Hysterectomy FAQ for Family and Friends | Part 1

Q: My wife is facing this surgery. Would it be helpful for me to attend her doctor appointments with her?

A: Yes, if it is possible, and if she agrees, it could be very helpful. Two sets of ears are always better as there are things the doctor may say that she may forget. Perhaps even take a little notepad and pen to jot down important points. Accompanying your wife to her appointments will also help you to better understand what this surgery is all about, what you can expect, and how you can assist her through this experience.

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Q: Should I plan to take time off from my job when my wife comes home from the hospital?

A: Ideally, the patient should have someone with her for several days upon arriving home. She will tire easily and her movement will be limited in those first days home. Her main focus is on resting and pain control during this time. If there are small children in the home, she will require someone there to look after them, prepare meals, etc.

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Q: The in-laws and kids want to visit at the hospital. Is that okay?

A: Young children may become frightened by the hospital atmosphere and the groggy post-op demeanor of their mother. She will be dozing LOTS while in the hospital. Let her decide for herself if she is up to receiving visitors. Phone calls can be a welcome substitute for in-person visitors.

Ideally, visitors should come to the home a few days AFTER hospital discharge, BRING DINNER, and keep their visit short.

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Q: Friends and neighbors say: “Let me know if I can help.” How should we reply to them?

A: Ask them to prepare and bring over a meal, taxi your children somewhere, walk the dog, stop at the pharmacy and pick up a prescription, or vacuum or lift something.

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Q: How soon after her surgery will she be able to drive?

A: Her doctor will give specific orders on this; it seems to vary considerably. Generally, it is at least two weeks post-op before clearance to drive is given, and it can be up to six weeks.

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Q: I’m not very skilled at cooking, and my wife is great in the kitchen. When can she cook again?

A: Many women find that they need help from family or friends for a number of weeks after surgery. Even then, getting up to prepare a full meal can be difficult and tiring. Plan on bringing home healthy take-out food or deli items. You can also pick up frozen casseroles at the grocery store, and bake them according to directions on the package. Make a salad and you have a meal! Your wife will need help with kitchen chores. Try to be on hand to assist her, if needed, whenever she is up a bit. Be understanding if she is asleep on the couch when you come home.

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Q: What are some things I can do to help my wife after I need to go return to my job and she is alone at home?

A: Her needs are simple:

  • Make sure a TV is handy and the remove control is near.
  • Move the phone near her and let her turn off the ring if she wants to sleep or call friends if she wants to chat.
  • Consider putting a cooler near her bed for juices and a sandwich if you are going to be gone all day.
  • Help her arrange her recovery room where stairs are not a problem.
  • Before you leave the house, ask if there is anything she needs.
  • Phone her before you leave work to ask if there is anything she needs to purchase on your way home.
  • Ask her how she is feeling and listen to her when you arrive home.
  • Learn to do laundry and other household chores to help her when you get home.

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Continue to part 2

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: Hysterectomy FAQ for Family and Friends | Part 1



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