What questions did you ask your anesthesiologist before hysterectomy?

Your anesthesiologist will play a critical role in your hysterectomy. It will be his job to ensure you are comfortable and safe during your surgery. He will be responsible for keeping you asleep and/or sedated during the actual procedure. He will monitor your heart, lungs, temperature, and oxygen levels during the surgery.

In order to keep you safe, it is important for the anesthesiologist to have a complete picture of your medical history before providing any anesthetic.

Read more about Anesthesia: Talking to Your Anesthesiologist Before Your Hysterectomy.

Radical Hysterectomy – Know what it means!

Definition: A radical hysterectomy is an invasive surgery typically done to treat cancer of the cervix or vagina. It involves the removal of the uterus with cervix, top portion of the vagina, surrounding tissue, some support structures, the parametrium, and pelvic lympth nodes. It can be done abdominally, laparoscopically, or robotically.

Description of procedure: During an open radical hysterectomy, the oncologist makes a cut in the abdominal wall to expose the ligaments and blood vessels around the uterus. The muscles in the abdomen are usually not cut. Instead, they are spread apart with retractors. The ligaments and blood vessels are then separated from the uterus, and the blood vessels tied off so they will heal and not bleed. The oncologist removes the uterus, support ligaments, some surrounding tissue, and pelvic lymph nodes. The cervix and top portion of the vagina are also removed. The top of the vagina is then repaired and closed with a vaginal cuff.

Read more about Radical Hysterectomy.

How do you minimize aging now that you’re in menopause?

Menopause, the gateway to aching bones, fuzzy thoughts, and more challenges than you ever dreamed. Just what you always dreamed of! Yes, menopause and growing older are natural, but do they have to be so uncomfortable? And do they have to affect your looks, too?

Aging and menopause aren’t diseases, but they do cause symptoms that you’ll want to treat. While you might not be able to prevent menopause and age comes with every birthday, you can reverse their effects on your body. You don’t have to let age and menopause get the upper hand during this time of your life. You have a lot of living left to do, so take charge so you are up to the task

Read more about Menopause & Aging: What You Should Know.

Do you have a yearly exam now that you’ve had a hysterectomy?

Even though you no longer have a uterus, a yearly health exam, or Well-Woman checkup as some call it, is still very important and beneficial. You are more than your uterus, and the rest of you needs to be taken care of, too!

At your yearly exam, discuss with your doctor any health concerns you may have. These can include everything from weight loss issues, bone density concerns, and exercise , to PMS, hot flashes, and hormone replacement therapy (HRT). At this appointment, your doctor should do a head-to-toe assessment, so no topic is off limits! To help you remember what you want to discuss, you can take a list of any questions you have had over the year.

At your appointment, you and your physician should also discuss which other tests and screenings you should schedule.

Read more about Yearly Well-Woman Exam.

Wondering what parts are being removed during your hysterectomy? Read here!

To understand better what organs will be removed during your hysterectomy, it helps to understand some basic surgery terminology first:

  • Hysterectomy: the removal of the uterus
  • Oophorectomy: the removal of the ovary
  • Salpingectomy: the removal of the fallopian tube
  • Bilateral: both

A hysterectomy refers only to the removal of the uterus, but how much of the uterus will be removed can be confusing. There are two main parts of the uterus–the fundus and cervix. The fundus refers to the upper (and larger) portion, while the cervix refers to the bottom (or neck) of the uterus. When the complete uterus is removed, the surgery is called a complete (or total) hysterectomy. When only the fundus portion is removed, the surgery is called a partial (or supracervical) hysterectomy because only “part” of the uterus is removed.

Read more about What’s Being Removed During My Hysterectomy Surgery?

Did you have genetic testing done for gynecologic cancer? Are you thinking of having genetic testing done?

Whether or not to have genetic testing for gynecologic cancer is a tough decision. It’s more than just a simple blood test. For one, it can be expensive, causing a financial burden for you and your family. Besides the time and money involved, there are a lot of ethical and emotional aspects to consider.


Testing might be as little as $100, or it could extend into the thousands. It depends on the type and extensiveness of testing. Insurance may or may not cover the tests, but if you use insurance the results can become part of your medical file which could have some future impact.

Read more about Should I Be Tested for Genetic Gynecologic Cancer?

What memory? Do you find it hard to remember things now that you’re in menopause?

Were you coming in or going out? Where did you leave your car keys? Is your dentist appointment today or tomorrow?

The bad news is that you keep tripping over little memory losses. The good news is that you are getting extra exercise as you retrace your steps.

Instead of simply bringing an end to monthly bleeding, the world of menopause has brought with it new challenges. Hot flashes. Insomnia. Night sweats. Don’t forget to include brain fog, memory loss, and trouble concentrating.

So how is menopause connected to your brain? It’s all about estrogen.

Read more about Hello Menopause, Good-bye Memory

Do you know how to obtain your hysterectomy reports and records?

According to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), you have several rights regarding your medical records and surgery report. One of them is that you can obtain copies, usually within 30 days of your request.

In general, you have a right to obtain copies of medical records that identify you and relate to your physical health. This can include billing records and copies of records your current physician received from other providers.

If you are interested in getting a copies of your surgery report, you can start with your surgeon’s office. At your post-op appointment, ask for copies of everything pertaining to your surgery.

Read more about Obtaining Hysterectomy Records and Reports

Do you know all the parts to the uterus?

The uterus is a hollow, inverted-pear-shaped organ about the size of your fist. It is made up of several distinctive parts and layers. Knowing more about the various aspects of your uterus can help you better understand any health issues related to it.

The uterus typically tilts forward at about a 90 degree angle to the vagina. It lies behind the bladder and in front of the bowel. As a result, issues that cause the uterus to enlarge or move can lead to issues with the bowel and/or bladder as well.

Read more about Parts of the Uterus.

Depression – Know what to look for!

Sadness, discouragement, hopelessness, and despair. Those are just some of the words you may associate with depression. You may also associate depression with feelings of despondency and dejection. Depression may equal sadness in your mind.

But depression is more than emotions. In fact, some people with depression don’t feel sad at all.

Instead, they find themselves with a number of physical ailments. They may experience aches and pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems. Someone with depression may also have trouble with sleeping, waking up in the morning, and feeling tired all the time.

Read more about Depression – It’s More Than Just Sadness