help you better prepare for your own hysterectomy.
Below you will find 50 of the “wish I had known” tidbits that HysterSisters members have shared over the years. You can also read some of their advice by looking through the Hints From Members sub-form.
I wish I had known…
- that I should get a second opinion.
- what to take to the hospital so I wouldn’t have over packed.
- that I could wear home what I wore to the hospital.
- that sleep aids (ear plugs, eye mask) can be essential for rest.
- to bring treats for the nurses.
- to hydrate before and after surgery with water.
- how important it is to walk after hysterectomy.
- that I wouldn’t be up to visitors in the hospital.
- to have a loved one/advocate stay with me in the hospital.
- that gum could help with my bowels and the taste in my mouth.
- that I would have nightmares after a hysterectomy.
- to wear an abdominal binder for tummy support.
- to have simple, comfort foods in small amounts available.
- that I would need piles of pillows.
- about hot flashes and night sweats, even with keeping my ovaries.
- that even over the counter pain medications can be constipating.
- that gas would be an issue.
- tips for helping with sluggish bowels.
- that spotting and some bleeding is okay, but too much can be a problem.
- to say yes to everyone offering assistance in some way.
- that answering a single work related call or e-mail would open the door to more.
- that I shouldn’t try to return to work too soon, even for a desk job.
- that I would have so much brain fog.
- that I could have hair loss.
- the value of resting to heal.
- that showering can be exhausting.
- that I should stop doing before I am in pain.
- that I should take my recovery seriously and not push to do too much too soon.
- that shopping after a hysterectomy can be too much too soon.
- that overdoing it can cause complications and lengthen recovery.
- that I shouldn’t rush recovery.
- about swelly belly.
- that I might experience grief, emptiness, and guilt.
- that my recovery time frame could be faster or slower than for others.
- that 6 weeks is not a magical number for feeling 100%–healing takes time.
- that being emotional for a bit can be normal.
- more about menopause.
- to make a decision about hormone replacement therapy (HRT) before having menopause symptoms.
- how to manage insomnia.
- that hairy legs are okay.
- that dust bunnies can be pets.
- that a perfect house isn’t necessary for survival–housework can wait.
- what to wear after hysterectomy.
- when to call the doctor.
- tips for resuming intercourse.
- the difference between complete and partial hysterectomy, oophorectomy, and salpingectomy.
- what the vaginal cuff was.
- how I could be affected from head to toe.
- not to freak out.
- that my quality of life would improve after healing.
To help you prepare for your hysterectomy, you can read through the HysterSisters Pre-Op Hysterectomy Articles. For more Hysterectomy Recovery Tips and information, you can read through the HysterSisters Hysterectomy Recovery Articles.
This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support. Reprinted with permission: 50 Things I Wish I Had Known Before Hysterectomy