Prepare for Your Hysterectomy
Scheduled for a hysterectomy? You'll be better prepared with our resources and information and woman-to-woman support before your hysterectomy. Gather "questions to ask your doctor" and how to prepare your family.
Read on for more information about preparing for your hysterectomy.
Pre-op Hysterectomy Video
Have you wondered how to prepare for your upcoming hysterectomy? Do you wonder what you can expect or how you should prepare? This video produced by HysterSisters.com provides you with answers to your questions and help for your surgery.
Prepare Your Spot
You will probably have one location that you will spend most of your time. For the first few days that spot will most likely be your bedroom.
Start with a good cleaning. Change the sheets on your bed the day you leave for the hospital so that your bed will be fresh. A body pillow is a great idea or at least extra pillows for supporting your every lounging position would be helpful to add to your bed.
Tidy up the room and make sure the bedside table is cleared of all clutter. This will be the best place to put your cell phone, the remote control, and your water bottle. Read More.
Pre-Op Appointment Questions to Ask
The following is a list of good and informative questions to ask your doctor. Of course, customize this list to your particular needs. Add to the list if you have other questions. Don’t be afraid to print out this list and bring it with you to your appointment!
Take a notepad with you to each doctor appointment. Write down your questions. Write down your doctor's responses. You may need to refer to your notes later. The HysterSisters, also, suggest taking a friend or spouse with you to your appointments to help you "hear" and remember!
Questions About Your Surgery
- Am I a candidate for minimally invasive surgery?
- How many surgeries like this for my diagnosis do you do each month?
- What percent are minimally invasive surgeries? What percent are open incision?
- Would you recommend a laparoscopic surgery for me? If no, "Why not?"
- Will the doctor make a bladder tack? What is a bladder tack? (If you have incontinence, this is the time to bring it up as this is the best time for bladder and/or rectum repair)
How long will surgery take?
- Exactly what will be removed? Uterus, ovaries, tubes, cervix, appendix? (How will these organs be removed? Through open abdominal incision? Through the vagina? With the help of a laparoscope?)
- Will I need any preparation before surgery? (enema, stool softener, liquid diet, etc)
- I take certain meds regularly (list your meds, including over-the-counter meds and supplements), will I be allowed to take these to the hospital with me?
- What kind of anesthesia will I have?
Questions About Your Recovery
- How long will I be in the hospital?
- How long will I be on bed rest?
- Will a pathology report be done of all the organs removed? I do want one done.
- How long for the results of the pathology report to come in? (If cancer is suspected, when will I begin cancer treatments and what options are there?)
- If I'm taking BC pills or HRT, do I stop taking them prior to surgery? If so, how long before?
- What medication will I be on for pain in the hospital and when I am home?
- Will the doctor use a tummy binder on me? Will I need one?
- If my ovaries are being removed, when will I start hormones (HRT)? Most important: will the doctor help me to adjust if needed or should I see my family doctor to help with this?
- If I am keeping my ovaries, how will I know if they are working post-op? if they shut down temporarily and I experience hot flashes, how long will I endure menopause symptoms before the ovaries kick back in?
- When will I be able to resume driving?
- How long will I be off work?
- Will I be able to lift my baby? If not, how much can I lift safely at 4 weeks, at 6 weeks?
- When can I return to the gym? When can I return to horseback riding, biking, running?
- I've heard that there is a problem with gas after surgery and have been told that over-the-counter medicines such as Gas-X can help. Is it OK if I take some along to the hospital with me?
- What are the restrictions for any sort of sexual activity after surgery? Is external stimulation allowed and if so, how soon? When can intercourse be resumed?
Recommended for Hysterectomy Recovery
The HysterSisters Store has gathered products made specifically for your recovery from surgery. Here are the best sellers we can recommend to help you:
- The Great Binder Set - We have made it very easy for you and combined the two best binders and the Silky Sac into a great set to save you money! Our favorite is the Perfect Pocket binder with cold/hot packs!
- Deluxe Hyst Prep Set - As you plan, we've gathered the best products into one set for special pricing.
- Pre Surgery Cleanser - Minimize the possibility of a hospital related infection! This is the antiseptic scrub your surgeon uses before surgery! Useful for any hysterectomy option: robotic, laparoscopic and laparotomy (incision)!
- Quick Patient Recovery Kit - This sleep mask has a contoured design allowing complete freedom to open and shut the eyes, while keeping you comfortable. Comes with a pair of Ultra and Slim fit soft foam earplugs and a travel pouch!
- Softest Bra Ever - When you want to wear something, but feel nothing. This is the softest bra ever, in microfiber with no hardware or tags to chafe or dig! The comfort-ribbed underband stays in place gently, so it is perfect for sleeping and lounging.
- HysterSisters Accessory Kit - Are you a HysterSisters fan? This set has a fun collection of HysterSisters items.
- HysterSisters Store - Find more products specifically for your recovery in the HysterSisters.com Store!
Help for the Mister
The Hyster Sisters website was created for "women to women" online support for hysterectomy decisions and support providing articles for pre-op, post-op and hormone therapy along with live discussions within the forums of the site.
But we know that the men, the husbands, family members and caretakers of the HysterSisters, lurk online, reading the website, trying to gather information to help them understand what is happening to their wives and girlfriends. They are frightened. They are confused. They want to help.
Mister HysterSisters website offers help and information for the caretakers of the HysterSisters. Please share this information with the man in your life!
At the Hospital
Pack light! You really don't need to bring much to the hospital. Here is a list of items the HysterSisters suggest:
- Tummy pillow (buy yours at the HysterSisters store)
- Lip balm
- Your own night shirt
- Oversize cotton panties
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Shampoo and conditioner
- Hair brush
- Facial cleanser
- Lightweigh cotton robe
- Ponytail holder
- A cell phone
- Prescriptions (check with staff on restrictions)
Do not bring:
More Helpful Hospital Tips
- Money or valuables
- Anything more than a small overnight bag can comfortably hold
- Take notes
- Listen when your doctor speaks
- Have someone with you for discharge instructions
- Say Thank you
- Ask for copies of your file
- Be 'nice' to the hospital staff
- Be proactive with your care
- Let staff know your needs
- Make friends with kitchen staff
- Write thank you notes to medical staff
From the Forums
I was wondering about comparative pain levels and recovery time for a laparoscopic TVH. They will take my uterus, cervix, and Fallopian tubes, but le ..... [More]
Hi, New to forum. I am 36 years old and have an ovarian cyst and large fibroid. The doctor wants to perform the Davinci on me. I have read awful thin ..... [More]
4 days till the big day.
Made a list checked it twice and went shopping with hubby for the necessities.
It hit me when I was looking for gowns. Tr ..... [More]
This is the day I fought hard for. In my early twenties I begged for a hysterectomy with horrible endometriosis, cysts on ovaries that would painfully ..... [More]
I'm really freaked its 5 days away... Saw uro/gyno today... Says he will check in during surgery but feels my bladder will be ok once my uterus is rem ..... [More]
More Pre-Op Resources
Check out these resources to help you prepare for surgery. Don't forget our best resource - our pre-op discussion forum where thousands of HysterSisters participate daily! AND - Don't forget to ask your doctor for additional resources.
Hysterectomy Pre-Op Information
Members' Hysterectomy Stories
ALL Hysterectomy Videos